One of the cuisines that Brandon residents are highly deprived of is Mexican food. Head north and you’ll find plenty of great Mexican restaurants in Tampa. Head east and Plant City is a haven of Mexican cuisine. Head south to Wimauma or Ruskin and you will find several Mexican restaurants and shacks filled with delicious eats. However, Brandon is overrun with Mexican chains. Moe’s Southwestern Grill. Tijuana Flats. Qdoba. Chipotle. Look anywhere in Brandon and you are guaranteed to find some kind of Mexican fast casual-chain restaurant around the corner. I am still waiting for the Taco Bus to expand into Brandon and reap the benefits of entering to take a chunk of this starving market. In the meantime, there is Luna’s Mexican Restaurant.
Luna’s is more authentic than any of the fast casual-chain restaurants listed above, but has a few substance issue. I have read and heard many a review about how Luna’s just does not have enough flavor or attention to service. Indeed, I mostly take-out my orders from Luna’s and from a take-out perspective I tend to be treated fairly well by their employees. As a huge fan of tacos de carne asada, I find that my biggest issue with Luna’s is the seasoning on their steak. There doesn’t seem to be much attention to it. The steaks are often either overcooked or not seasoned enough. However, it is nothing that some refried beans, sour cream, guacamole, and various other sides cannot solve.
At first glance it seems that Luna’s is being generous with all this food for an order of tacos de carne asada, but when it is priced out the total comes to almost $15 (tip not included), so it is certainly fair to see why people complain in their reviews that it isn’t worth it. Vallarta’s tacos de carne asada are priced better at around $9.25 for the same amount tacos, meat, and ingredients, while the Taco Bus offers two tacos de carne asada with rice and beans for around $8. Luna’s and Vallarta’s both provide tortilla chips, but Vallarta’s would win a fresh tortilla chip battle anyday against Luna’s. Miguel’s on Kennedy also has some great tortilla chips.
Overall, Luna’s Mexican Restaurant will not wow anyone, but it is not a horrible choice when you live out in Brandon and want some take-out Mexican food and are willing to pay for it. Their fajitas are solid and the food is still a step up from the fast casual-chain Mexican restaurants that overpopulate the Brandon area. As soon as a serious contender enters Brandon, then I hope Luna’s will start to consider adding more flavor to their steak and setting a better price point on their menu before the contender seriously outmatches them.
Restaurant name: Luna’s Mexican Restaurant
Address: 5924 Providence Rd. Brandon, FL 33511
Phone Number: (813) 681-1590