I have been in the house for the better of a month now recovering from a back procedure. It has been quite boring, to say the least. All of that changed yesterday when I was pulled out of the house by a couple of friends in town for a wedding. There were a few options for brunch in downtown Abilene but we ultimately decided on The Local. The Local is a Mexican Restaurant located at 250 Cypress Street in Abilene, Texas. The Local offers limited parking in front of the restaurant, however, public parking is available along North Third Street and behind the restaurant on Cedar Street.
As we approached the restaurant, I did not quite get the vibe. It appeared to be posh with patio seating, bright white facade and dark windows. There were huge trees that will provide coverage from the sun during the Texas summer. The décor was completely different than any building in a one block radius, maybe even all of downtown.
After walking through the patio, we arrived at the hostess stand. The stand was literally just inside the door. We were welcomed to the restaurant and given our options of seating when I heard “excuse me” from behind. I slowly turned, due to the back surgery, to see which side the person was trying to pass. Before I could move out of the way, the waitress scoffed and pushed passed me. Bit of a rush at 1106, aren’t we? If this is a problem, please move to stand further inside or even outside to prevent future occurrences.
Back to the seating. We were given the option of sitting on the patio or on the inside. We chose to sit on the right side of the restaurant away from the door. There were quite a few different seating options. The seating could accommodate anything from small to large groups.
The bar area, which was quite nice, also had some seating. I liked the library-esque feel the bar gave me. The bar overlapping the high top seats was another great design aspect. This was, by far, my favorite section of the restaurant.
There was some additional seating available in the loft. The loft was situated on the right side of the restaurant. I assume this area is only open for the overflow crowd. There was no overflow on this visit so the area was empty.
Less than a minute after being seated, our waitress arrived. She quickly introduced herself and asked if we were ready to order. I do not know about you all but we were not prepared to order within a minute…at a new place…without looking at the menu. Speaking of menus, there were paper brunch menus and a movable digital menu on the table. Yes movable, like you could pass it around the table, instead of having everyone passing their phones to scan a barcode glued to the table.
The waitress made her way back to the table after another couple of minutes, again ready to take the order. Unsure and undecided, we went her chicken wonton tacos ($7) recommendation. I also ordered a half sweet and half unsweet tea with a water, while my friends ordered mimosas ($7). We continued to browse the online and brunch menus while we waited.
The sweet tea, minus the half unsweet, waters for my friends (not one for me) and chicken wonton tacos arrived at the table no more than two minutes after ordering. We each had a taco and came to the following conclusion. 1) The ingredients were premade and 2) it tasted like Mexican corn (elote), in a shell. The cotija cheese and avocado ranch overpowered the chicken base.
While The Local is a Mexican restaurant, with an assortment of tacos on the menu, we decided to go with the brunch. Our line of thought was, it would not be on the menu if the owner did not want us to order. We went with the migas ($7), chorizo omelet ($8) and huevos hash skillet ($8). The entire menu was relatively inexpensive.
During our wait, the waitress proactively brought a tea refill, which I appreciated.
The mimosas finally arrived after a nearly 20 minute wait. This is unsat at any restaurant, but especially for a one that just opened for the day.
We chatted for another 15 minutes or so and my friends decided to have beers. My buddy wanted the Red Gap Mexican Lager. The waitress stated that it was out. My friend pressed her about it and others on the beer list after she stated the only beers available were Pacifico and Dos Equis. The waitress then looked over at the taps and stated she might be wrong. She then said the beer was on tap but could not find the Red Gap button on her iPad.
The food arrived nearly 20 minutes after we ordered.
Chorizo Omelet. The “omelet” was basically an egg pancake with cheese on top. This was not the traditional omelet I am used to having as the chorizo was cooked into the eggs. Either way, I gave the dish a go and found it to be very bland. The green salsa made it a bit more appetizing. Rating: 2.6/5.
Huevos Hash Skillet. Note: The waitress never gave the choice of egg during ordering, is it an option??? The dish was served with an over easy egg atop the hash with two slices of bacon. The two slices of bacon were cooked vastly different. One was super crispy, while the other was cooked to a medium consistency. The skillet was really greasy and the chorizo was on the verge of being burned. Even with all the grease and burned chorizo, the dish was bland. When I asked my friend why he ate it, he stated he had not eaten since the day prior. Um, ok, Mr. Iron Stomach. Rating: 2/5.
Migas. The migas was fried tortillas with scrambled eggs and bacon crumbles. The dish was served cold and very bland. Again, the dish was not memorable. Rating: 2/5.
The waitress did preemptively offer a military discount with the bill. Do we have a certain look or something???
I did not have any expectations prior to arriving at The Local. The decision to eat at the restaurant occurred within 20 minutes of actually stepping through doors. With that being said, I think the wait staff could use some improving. The way I was pushed by at the door, to the waitress not knowing which beers were on tap, to the bartender taking 20 minutes for a mimosa, all could use some attention. While I understand we all have bad days, it is not cool for us to have them at the same time, at the same job.