Review: Hoover’s Frontera Grill was awful

Note: I’ve decided to do a public service and share my thoughts on important things outside football—things like what restaurants to avoid. I know I appreciate getting a warning about what is bad, or hearing what is good. So, here is my impression of a place to avoid.

Frontera Grill Grove Blvd in Hoover

How can a Mexican restaurant be worse than Taco Bell?

I don’t know. I don’t want to know. But Frontera Grill was horrible. It was worse than Taco Bell. It was worse for a number of reasons, and not just because it suffered poorly in comparison to the place we ate the night before—Cocina Superior was amazing—but Frontera’s food was awful.

The food was bland; it made my date a little sick to her stomach before we left the table. I’m glad I didn’t get the Burrito Supreme with fajita chicken. I had beef instead. The food wasn’t hot and it wasn’t cold. It was lukewarm. The food looked appealing on the plate, but was unrewarding to the mouth. From the first bite, I knew something was wrong.

My date summed the food up in one word, “Nasty.” This was different from my experiences with other Frontera locations; the Trussville location was good on my last trip there (it has been awhile) and there was a location in Oxford that I visited years ago that was also very good. This made the Hoover restaurant seem like a safe choice. It wasn’t.

The service was good. The chips and salsa were supplied quickly and our drinks were refilled with speed. The salsa was adequate, and the cheese dip was decent. The chips were standard—and probably the best part of the dining experience.

The décor was interesting. Trippy lights adorned the ceiling of the restaurant creating star-like points of light running almost the width of the dining area. It added nothing to the experience, but perhaps distracting and disorienting one from the taste on the plate; the food was just bad. I guess it needed any help it could get. Unfortunately, the lights didn’t really help.