Address: 800 Spring Mill Avenue, Conshohocken, PA 19428
Ratings: Food: 5, Service: 2, Ambience: 10, Plating: 7, Overall Impression: 5
Recommendation: Good. I am probably going to gain some enemies on this posting. Coyote Crossing is a fun place to sit and drink margaritas on a warm night, but the biggest problem is that you will be doing too much sitting and waiting. While you may not notice or care when the weather is hot and your drinking with friends, it just is not acceptable for it to take over an hour for food to arrive. With service being atrocious, and appetizers being bad drunk food at best, the entrées and ambience salvaged this restaurant from an “average” to a “good” (just barely) rating.
On one of the first warm days of spring, Bill, his two roommates, and I decided to go to Coyote Crossing. Inside was packed with the happy hour crew, but outside was almost empty as you can see by the picture on the right. When we were seated, it took a long time for someone to come over and bring us waters. It took about another ten minutes for our waitress to come over to introduce herself. We were informed that the margaritas are made with Sauza tequila, so Bill wanted to upgrade to the higher quality tequila. The four of us split a pitcher of what was supposed to be mango margarita made with patron. The margarita arrived and it was clear in color. We took this as a pretty good indication that there was no mango in the drink, which you can easily see this in the upper quadrant of the picture on the left.
To remedy the situation, our waitress brought out the mango juice and poured it into our individual cups and into the pitcher. This was a terrible solution. The drink tasted like mango for about the first twenty minutes and then diluted back to tasting like a slightly strange tasting regular margarita. (rating: 2). I do appreciate that we each had about 2 glasses from the pitcher. The price of the pitcher for Sauza is $35, but with the patron it is $50, which is definitely still reasonable for eight glasses of margarita. Margaritas at Coyote Crossing are reasonable; you can get the cheapest one for $8.
When our waitress originally came to get our drink order, we also placed two appetizer orders. Bill order the guacamole for $7 and the table decided to share the Botanas for Two appetizer for $10. The guacamole, pictured on the left, was weak. I was very disappointed; while the guacamole was creamy, it had no flavor, but yet managed to be spicy (rating: 2). I also found the chips to be too hard and lacking salt. A mexican restaurant really should make their own chips. The pica de gallo was fresh, but had an overwhelming cilantro taste. I would have preferred if they let the tomato be the star instead of covering it with cilantro. The Botanas for Two was a medley of disasters. The Botanas appetizer, pictured on the right, included a vegetable burrito, duck and mango quesadillas, a jalapeno popper, chicken flautas, and two empanadas, one with beef and one vegetable. The amount of food was generous for $10, but unfortunately, rather disappointing. To start, the empanadas were signficantly overcooked and dried out. The chicken flautas reminded me of food you find in the frozen isle of a supermarket. It had little taste and no visible chicken. The jalapeno popper made no sense on a platter meant for sharing; it was bland, had no spice, and boring. The veggie burrito was fried, so it had a nice crunch to it, but the table was underwhelmed by the lack of vegetables inside the burrito and the chewiness of the dough inside the burrito. The mango and duck quesadilla was the best part of the appetizer. I liked the salty and sweet combination, but the flavors could have been enhanced with a little spicing and a more generous amount of duck in the quesadilla (rating: 3). Honestly, I would recommend skipping all appetizers. Everything on this dish was either fried or an overdose of carbohydrates. It was an attempt at drunk food that failed miserably and left me wishing I did not waste the calories. Do not fret if you skip the appetizers, the entrées were huge.
Once we finished our appetizers, we waited for over an hour for the entrées. It started to get chilly and the fun of sitting outdoors and waiting forever for food started to deteriorate. We went through over two bowls of tasteless chips waiting for our dinners. It is unfortunate because I was nearly full after waiting that long for food. Once dinner arrived, the general consensus was that the food was a large improvement over our appetizers. The entrées were a far cry from the disregarded slop that was served as appetizers. Even though the food was good, it was certainly not worth the excessive wait.
Bill ordered the Puntas Chipotle for $26, which is pictured on the left. The entrée came with tenderloin tips marinated in Mexican spices, sautéed in a homemade chipotle sauce served with fresh corn tortillas, rice, and refried beans. The corn tortillas were unnecessary and a waste. The presentation shows effort, but the chipotle sauce, cheese, and beef inevitably did not look very enticing. However, the food was better than it looked. The beef was cooked well, but a little chewy. I think the chipotle sauce mixed with the cheese made the dish. The sauce had a slight zest and tastes almost like a creamy tomato sauce. How could you not enjoy cheese, meat, and a creamy sauce? For a mexican place, this was a solid dish. As far as the rice and beans, I would skip them. The rice was dried out and flavorless, while the beans had the consistency of dust (rating: 6). This was a good dish, but was overpriced for a place like Coyote Crossing.
I love fajitas; I order them often, but they are relatively hard to ruin. Therefore, I decided to go with the waitresses recommendation and try the Chicken and Chorizo Fried Burrito, which is pictured on the right. This entrée was gigantic and only $20. The leftovers fed both Bill and I the following night. I was satisfied with the Burrito. It was a fresh flour burrito filled with sautéed chicken and chorizo, black bean puree & Chihuahua cheese and quickly fried. This dish again used the homemade chipotle sauce and had drizzled sour cream, both of which complimented each other and the burrito very well. Although the burrito had a nice taste and had a lot of chicken inside, I felt there could have been more chorizo. There was also a lot of tortilla, which I know is the fatal flaw of the burrito in general. My biggest problem with the dish though was again the worthless rice. Overall though a hearty and well-balanced dish (rating: 7).
The first nice night of spring I always want to go to Coyote Crossing. Unfortunately, the warm day turned into a breezy night. It took a less than warm night for me to comprehend the poor service at Coyote Crossing. While at past visits the service had been just as lousy, it seems more bearable when the weather is cooperating. Additionally, I would hate to be eating at Coyote Crossing on a night where the outside was packed as well as the inside. You might never receive your food! I realize that many mexican restaurants are not frequented because of their food quality but because of their drinks and entertainment, therefore, if you are looking for a fun place to drink reasonable margaritas in the summer, Coyote Crossing is a fun place. If you are in the mood for traditional, well-cooked mexican food that does not take hours to make, I would recommend going elsewhere.