Wine Dine and Play: Grand Hacienda Mexican Cuisine

Grand Hacienda Mexican Cuisine

The Grand Hacienda Mexican Cuisine restaurant in St. Petersburg, Florida opened in 2018 and is the second location opening.

December 2018 review  /  August 2018 review

Grand Design, A Grand Hacienda, But Was It A Grand Epicurean Experience?
St. Petersburg, Florida USA
Cuisine Style: Mexican, Tex-Mex
Average Price: $$
Overall Rating: 2/5
Dined in: August 2018
Review Updated in January 2019
By Sean Overpeck (CFE)
**A full article and index glossary of restaurants, wines, recipes and travel for 
Wine Dine and Play are in the pages section above, or by following these links:

Grand Hacienda Mexican Cuisine Zomato rating:

Grand Hacienda Mexican Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 

The Grand Hacienda Mexican Restaurant opened in May 2018, and in August when my wife and I dined and what this review is based on almost every afternoon and evening, you will have to wait for a table even if you want a cocktail table or bar seat. From Mariachi bands, tequila tastings, Taco Tuesday’s. Avoiding Monday’s Kids night (which makes it even more crowded, and louder with kids around), Sunday has fajita nights, and Saturday early bird specials of buying one get one on entree selections from the early bird menu. You can also come in for lunch and get an all you can eat buffet. 
You don’t feel like waiting for a table in the dining room or patio, go for the bar and cocktail area. The bar goes from one end of the restaurant to the other with wood shelving to store traditional Mexican pottery, and the wine, which is not the best selection of choices to offer. Then going into the bar itself with two large televisions and liquor rack between each, plus the common item is seen in Mexican restaurants, the margarita blenders. Beautiful intermixed Mexican tiles with intricate artwork cover the floor and the bar kick-wall leading up to a large open cocktail and bar area, with a cram packed dining room of tables and some booths against the windows. If you prefer eating outside, the patio has over fifteen tables, plus standing room while you wait for a table.

Grand Hacienda Menu:
    • Entradas (Starters)
    • Ensalads (Salads)
    • Hacienda Specialties
    • Sopas (Soups)
    • Tacos de La Calla
    • Fajitas
    • Quesadillas and Chimichangas
    • Enchiladas and Burritos
    • Vegetarians
    • Mexican Burgers
    • Sabores Del Mar (Seafood)
    • Desserts

We came for a dinner, and my wife had been here before, and the place was slam packed with servers, busboys, and managers running around, trying not to run into a chair backed against another tables chair, or people standing around waiting because the bar was even full, and it was too humid outside to wait. We managed to get a cocktail table in the bar, but the server had many tables and was crazy busy. Being in the industry we understood, and enjoyed our time people watching and have a conversation in between the times she came by to deliver food and beverage or to check-in. The menu was pricey, which at first made me think that they were using high-end ingredients which would be a good change from a typical Mexican restaurant or mom and pop, but overall, in the end, it was very typical to what you get at other places. 

Like most Mexican restaurants the complimentary chips and salsa arrive as soon as you sit down. My wife had a Patron cocktail while I had a Dos Equis Amber. Though Corona is one of the top-selling Mexican beers, I’m not big on that beer and prefer more traditional cerveza. We started with a cheese dip cup to go with the chips and salsa

For entree’s my wife had the grandma Maria chicken soup made with homemade chicken broth, chicken, rice, pico de gallo, sliced avocado, and topped with tortilla strips. The broth had a good aroma, flavors and spice were lite then spicer on the finish, making it a decent tasting soup.

The Grandma Maria Soup at Grand Hacienda Mexican Cuisine Restaurant in St. Petersburg Florida has chicken and avocado.
Grand Hacienda / Grandma Maria Soup

We then shared an Esquite side dish of Mexican shaved corn, seasoned with butter, queso fresco, lime chili piquin peppers, and a chili mayonnaise which is an ancient traditional Aztec dish. To me the corn lacked flavors I would expect from recipes I’ve tasted before, a little bland, with less spice than expected, but the cheese was good flavor making up for the lacking of items mentioned for it go down.

