New Mexican Restaurant to be Called “Hola Mexican Cantina”

The new Mexican restaurant that’s taking the place of the Decatur Diner at the corner of East Ponce and Church Street is called “Hola Mexican Cantina”, according to its liquor license application on the agenda for tonight’s Decatur City Commission meeting yet.

41 thoughts on “New Mexican Restaurant to be Called “Hola Mexican Cantina””


  1. I can imagine “Who’s On First” style hilarity ensuing on the phone.

    “Hola”.

    “Hola”.

    “Si, Hola”

    “HOLA!!!”

    “SI. HOLA!!!!”

    “Adios!”

    Click.

  2. No offense to the new owners or fans of the cuisine, but I think we could go decades without a new Mexican restaurant opening and still have plenty in metro Atlanta. Now, if they are planning on authentic dishes, it might be a different story…

    1. This isn’t “Atlanta” per se. Downtown Decatur needs a decent Mexican or Tex-Mex place (sorry, Big Tex). It fills a niche. I miss the old Coyote when it was on Trinity.

      1. Big Tex was not Tex-Mex when we went in some months ago. Read on this very blog they had good tacos when they opened, so got there and were disappointed they didn’t have any tacos on the menu, and weren’t offering chips even as paid appetizers. All they had were southern dishes which we tried, but they were just so-so. Fast forward to passing by there a few days ago, and saw something with guacamole on the board outside. I don’t think they really know what kind of restaurant they want to be.

          1. It’s strange they didn’t just open BBQ in the Big Tex space and call it day. There really wasn’t anything special about Big Tex that would justify a return visit based on our experience.

            1. Really cold beer was about all there was for us. It was definitely not even close to being authentic, however. And now that I hear they’ve removed tacos from the menu, they’re just that much further away from the real deal. It’s a nice place, though, and I agree would have been better off as simply another Fox Bros. location.

              1. Actually, it started as totally authentic Texas Hill Country cuisine. It’s hard to recognize if you’ve never been there…a little Mexican, a little Texas, but a distinctive cuisine nonetheless. From my observations, they have tried to adapt the menu as people PILED on criticisms. We have always liked the place, had great service and great food. It seems like they are trying to stick with their original concept (we were there last week and had incredible brisket enchiladas) while expanding the menu to please people.

                I think people were largely critical because they expected a typical (not traditional) Mexican joint with burritos the size of a small animal, covered in sauce, accompanied with beans and rice. Coming from OK and living in TX for a time, I appreciated the original concept, and continue to order their offerings that harken back to that. Oh, except for the fried jalepenos. LOVE those.

                Never ceases to amaze me how harsh people are about this place. I guess I would like to read DM ONE day and not read a bash of a local business. There are a couple of places here that I am amazed stay in business due to poor service, not being kid-friendly, or simply being very mediocre. However, rather than share my thoughts about a business that someone is working hard to make a success, I simply don’t patronize them. Said it before and I’ll say it again, if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.

                1. Luckily we have someone so incredibly superior in their knowledge about food and etiquette such as yourself, to lecture us fat/stupid/rude Americans about these very complicated things we don’t understand.

                  I didn’t expect any sort of burrito, I expected tacos, not big ones, just any sort based on what I read here. Chili, chicken fried steak, and catfish has to be awfully good to get me to pay for it since I’m perfectly capable of making these things, and it was just so-so.

                  “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”

                  This is advice that should be given to school children everywhere, but completely naive when we’re deciding where to spend our household’s hard earned income. If a dry cleaner ruined an expensive dress would you feel the same way? Gee, the mechanic didn’t deliver the product or service they promised, but since they’re locally owned, let’s not forewarn our neighbors.

                  I’ll speak up when something is done right, but withholding a less than expected experience merely because the business is local is just very silly.

                  Having said that… when Colbeh first opened, one of our dishes, the skirt steak, was way overdone. We brought it to the attention of the manager, and they knocked it off the bill. I didn’t share that experience, because it was a brand new place, and new places need time to get the kinks worked out, they handled it in a way that we found satisfactory, and it didn’t ruin the experience. And we’d go back, so there was really no point.

