Adobe Gila’s is a small but far-flung chain of four restaurants in Dayton, Columbus, Chicago, Illinois and Orlando, Florida. With the eccentric theme of a large salamander climbing on the roof, Adobe Gila’s is an upscale bar with numerous specials and activities from trivia night, 50 cent drafts and themed parties all nights of the week. Aside from a sizable menu of drink specials and draft beers, Adobe Gila’s also has a mixture of bar foods and tex-mex dishes. Wings and burgers served alongside quesadillas and burritos. It makes for a very unusual experience; few bars have such a menu and a theme.
The main specialties on the menu seem to be fajitas and meats fresh off the grill, which is typical of a bar. These fajitas, though, are great. They’re cooked perfectly and sautéed with onions and peppers, then served right off the grill, with an end product being a deliciously seared meat that goes well on tortillas with vegetables. I do wish there were more tortillas with the order. I wish there were better vegetables, too. Guacamole and Spanish rice would go really well in the burrito. But, as they are, the burritos are pretty good regardless.
The other items on the menu are also good, but could be better. The chips are great; but they don’t go well with what tastes like salsa bought at a discount store. The wrap suffered from the same problem: the house ingredients were excellent, but they were really ruined by a lack of finesse. The peppers and onions were cut too large to eat easily in a wrap. There needed to be more beans. I really want to say the food is better than this; the flavors definitely deserve a higher rating. But these problems really distract from the meal and make good food harder to eat.
While the food has these problems, the rest of the atmosphere suffers nothing at all; in the summer, the Dayton location is absolutely perfect. It’s an upstairs bar with a large patio, and the large windows open to make the entire facility an outdoor experience. It’s great. The house drinks are mixed well, and strong. The margarita isn’t served with salt, and it really needs salt. The Adobe Colada is good, heavy on the coconut, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone get that souvenir glass promised on the menu. Hmm.
If I were just here to write about flavors, I would say this place is above average. Unfortunately, it just happens to be making the mistakes that really set back those flavors. Of course considering it a nightspot to get drinks doesn’t affect this, but when you’re coming here to eat, you really can’t help but be a little frustrated that Adobe Gilas really seems to nail the flavors — the hardest part — while making elementary mistakes that push the food into the unfortunate position of average.
- Look out for drink specials/special events at the bar, which chop prices.
- Especially in the summer, the atmosphere is amazing.
- The fajitas are good, and ideally priced.