The Esquire side dish at Grand Hacienda restaurant in St. Petersburg, Florida is a corn dish with queso fresco, piquing peppers, and chili mayo.
Grand Hacienda / Esquite

For my entree, I was trying to decide between a few items but narrowed in on the huarache after getting a nod of approval from our server. This is a traditional dish from the state of Michoacán, one of thirty-one sovereign Mexican states. Huarache is also the name of a leather-thonged sandal, originally worn by Mexican Indians. Though the dish funny enough is similar in shape to the sandal and traditionally consists of a fried masa dough base with a topping, typically salsa, potato, meat and/or cheese. The dish comprises of an oval home-made corn tortilla deep fried, filled with beans, steak, and tomatillo sauce. The chimichanga style tortilla is then topped with lettuce, chopped onions, tomato, queso fresco, and sour cream. The dish comes with a side of rice, and though the corn tortilla was crunchy with flavor from the fry, the steak inside like the Esquite lacked the flavors I was expecting. Michoacán cuisine is defined as a complex layering of delicious flavors like the more popular cuisines from Oaxaca and Puebla according to an NPR article, but its dishes seem to be a bit more comforting and use fewer ingredients. The steak in the huarache was not on the level of comfort, and though there are fewer ingredients, the taste was not exciting and did not send my pallet on an adventure for the price points.

The huarache entree is an Aztec leather sandal, and the dish is shaped like a sandal from the state of Michoacán
Grand Hacienda/huarache

We did not have dessert on this visit but a review from Creative loafing Food Critic Jon Palmer Claridge wrote that the white chocolate key lime mousse is a frozen wedge that’s nearly impossible to eat, and shows that it came from a Sysco truck instead of being house-made and though the flan is made in-house Mr. Claridge writes that it was gelatinous and grayish. 

Please see these guidelines for Tipping in Restaurants and on following proper etiquette, customs, cultures, and avoiding assumptions when you dine out.

Other noteworthy Tex-Mex and Mexican cuisine articles or restaurants similar to Grand Hacienda:
Tex-Mex is a fusion of United States cuisine and Mexican cuisines, deriving from the culinary creations of Tejanos. It has spread from border states such as Texas and others in the Southwestern United States to the rest of the country as well as Canada. Tex-Mex is most popular in the state of Texas.

Benji’s Cantina An Innovative approach to Tex-Mex cuisine in Austin, Texas
Besito Mexican Restaurant Creative Mexican-blend eats chain; reviewed in Tampa, Florida
Güero's Taco Bar Landmark Mexican restaurant on Congress Ave. in Austin, Texas 
Hablo Taco Mexican-blend joint known for tacos and margaritas in Tampa, Florida 
Texas Chili Parlor Local eatery for Tex-Mex, chili, and American cuisine in Austin, Texas 

See the whole list by visiting “The Wine Dine and Play Article Glossary

Other St. Petersburg restaurants, and articles on Wine Dine and Play:

A Fusion of Thai and Mexican Cuisine
St. Petersburg, Florida, USA
Better food than years ago + fun 
St. Petersburg, Florida, USA
An Asian-Fusion Gastro Pub
St. Petersburg, Florida, USA

A few Florida restaurant favorites:

Nautical themed American eats with a Caribbean flair
St. Pete Beach, Florida, USA
Italian-inspired seafood at the Opal Sands Resort
Clearwater / Beach, Florida USA
Asian restaurant with sushi at the Hard Rock Casino
Tampa, Florida, USA

See the whole list by visiting “The Wine Dine and Play Article Glossary by country

Final notes, review basics, observations, and more pictures:

Most reviews are subjective, depending on the writer; but they should also be responsible, and respectfully written, upholding the truth, and accurately conveying the experience to the best of the writer's knowledge, even if it includes metaphors the restaurant may not like to read about. My ratings are by the stars I award (from 0 to 5). The rating is calculated on a point accumulation of six separate factors based on individual experience. They include wine and other beverage selections, plate presentation, customer service, restaurant or café ambiance, food quality, and wow factor. To see more details of this rating list, read this article:

Overall from this experience and the score factors outlined in the ‘about page’ section, based on my individual experience and rating, I give Grand Hacienda a 2 out of 5 stars, and though some dishes lacked flavor, the rating means that they were far above the average dining experience of most restaurants when you look at the bigger picture. I would return at a later time to try them out once they settle in and the newness wears off.