                  But if something impacts your experience, and you wouldn’t go back, I don’t see anything wrong with saying so, explaining why is helpful.

                  I think all of us here understand the issues businesses face, and we want them to be successful. But the fact the fact that a website like Yelp and Urban Spoon even exist, proves that there are people who want the information that you think should be withheld for some reason you haven’t adequately explained.

                  1. Wow! I don’t believe I got personal, but I think you just did. I think you missed my point in that what they promised was what they delivered, and it wasn’t understood/accepted here. That regional cuisine is not well known, and I think they suffered for trying to bring their home food (they are from Ft. Worth Texas and spent a great deal of time in the Hill Country). Not a judgment. I apologize if you found that condescending.

                    I am all for people sharing opinions, but this thread, in and of itself, is a perfect example of my frustration. This new Mexican place hasn’t even opened yet, and people are critical. Really? Same thing happened with PWTR, which I love!

                    I guess my belief is that it is much easier to vent about a bad experience then take the time to write about a good one. I also understand that people want reviews of businesses, local, regional or national chain. My frustration is that many of the (negative) opinions offered up here (1) are provided even before the business opens, (2) don’t exercise the restraint you did in appreciating that new businesses take time to get things right, and (3) are just a rant because someone didn’t get what they wanted. I still think that it is enough to say, been there, wasn’t satisfied, won’t go back. Let people judge for themselves. Your examples concerning dry cleaning and car care are well made, but those are tangible things; an experience at a restaurant is not as easily broken down, as everyone exepcts something different.

                    If you would like to discuss this further, let’s take it offline. I have digressed into exactly what I hope to avoid here.

                    1. “This new Mexican place hasn’t even opened yet, and people are critical.”: I didn’t see anything critical in this thread. It was Big Tex that got some critical comments, right?

                      Actually, I think there’s a fair amount of positive boosterism for Decatur restaurants and stores on this blog. There’s often a lot of “Can’t wait”s then “Just tried it and really liked Dish X…….” Then it depends on the restaurant. Sometimes dead silence then nothing until you hear the place is closing. Othertimes, the love seems to be sustained.

                      When it seems like we DMers get the most negative is when a place is closing. The pattern seems to be an announcement or post that something is closing. Then a “Oh, I’m going to miss this……” Then a whole bunch of people pile on about how the place really didn’t deserve to survive for various reasons. I think it’s that DM posters like to contradict one another more than that they are overly critical. Sometimes they even contradict themselves on a previous post they’ve made!

                  2. That’s fair, and I’ll concede the point could have made without the bitchiness. I just read it as preachy, and “you don’t know what you’re talking about.”

                    The truth is, all local businesses are not created equal. All the love, soul, and investment of every dollar of person’s savings in the world, doesn’t mean a business will have the magic to make it, especially in a place saturated with restaurants. But again, I think it’s helpful for people to say what they didn’t like if they are going to give it a thumbs down. I regularly read and appreciate reviews. If someone complains about service that doesn’t really matter to me so much as the food. But I’ll still give a go to a new place regardless, just to try it for myself.

                    I remember the great blue marble fiasco of 2011, and I thought it was super ridiculous that people would boycott a restaurant solely based on decor, so I’m with you on that. Of course, maybe that’s not the best example for this discussion.

                2. Would have to agree. All the texans in my family found it to be a little slice of home away from home.

                  1. No diatribe here. Sure, they have chicken fried steak, but there’s no such thing as a Tex-Mex restaurant without fajitas. Wait – and quesadillas. Hold on – chiles rellenos. Oh, and Dr. Pepper. And in all my travels to Texas, I never met a taco or enchilada made with smoked brisket. Guess it was just easier to truck over scraps from Fox Bros. 😉

                    1. Gotta disagree here. Some of the most popular “Tex-Mex” places in Texas have brisket tacos. http://www.dallasobserver.com/2012-02-23/restaurants/the-great-dallas-brisket-taco-hunt/

                      Again, it is a very specific regional cuisine. Maybe I missed the Tex-Mex branding, or maybe I just personally interpreted it to mean west Tex-Mex.

