For dinner this past Friday my family and I headed to the newly opened Lime Fresh Mexican Grill in the still expanding Rookwood Exchange project. Lime is a new chain of restaurants that started in Florida and now has nearly 20 restaurants in 6 states.
It is hard not to immediately start comparing Lime with Chipotle, Qdoba, etc. As with the other restaurants in this category, orders are placed at the counter immediately upon entry. However at Lime you do not walk down a line while your food is assembled. Instead your full order is placed, you are handed a table number, and your food is brought to you within a few minutes.
After placing our order, I immediately stopped at their extensive salsa bar. Chips are provided on the side with all orders and the self-serve salsa bar provides an array of dips. I tried nearly all of them and found the majority of them to be underwhelming. They all lacked any heat, with the exception of the super spicy Habanero. I found myself gravitating back to the pico de gallo the most. The pineapple was my wife’s favorite. If I had to pick one from the others I think the Verde was the best.
I ordered the 8th Street Burrito, a flour tortilla stuffed with chicken, homemade organic black beans, rice, crispy bacon, sour cream, pico de gallo salsa and tortilla strips ($7.99). I did not know that the burrito was going to be grilled after assembly, but that was a pleasant surprise. I am not sure if all burritos are served that way. The first few bites of the burrito left with me nothing more than bland rice. Once I finally made it to the meat of the sandwich, I enjoyed the mix of flavors. A large selection of hot sauce was also available at the counter, which I used to add some spice.
My wife tried both varieties of fish taco. The first was a soft flour shell stuffed with fresh grilled fish, shredded lettuce, pico de gallo salsa and topped with a special sauce ($3.50). The second, surfer taco, was a soft flour shell stuffed with baja-style fresh fish, finely shredded cabbage, pico de gallo, and cool cilantro sauce ($3.50). She enjoyed the surfer taco more than the original fish. I had small bites of these and would have to agree with her. The cilantro sauce on the surfer was great and added a lot to the taco. Either style of taco could be made a meal of 3 tacos for $8.49.
Our two-year-old son had a chicken taco with only cheese on it ($2.00 during happy hour, $3 otherwise). Also available is kid taco with just meat and cheese for $2.50 any other time.
We also shared a trifecta appetizer of homemade pico de gallo salsa, fresh guacamole and creamy queso dip ($5.49). It seems dumb to me to include the pico when it is available to everyone at the salsa bar, but we did not realize that at the time of our order. The queso dip was my favorite of the three and I think I would just order a larger serving of that on another visit. The guacamole was alright, but not as good as Chipotle’s. They offer four different kinds of guacamole, so maybe another variety would be better than the classic.
We ate our dinner on their spacious and shaded patio. This space is nearly as large as the entire indoor portion of the restaurant. There was a cornhole game setup on the side, which provided my son with some entertainment while my wife and I finished our meals. The patio was awesome and I hope to visit again soon.
Overall the food at Lime Fresh Mexican Grill was hit and miss. I don’t think the burrito was as good or as big as Chipotle’s, despite the higher price. The fish tacos were good and a very nice addition to the menu. I saw some of the other customers eating salads, which actually looked really good, so I might try one of those on a future visit. I’m sure we will be back, their Friday happy hour with $2 Mexican beers, $3 frozen margaritas, and $2 tacos is reason enough.