Here I go again with another chain restaurant. I'd been to Abuelo's a few years ago a couple times when I worked in Carmel, IN, and remembered it being pretty good. So, I thought I'd give it another go, as I am still looking for my favorite Mexican place in the Indy area.
Abuelo's is located right in the Lowe's plaza (there's also a Fox and Hound) at 14480 Lowe's Way in Carmel, IN. It's the exit for 146th St. if you're heading up Keystone Ave.
Abuelo's is surprisingly nice inside. It's the same caliber as a Cheesecake Factory or P.F. Chang's. You can find tables and booths inside.
Our waiter, Tom, was really pleasant. He was helpful with his recommendations, was attentive but not obtrusive, and made us feel comfortable when we wanted to split a huge dish (which can be a problem at some places). All in all, very good.
Mojitos were on special the night we were there (Wednesday) for $3 each so my husband and I both ordered one:
I have to say, they were pretty terrible. Way, way too sweet, no mint, barely any lime (despite the fact that there were three fresh wedges in my glass--I think the extreme sweetness overpowered anything else), and probably three drops of rum. Bad, bad, bad. I couldn't even get mine halfway finished.
We ordered a guacamole appetizer:
It was very salty...and that's about it. There was a bit of onion and tomato in it, but definitely not good guac. I wouldn't order it again.
For our dinner, we ordered the dish called the Monterrey. It's GIGANTIC. It has six items, I had two, my husband had four. It also comes with two sides, we chose the papas con bravas (Abuelo's version of Mexican-inspired mashed potatoes, and refried beans)
Here's the part of the plate I ate:
That was a spinach enchilada and an avocado enchilada. The avocado enchilada had the guacamole that they serve as appetizers as the filling. Both were covered with a cream sauce. They were decent. Mainly salt. The spinach was studded with a few kernels of corn and did taste better than the avocado one. I liked that the spinach was not completely overcooked and grey. It was still bright green and spinach-y.
I love the papas con bravas. It's garlic-y, has onions, is blended with cheese. Yum.
My husband thought the pieces he had were decent, too. Nothing special, but not inedible.
Our meal was pretty reasonable. We ended up paying $34.00 with tip for the two of us. Not bad for a meal with 2 mojitos, an appetizer, and a main course.
All in all, unremarkable. A 3 out of 5 mainly bolstered by the pleasant service and the nice interior. The food was not remarkable and I don't love the papas con bravas enough to go back just for that. So, this will likely have been my last trip to Abuelo's.