Albarran’s Vs The Plaza: The Battle for Milwaukee

Who will win?

Albarran’s Mexican Bar & Grill: 7722 Milwaukee

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The Plaza Restaurant & Bar: 5029 Milwaukee

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Since the opening of the Plaza comes a couple of months after the opening of Albarran’s (also on Milwaukee… just a little ways down the road), we thought we would do a comparison of the two. We have found that people have very strong opinions on this, so we are excited to hear your choices!

Round 1: The Atmosphere

The Plaza is one story with no patio. It has a large separate bar area with bar tables and TVs. There are many arches throughout the restaurant with a variety of reds, greens, and yellows. There are booths plus small and large tables. The exterior is light brown with arches and a colorful logo.

Albarran’s is a little more flashy with a variety of lines, domes, and lighting illuminating the outside. The building is two stories with an outdoor patio and a smaller 2nd floor patio with balconies. You will find colorful tile throughout the interior and exterior of the building with a bottle chandelier at the entrance. TVs are at the bar and placed throughout the restaurant.

Winner: Albarran’s

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Round 2: The Drinks

The Plaza and Albarran’s have your typical beer selections, house margaritas, fruit margaritas, etc. The stand-out drink at Albarran’s is the Watermelon Margarita. It is spicy and sweet! The Prickly Pear Chilton at The Plaza was a fun spin on the Lubbock original. We are not mathematicians, but if you calculate X amount of drink for X amount of money, throw in the quality variable, we say…

Winner: The Plaza

 

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Round 3: The Food

This is the hardest one. Everyone has different tastes in Tex-Mex. Let’s get saucy first. Albarran’s offers two salsas, a mild one with a good amount of cilantro and a very hot one (the green salsa, available on request). The Plaza offers one large bowl of salsa that was tomato-y (is that a word?). We preferred Albarran’s on the salsa. The quesos at both were similar. Albarran’s is more chunky, but I like less chunky so The Plaza won that one. For the entrees, we ordered brisket tacos and chicken flautas. The food quality was just about the same between the two. I liked the papas better at The Plaza because they have less peppers.  However, the brisket was pretty salty at The Plaza. The flautas are neck and neck though. The Plaza has a huge menu!

Winner: Sorry y’all… this one is a tie for us!

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Round 4: The Service

Both are new restaurants so you can expect minor issues that need to be ironed out. If you read reviews on both, everyone has had some kind of complaint at both establishments. We can say that Albarran’s has forgotten a piece of our order (the queso, the salsa, the drink, etc…) on a couple of occasions. We ended up having a bit of an argumentative waiter at The Plaza.

Winner: Let’s wait a few months for both restaurants to fully break in.

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Round 5: The Price

We compared a few menu items and The Plaza’s items were typically a little less, but not by too much.

Winner: The Plaza

Albarran’s is a great place to hang out with friends at happy hour or to watch your favorite sporting event. The patio is awesome and the drinks are good. The Plaza is great for good, casual Tex-Mex without the hustle and bustle. We have a favorite… do you?

13 comments

  1. I like both places but the cheese enchiladas were really good at the Plaza! Patio rocks at Albarran’s!

  2. Sonnie Stamps-Morris

    We have tried both places, and so far, Albarran's is by far ahead of the game for us.

    My husband and I are hands down, Albarran’s fans. Their food is so much more tasty. Table side guacamole is always perfect. Salsa tastes so much more freshly made. Salsa at The Plaza seemed watery and just purely canned tomatoes with a little cilantro. Based on combo fajitas for 2 at both places… while you get a little larger portion of meat at the Plaza, once again, Albarran’s knocks it out of the park with flavor. The meat at the Plaza was very bland and had the texture of pre-cooked, steamed meat. Albarran’s at least tastes and appears to be freshly cooked. Another deciding factor for us was, like most Mexican Food restaurants, for fajitas for TWO, Albarran’s offers 2 sides each, a choice of papas, rice, refried or charro beans. At The Plaza, we got one small bowl of refried to share. No rice, no papas, no option. We questioned the waiter a couple of times because it just didn’t seem right, according to the menu. When he sent the mgr. over, she said she would throw in an extra bowl of beans. ??? We have had a few service issues at Albarran’s, but nothing really too bad, considering they are still new. We are definitely going to give The Plaza another shot after they get their kinks worked out, but as for now, Albarran’s is the place for us.

  3. Shirley

    GREAT FOOD. FRIENDLY.

    We’ve only been to Albarran’s…but it’s already a fav. Eat there once or twice a week. Food has been great. Eat something different each time. Service exceptional. Everyone is soooo friendly. They pay particular attention to people with food allergies and get it right! Love it!

  4. Kim

    Waiting to see

    I wasn’t a big fan of albarrans. The food was ok and the service was slow. Yet as said that might be ironed out later! Haven’t tried the Plaza yet!

  5. Nick

    Albarran’s was ok but not great – wouldn’t go out of our way to eat there but wouldn’t avoid it either. The atmosphere is great but the food (we think) is pretty average. Like the article said everyone has their own preferences when it come to tex mex – this place wasn’t our favorite but try it out and decide for yourself.

  6. blanca

    deliciosa la kmida del albarran's

    ALBARRAN’S PERFECT

  7. MARIA

    AWESOME RESTAURANT

    Great margaritas great food friendly waiter! My Husband loves the food here WE had the Ribs and the enchiladas Delicious and rice very tasty, The second visit I had the chicken quesadillas very good for dessert I had fried ice cream very tasty AWESOME RESTAURANT TO TAKE OUT FAMILY AND FRIENDS TO IN JOY TO EAT

  8. MARIA

    Albarran’s Restaurant

    Great margaritas great food friendly waiter! My Husband loves the food here WE had the Ribs and the enchiladas Delicious and rice very tasty, The second visit I had the chicken quesadillas very good for dessert I had fried ice cream very tasty AWESOME RESTAURANT TO TAKE OUT FAMILY AND FRIENDS TO IN JOY TO EAT AND LOVE BECAUSE ITS OPEN LATE Albarran’s

  9. Paige

    No Contest..

    Albarran’s is a must have if your on that side of town. We are originally from Amarillo and although The Plaza has been around many more years than Jorge’s (Albarran’s), the people of the high plains have it right by voting them best tex mex 5 years running. The only thing I remember from eating at The Plaza in Amarillo is that it was not rememberable at all. If we go out for Tex-Mex food it’s either Albarran’s or Abuelos. The building down here I will say they went above and beyond with, nothing compares to it unless your in the Dallas area

  10. Justin Noble

    A new entrant?

    It looks like Leal’s is making a play for the ‘Tex-Mex Battle of Milwaukee’. There is a variance request on tomorrow’s city council agenda for a liquor license next to the daycare center on the south end near 82nd. The letter mentions Leal’s. Item 6.11 if you want to look it up.

  11. MARIA

    I want to The plaza Restaurant and the waiters and waitresses you call them to the table they have no name tags you have get eye contact and see if they look other you have to hey you not that right.Get name tags

  12. Teresa

    Delicious!

    Both are very good but The Plaza is our favorite. The crunchy chili rellanos, the salsa, the rice, and of course, a strawberry sopapilla!

  13. KJ

    Coming from a guy who has been in the food service industry for 16 years, 10 of them in management, owns two restaurants and some would consider me a chef, this is not even a contest. The Plaza wins hands down. Better food, better drinks, adult atmosphere. Alderons is like a t ball team and the plaza is the major leagues.

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