Las Palmas (3814 N. Duke St.) is apparently the second Las Palmas (the first is at 3801 Wake Forest Hwy. and I have never been). This one is pretty decent though.
I have to admit I wasn’t expecting much (something along the lines of a Torero’s or El Rodeo, which I’ve never been very excited about). The first pleasant surprise was the drink specials board at the entrance, which listed such deliciousness as Jumbo Top Shelf Margaritas for $7 on Friday Nights and $1.60 draft beers on Mondays. I’m pretty sure they have the cheapest Dos Equis in town!
The menu was large, with a lot of what you’d expect and a couple of things I’d never had before. We started with a chile relleno.
So it was a little bit overwhelmed with cheese. But once we worked our way around some of that, the chile underneath was quite good. A little bit sweet (in a good way).
We also had a tamale. I’ve certainly had better tamales (at Tacostumbras, for example), but this one was plenty enjoyable, if a bit doughy. I definitely liked the sauce in which it is drenched.
The highlight of the meal by far was the Pio Pio, a breakfast-y dish that included grilled chicken, peppers and onions, chilaquiles (tortilla chips and pulled chicken covered in red sauce) and an egg. I loved the sauce, the grilled things were grilled just right, and I can’t get enough of the soggy/crispy combo that is chips in lots of warm sauce.
This place is probably somewhere between El Rodeo and Los Comales on the authenticity scale, with the prices closer to the former (the Pio Pio was $10, but that and the two sides for about $2 each was more than enough for two of us). The decor, atmosphere, and cheap drinks help make it easily somewhere I plan to go often (especially once I find a designated driver who will work for Mexican food).