El Agave Azul is nestled into a quiet shopping plaza next to the bustling 595 Expressway. Its small storefront is topped with an unassuming neon sign that only reads, “TACOS.” It is, one would assume, a Mexican restaurant, but nothing on the outside suggests how good their food is. After driving past the restaurant dozens of times, I finally noticed it last week and, well, clearly I had been missing out.
The nearly 3 year old El Agave Azul is minimally decorated; it does not contain the typical festive items found on many Mexican restaurants’ walls. It is strictly business, so to speak. But, what was once only a tiny take-out place with standing room to order, has expanded into a brand new cafeteria-style dining area that is bright and clean, with two large televisions hanging on the wall. The bold blue menu hanging above the front counter, center of savory intrigue, features street-style food that is portable and quick to prepare, like tacos, tostadas, and burritos. The menu gives you the freedom to completely customize your meal: you choose the tortilla, the protein, the sauce, the toppings, and optional sides, all of which are prepared in front of you in the fully visible prep area. Plus, every item on the menu costs $9 or less.
As a first time customer, I was briefly overwhelmed but ultimately excited by the extensive choices available. I decided on a pork burrito, served “everything style” with rice, beans, fresh pico de gallo, queso fresco, and a little hot sauce for $6.69. Three minutes after finding my seat, the order was ready; it was impressive that the cooks were able to take orders and prepare them in so little time. This $7 burrito had some heft to it with all the fillings, and I doubted that I would be able to finish it—but that was before I tried it. The first bite released a burst of flavors: tender pulled pork seasoned to perfection, fluffy rice, and crisp and cool toppings that provided great contrast to the zing of the hot sauce. The first bite became the second, and then the third and soon enough I had eaten the entire thing. With my mouth burning from the heat and a pile of napkins crumpled around me, I was surprised at how messy I had been without realizing it, but satisfied overall. It was certainly worth the $7.
El Agave Azul’s greatest asset is their ability to serve up authentic flavors made with deceptively simple, fresh ingredients, and do it quickly, even during the dinnertime rush. They take the idea of fast food to a new level and give their customers cheerful service and easy, comforting food that is more than worth the price. Their meals incorporate some of Mexico’s most iconic flavors, like chicken tacos with salsa verde or ancho chili sauce, but they also offer slightly more exotic sopes with spiced chorizo and refried beans or trompo, thinly sliced roasted pork that is served similarly to Greek gyros. And with vegetarian options like sautéed mushrooms or poblano peppers and onions, El Agave Azul is a place for everyone. They also sell bottles of their salsa roja and salsa verde, in case you love it so much you refuse to leave without it.
This restaurant is nearly perfect; my only criticism would be that the menu can be a little confusing for a first time diner who doesn’t know what to order. Next time I will get the hang of it, though — and there will definitely be a next time. For anyone who needs a quick, satisfying meal or wants to explore new flavors with their friends, I recommend El Agave Azul. Check them out at their one treasured location, 13040 W State Road 84 Davie, FL 33325, for dine-in, take-out, and catering.