I have been eating at Mexican restaurants all over Charlotte on the hunt for the cities best carnitas. Monterrey.. was among my least favorite so far.
I was meeting friends from out of town and they were in the mood for some of Charlotte’s finest mexican food. I hadnt tried Monterrey yet so we all decided to meet there and find out how they stacked up to the rest of the Mexican restaurants in Charlotte. Once seated we were brought chips and salsa quickly, our drink orders were taken and the night looked like it was off to a good start. I ordered the carnitas and my friends ordered the steak fajitas with queso for our appetizer. I should have guessed I was in for trouble once the waitress asked me what kind of carnitas I would like, my response “ummmm… the pork carnitas”?. If you’re not familiar with carnitas… its a dish made of juicy and tender pork chunks and is only made of pork… there is no other option… there are no steak carnitas, chicken carnitas, fish carnitas… there is only pork. Once the plates arrived everything started going downhill.
The chips and salsa were standard and nothing to make note of, however, the queso was amazing. The carnitas plate was the biggest disappointment of the night. Over half of the plate was covered in a thin layer of generic mexican rice and refried beans, a bowl of awful tasting hot sauce took up another 1/4 of the plate and the carnitas came in four small chunks… almost unnoticeable. I questioned the waitress abouth whether that was the normal amount of carnitas they give for a plate that cost $12. She asked her manager and the response was that the standard measure for the carnitas plate was 5oz. For $12… 5oz of slow roasted pork is the most I have ever paid per ounce at any Mexican restaurant in Charlotte. The pork itself had non-existant flavor and a complete lack of moisture. About halfway through finishing my tiny $12 plate of food my waitress remembered to bring the accompanying plate of lettuce and an awful looking piece of avacado. I never got the chance to try my friends steak fajitas but judging their comments and the half eaten plate they didnt want to take home… Id say its a safe bet they didnt enjoy their meal either.
I enjoyed the queso and thats it. I would never recommend anybody try this restaurant. On my trip it was way overpriced for the amount of food served and the staff didnt seem to know to much about mexican dishes.