If you go
Rodeo is at 304 W. Oglethorpe Highway in Hinesville. Trip Advisor has it rated as the eighth-best restaurant out of the 80 listed in the Hinesville-area dining guide. For more information or to place a to-go order, call 912-877-2040.
I never know when a specific food craving will hit me. There are times when I can eat fried chicken every day of the week, and it would suit me just fine. Then there are times when only pizza can fill the void. And, yes, there are times, thankfully, when only salads will make do.
Then there are the days that can sometimes stretch into weeks and months when nothing but Mexican food will do.
I don’t normally cover chain restaurants for my foodie column, but I’m not sure that having only two locations in all of southeast Georgia qualifies as a chain. Therefore, I will take some time to toot the horn of my favorite local Mexican restaurant, Rodeo.
I am pretty much on auto pilot when I’m hankering for Mexican food and ready to order the No. 15 combination meal as soon as the waiter walks over with the complimentary chips and salsa.
That combo meal is a taco and a burrito and is served with rice and refried beans. Of course, the beans have a delicate layer of queso fresco melted on top.
I love cheese, especially melted.
I also can’t avoid ordering the guacamole dip. If I’m really in the guacamole mood, I order the guacamole deluxe, which is chunkier with a little pico de gallo thrown in the mix. When guacamole alone just won’t do, I order the trio-dip, which is a regular order of the guacamole dip, a cheese dip and a bean dip.
Did I mention that I was dining alone? Don’t judge, I don’t do this every day!
I love the traditional taco and burrito meals, but if you aren’t scoping out the rest of the menu, you are truly missing out on some amazing entrees.
The carnitas dinner (roasted pork tips cooked in red sauce) is sublime and comes with rice, beans, tortillas and guacamole for less than $10.
I’ve ordered this many times and have always been served pork that was perfectly seasoned and not dry. This meal will fil you up but isn’t spicy.
If you are looking for some heat the Baja shrimp meal offers a delectable kick.
It was just recently that I tried this dish, which is grilled shrimp, mushrooms, spinach, red onions and bacon topped with chipotle sauce and served over a bed of white rice. It comes with a side salad topped with guacamole.
Did you catch it? BACON! I mean how can you go wrong with any meal that is topped with bacon?
The Cozumel special is a delicate balance of textures and flavors as well. It is a burrito stuffed with shrimp and rice and cheese sauce, served along with a crabmeat quesadilla.
And if you haven’t tried any of the steak entrees, you really haven’t experienced a great meal. The restaurant has ribeye steaks that are either smothered in ranchero sauce or topped with grilled green peppers, onions and tomatoes. My personal favorites is the steak patron. That steak is cooked with onions and a spicy Mexican sausage (chorizo) and topped with three cheeses.
Deciding on what to order is part of the fun, and each time I visit Rodeo, I try to order something new. However, the process of the dining experience normally goes something like this.
I am seated and the waiter brings the chips and salsa, and I’ll go ahead and order my appetizer of choice.
Don’t fill up on the chips and dip, don’t fill up on the chips and dip … CRUNCH.
Hmmmm, what do I want? … CRUNCH … The combo or something new? … CRUNCH … Oh, look, they have fish tacos I have yet to try. … CRUNCH … Maybe fajitas today … CRUNCH.
I finally decide on my meal, place the order and wait.
CRUNCH … Don’t fill up on the chips and dip … Man, the guacamole is good. … CRUNCH.
The good thing about Rodeo is that the food is served quickly, piping hot and always delicious.
OMG, this is awesome. I take a few bites. Yum this is so good. Take a few more bites. I am getting stuffed. Dang it, I filled up too much on the chips and salsa! I’m still going to eat it all. (Well, sometimes I take the rest to go).
Everything on the menu is reasonably priced, and there is something for everyone at Rodeo. There are vegetarian suggestions for those who do not eat meat or seafood. You can choose items from the favorite selections and build your own meal. The restaurant serves salads and soups, the prices are ideal — and did I mention there is a full bar?
Tequila, beer, daiquiris, margaritas, whiskey, rum — you name it. The mango margaritas are great. I speak from experience on this — trust me.