Scores are detailed in the factor chart below:

Formula Factor Conclusions and Overall Ratings for Grand Hacienda
Max Points Possible:
Total Points Awarded:
Total Points deducted:
Food quality
Plate presentation
Customer service
Alcohol and other beverages
Total regular points awarded
Total percentage — less the Bonus


“Wow” factor BONUS
Total bonus percentage


Total percentage and bonus for a final star rating


Stars Awarded (see chart below)
             0 - 5

**A full break down and explanation of the observations and point disbursement is available in the linked article above. To receive a detailed copy of your score, feel free to contact me at any time and I will provide it to you.**


Overall Star Rating:
2 of 5 Stars: 
74% Rating with a 0 point “wow” bonus
Far Above the Average Dining Experience
Grand Hacienda Wine rating:
2 of 10
Old World selections: 
France, Germany, Italy

New World selections: 
Argentina, California
Corkage fees:
Grand Hacienda does not list any corkage fee’s however, most American restaurants charge $25.00 per bottle
Restaurant style:
Casual dining
Cuisine Style at Grand Hacienda:
Mexican, Tex-Mex
Allergen or dietary accommodations: 
Pescatarian, Vegetarian Options
Not Required, but Recommended
Accepted, but not guaranteed
Dress code:
Casual attire

It’s Florida, everybody wear’s flip-flops!
Child policy:

The Restaurants reviewed on this site may have a kids menu or cater to them; however, for full enjoyment of food and wine, it is recommended that kids not to be in attendance, unless they have been trained in proper etiquette. 
If not then:
Hire a Babysitter! 
Grand Hacienda Experiences:
Modern, Trendy, Hotspot, Great outdoor dining, Tourist grabber, and a Neighborhood Gem
Cash, Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express
Grand Hacienda has a public lot
The restaurants reviewed on this site may have Wi-Fi, but do not require you to go online, because the excitement of the food and wine alone will keep you too entertained instead of checking your social media and emails.
Noise level:
Grand Hacienda is a non-smoking restaurant with a non-smoking patio
Patio or terrace:


Food Prices 
(excludes, alcohol, taxes & 20% gratuity’s)

$£€¥ -                Under 50.00 (inexpensive)
$£€¥ x 2 -          51.00- 99.00 (moderate)
$£€¥ x 3 -          Over 100.00 (pricey)
$£€¥ x 4 -          Over 200.00 (expensive)
$£€¥ x 5 -          Over 400.00 (very expensive)

**Currencies reflect the world’s major travelers, restaurant, or wine connoisseur’s**

United States Dollar (USD)
Great Britain Pound Sterling (GBP)
Canadian Dollar (CAN)
Chinese Yuan (CNY)  
European Union (EUR)

 Alcohol prices:

$29.00 USD

Grand Hacienda Mexican Cuisine:

399 11th Ave North 
St. Petersburg, Florida 
33701, USA

Contact Information: 

Restaurant website:
Maître d or host:
+1 727-256-9770
Website Contact:
Serving hours:
Eastern Standard Time
(GMT, Zulu, or UTC - 5:00)

Mon - Thur
8:00 am - 9:00 pm
Fri - Sat
8:00 am - 10:00 pm
Happy Hour: Mon - Fri 
4:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Social Media 
Accolades for Grand Hacienda:
Grand Hacienda Facebook link                

The worlds best restaurants is a subjective list of who is writing it and changes on a regular basis. The Wine Dine and Play best experiences are based on my highest rated stared restaurants, meaning that the visit was an outstanding or extraordinary experience. From cafés, chains, mom + pops, hole in the walls, to fine dining including a few Michelin spots. Visit the Top 100 page to see the entire list.

A few to tease you with…
Southwestern-inspired New American fare
San Antonio, Texas, USA
Contemporary & elegant eclectic eatery
Johannesburg, South Africa
upscale locally sourced seafood eatery with ocean views
Vero Beach, Florida, USA

“Culinary perfection consists not in doing extraordinary things, 
But in doing ordinary things extraordinarily well.”
-Angelique Arnauld (1591-1661)

Who is John Galt?


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