Albarran’s Mexican Bar & Grill: 7722 Milwaukee
The Plaza Restaurant & Bar: 5029 Milwaukee
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.
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
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!
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.
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?