Saturday, January 9, 2010
Las Piramides, Centerville Ohio
In business since 1993, Las Piramides is located in the old Washington Township High School building near the intersection of routes 725 and 48. Dating all the way back to 1886, it is nice to know that the place has some history behind it, and it is great to see a building like this being put to a new use, when so many others are carelessly bulldozed to make way for another strip mall.
Here's a bit of history: http://www.mvcc.net/Centerville/histsoc/old.htm
I first visited this restaurant back in the mid 90's, and have been back a number of times since then. There were a couple more opened in the Dayton area, though one of those has closed, leaving just this location and another in Huber Heights. Although both are nice, the Huber restaurant was built in a more modern fast food building. As such, when given the choice, I prefer to eat at the one built in the old school, mostly due to the sturdy building, and I guess I sort of like the idea that I'm eating lunch at the same place where lots of local school kids ate through the decades. In fact, I suppose there is a chance, if your family is from the area, that your own ancestor ate lunch here daily as a student! I also enjoy the art murals that they have painted on the ceilings.
We arrived at around 4:30 for an early supper. The parking lot only had about half a dozen cars at this time, partly because it was early, and also because the slush and ice made for somewhat poor driving conditions on this day. As such, it seemed to be a slow day for the restaurant, but we hoped that also translated into fast service for us.
As always, they brought out generous servings of corn chips and salsa for everyone to munch on while waiting. This time around, the salsa seemed a bit too much on the spicy side for my taste. I usually need a mild, or medium-mild, and this was full blown medium or more. Although the chips can be a good enough appetizer in their own right, (especially considering the large size of the meals here) I decided to order the "Las Piramides Appetizer" tray for $7.99. I did this mostly because I had a $25 gift certificate that required spending $35+. The platter was described as 2 each of cheese sticks, chicken fingers, stuffed jalapenos, and 4 chicken mini tacos. I'll have to admit that I was a bit underwhelmed by the appetizers, though they were delivered quickly about 6 minutes after we ordered. I'm thinking this is possibly because they delivered it on a HUGE tray that made the appetizers seem smaller than expected. When ordering the appetizer tray, I asked to see if mild jalapenos could be used, and was assured that they were not too hot. Ironically, I noticed that they were actually rather cold when we got them. Even so, they were still pretty good. Thankfully, this minor issue turned out to be the only real negative aspect of the meal.
I've included a shot of the menu, to provide an idea of the prices and selections available for supper. Note that in addition to these, there are also "make your own" combination platters, where you can select any two items from the list of taco, burrito, enchilada, tamal, tostada, chalupa, & chile relleno - for just $7.99 (all combos include rice & beans) There are more than 30 numbered selections on their menu, so this photo only shows about half of them. My wife went with a combination platter, my sister got #31 - the chicken fajita quesadilla, and I decided to try #9 - camarones rellenos. This was a rather unusual choice for me, and I believe the first time I've ever tried anything seafood related at a Mexican restaurant.
The waiters must have been paying some attention, because just a couple of minutes after we finished the last of the appetizer plate, our meals began arriving. My sister's thoughts on the fajita were that it was healthy, with very fresh vegetables, not too much cheese, good quality chicken breast, and a generous portion size. My wife says that her burrito was very good, but felt that the waiter should have been able to anticipate some of our needs better, such as offering a child seat since she was holding a baby, and refilling our drinks before some of them became empty.
My own camarones rellenos, or "shrimp with cheese" turned out to be a real delight. The plate included two skewers of jumbo shrimp, each wrapped with bacon, and smothered in a white cheese sauce. There were also onions and bell peppers in another cheesy mixture, rice, a guacamole salad, and 3 flour tortillas. I ate some of the shrimp by themselves, then ate all but three in the tortillas, mixed with various ingredients from my plate. Delectable! I really can't stress how good this meal was. Again, the amounts were generous, so I ended up with leftovers, which included about three of the bacon wrapped shrimp. Even though I was stuffed, these were so good that they only made it a little less than 3 hours in my fridge before I couldn't resist snatching the last few for a snack. The next time I go back, it will be a difficult choice between trying something new on the menu, or getting another batch of these.
Las Piramides south
address: 101 W. Franklin St., Centerville (route 725 between 48 & Virginia Ave.)
telephone: (937) 291-0900
typical prices: $9-$13
Open 7 days a week Sun: Noon-9, M-Th: 11-10, Sat: Noon-11
lunch served from opening to 3pm
Here's a link to a coupon for $4.50 off two lunch entrees. Note that it is only good Sunday through Thursdays - not Friday or Saturday, and that it expires in just a few days. Print out and take the whole page.