Ostensibly "Vietnamese," this chain gets no points for anything. The stunning thing is how many people tell me it's good. That's why it heads my list, to be honest. Every dish I order there turns out to be a huge dish of onions, oil, and MSG, occasionally with small garnishes of undercooked veggies and overcooked meat. I can only assume this must be some people's idea of a good meal.
OK, to continue being honest, I haven't eaten at this chain since 1996. At my previous job, they used to buy us lunch from Lee Ann Chin to show their "appreciation."There wasn't a single thing on the menu that didn't make me sick to my stomach. Maybe it's the smell. Maybe it's that the ungodly amount of oil upsets my stomach. Maybe it's the pretension.
Update: for 2005: I went there again in 2005. Was still disgusted.
So many people rave about Tacos Morelos, I may be willing to give it a second chance some day. Everyone says I must have just gone there on an off night. I'm not so sure; the kitchen looked horrible. I know because you have to walk through it to get to the restroom. Anyway, I ordered a beef enchilada. What I got was a cold tortilla filled with congealed jack cheese, with a dribble of what I suppose must have been their famous mole sauce, although I couldn't taste it. My vegetarian friend ordered tacos. The shells were out of a box, and the filling was iceberg lettuce and a sprinkle of cheddar cheese. Our dining experience was not enhanced by being seated under the cash register. The Richfield location, however, is excellent.
Oh, yuck. Just yuck. And really bad service to boot. I've been to the one on University and the one on Lyndale. The one on University gets my award for worst service ever, but the one on Lyndale comes in second. And the food was horrible. The "Kamikaze yogurt," being plain yogurt with berries, seemed safe, but the yogurt was so sour and the fruit so unripe, I couldn't eat it. Had pancakes the second time, and it took me two days to recover from them. What constitutes bad service, you may ask? Well, at University, the waitress ignored me for a full 25 minutes while I tried to signal her. There was only one other customer in the place. When my male companion arrived, she brought him coffee but ignored me. Then she came back and took his order then tried to leave. I tried to stop her, but she pretended she had not even seen me until my friend told her I wanted to order too. On Lyndale, the waitress was talking loudly on the phone to a friend and flirting with one of the cooks while my friend and I vainly tried to get her attention. She was maybe 10 or 15 feet away from us, so it was obvious she was just goofing off. I can't even imagine acting that way in front of customers.
I used to think I liked this place, because I really liked the cactus paddles, but gradually I came to realize that that was all I liked. The egg dishes were all cold and runny and the meat was rubbery. If you have to go there, just get the cactus.