                      No matter, I still look forward to another Mexican restaurant (authetic, regional, or Americanized) in Decatur. Anywhere with a good patio and a cold margarita works for me. Expectations = low. Eagerness = high.

          2. Work on the rib joint has come to a halt. Can’t say I am real happy with looking at the half-filled dumpster sitting there with a sofa? in it every day.

  3. I think there is still room for improvement in the Mexican scene – certainly in a quick drive…. so I am hoping it provides good quality food and my family will be fans.

    1. Northern New Mexican food, if authentic, is unique and distinct from Mexican or Tex Mex or Californian Southwestern. I’m already forgetting a lot but fry bread, blue corn tortillas, carne asada, really really really spicey food with local chiles, posole, are what come to mind quickly. It will be interesting to see if this restaurant’s food is authentic, and if so, if Atlantans will like it.

    2. I think that it is a Mexican restaurant that is new, not a New Mexican restaurant. I believe that Jeff was making a joke.

  4. Actually, fry bread is from the Native Americans who reside in NM.
    One of my favorite things growing up was the non-PC “Indian Taco” – fry bread topped with pintos, red chile with ground beef, cheese, lettuce,and tomatoes.
    Green and red chile is a staple. So are homemade tortillas. I’ve yet to find a restaurant outside of my home state that serves Sopapillas. So I fill up on them when I go home.

    The Square Pub makes a Hatch green chile run each year and I love them for it. And, TDS does some green chile dishes, too. But, really there’s no place like home.

    1. Love the Hatch green chile time! Also, their sweet potato tots can be ordered with the green chile topping. To. Die. For.

  5. “But, really there’s no place like home.” — Truer words were never spoken (written), especially when it comes to food.

  6. Trying to reply again to oateoateo:

    Any brisket taco thing in Texas must be a recent trend. I’m talking 20-30 years ago when I frequented it most. Tacos were almost always al carbon, or maybe barbacoa, but never brisket. And another thing to remember, in Texas, they call them “Mexican” restaurants. Kind of like in Buffalo, they just call them “wings”. The original Chuy’s in Austin is a good example of a basic Tex-Mex joint. The original Ninfa’s another one. Its simple, basic, Texas-influenced Mexican food. Hill country is most well-known for BBQ and southern-style cooking. (check out the historic places in Lockhart). Specifically smoked brisket, but things like ham and sausage were also prerequisites (heavy German population, less of a Mexican influence there).

    1. You are probably correct…my experience was 1990-2005. Also, “Mexican” restaurants in Texas can mean almost anything, I concede that as well.

      Thank you for making my point about Hill Country cooking being far from Tex-Mex. I really think that was what Fox Bros was trying to bring here, with a bit of a twist to make it more mainstream. Think chips and salsa, with a traditional dish served with tortillas on the side.

      Also–love the nod to Dr. P!

      With that, I am out. There is a pool side chair that needs some love. Happy Tuesday!

      1. Totally agree with you – they’re way different – Getting back to the original discussion, perhaps the nature of Big Tex’s original concept was simply too obscure for most to appreciate. I think in the end, however, quality and consistency issues also contributed greatly to their decline and have forced the owners to re-evaluate and modify the menu. I wish them luck! It’s a really neat space! (although I wish they would mop the floor)

        Cheers!

  7. Still looking for a great Coastal Mexican place – no tacos, no burritos – just authenically prepared seafood dishes – any suggestions???????

    1. Have you been to the place in Tucker in the Publix shopping center? I would tell you their name if I remembered it…it is out Hwy 29 a bit. It might fit the bill. Will try to think of the name.

        1. Cannot be Tacqueria los Hermanos – this is another chain style, imitation Mexican place – your #6 combo with the diet coke as mentioned earlier – only seafood dish on their menu is a shrimp dish.

          When I lived in Southern Cal there were real seafood Mexican places – nothing but seafood dishes – not a taco on the menu (BTW: Burritos as we get them do not exist in the real Mexico except at places that cater to tourists).

          Looking for that real Baja Mexico type of place….

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