Editor’s Note: As of 2017, Don Pablo’s is Closed.
2745 Fairfield Commons Blvd.
Beavercreek, OH 45431
Founded out of Texas in the mid-1980s, Don Pablos had expanded rapidly into the Midwest before a 2007 bankruptcy slashed the chain’s locations. Now, Don Pablo’s is back with a new menu and a new concept to make each location something of a party. The interior of each restaurant has a wide open, colorful and friendly concept and the menu an expansive bunch of Tex-Mex dishes focusing on great meat dishes and simple flavors. The chain has spots in many cities still, and it’s a overall a good experience.
The restaurant has diversified its offerings and offers a lot of different Tex-Mex dishes, with beefs, pork, barbacoa and other meats as the main focus. Here are some of the classics to try. Here are some of the good ones:
- Tacos: Served in crispy shells and topped with a bunch of veggies and with options of a few kinds of meat. The overall taco could use sauce or a seasoning.
- Enchiladas: The enchilada is a good and simple dish. This one is topped with just enough cheese and drenched in mole sauce. The enchilada is packed with meat which is really great. I would suggest giving it a try with chicken or beef.
- Chile Relleno: The classic chile is roasted and filled with meat. The interesting thing a bout the dish is just how spicy it is. There is a warm heat to the chile, and over a few bites it really gets you warmed up. Great though.
- Margarita: The margs here are pretty good, they are heavier on the salt, though, so I would suggest getting a water, or better yet, asking for sugar on the rim.
- Quesadilla: Drowned in a red sauce and topped with delicious steak or chicken.
- Jalapeno poppers: Wrapped in smoked bacon, just a bit of cream cheese. Not spicy, but still great.
The concept of Don Pablo’s is interesting. In spite of this being a relatively far-flung chain, the concept has seen success as a place where you can find good discount Tex-Mex food. In that way it competes well with local establishments. But lately the chain looks to be expanding its options and hitting quality points hard in order to become more of a casual restaurant than a simple discount lunch spot.
The interior here is interesting. Having visited about half a dozen locations in the Midwest, many are in former industrial spaces or big restaurant areas. But they have a large, open interior feel, most are multi-floor and have a wide open patio that sort of evokes a close-in Mexican cantina. It’s fun.
This restaurant concept has been around for a long time, though its rapid changes in concept and food have continued to make it a good destination to come back to. I recommend giving it a try.
- Don Pablos tends to be found around malls and office parks, so it makes a good business lunch spot.
- The food can be heavy on salt, might want to ask for them to go light on some of it.
- The margaritas here are very good, and a decent beer menu makes this a good happy hour destination too.