Put the napkin in your lap and pull up to the table with Eau Claire's Hungry Italian as he provides the area's only true Restaurant Review.  Don't have another family night ruined by poor service.  Find the perfect spot to take that special online someone on the third date that has romance commingled with value.  


DINING DATE   Friday September 13th

MEAL TIME     Lunch



Ordered   Chicken Burrito


Liking things doesn’t automatically correlate to an unbreakable connection.  You enjoy having lunch with a couple co-workers but that doesn’t mean they’ll be in your immediate wedding party.  You enjoyed that comedy show your friends brought you at The Plus but you aren’t scrolling through your phone desperately trying to download the performers sets and see where else you can follow them.

The Hungry Italian has long since come to grips with the idea that dining establishments aren’t merely separate categories of good and bad but more so a delineation of three levels of interest.  Those whom you want to get back to.  Those whom you wouldn’t say no to going to and finally, the places one avoids. 


You like the first two, but there is a significant difference and usually its nothing the later has done wrong its just the others do better.

That brings us to the Silly Serrano, what can and should, be described as localized Burrachos or Chipotle.  This place opened across from Phoenix Park in the former Smiling Moose Deli a few months ago and serves up American-Mexican fare, notably tacos and burritos in a fast food environment.  The food is good, the authentic touch of having Spanish language televisions on is intriguing, the location beautiful and the staff friendly. 

Alas, the Hungry Italian left unmotivated to return.  There’s nothing wrong with the Silly Serrano, except it provides nothing new that can’t be purchased at other spots the Hungry Italian already frequents.  If the Silly Serrano had come first or was in an area the Hungry Italian frequents more often then regular visits would occur.  This is a “its not you, it’s me” thing.

The food itself was…good. Nothing thrilling or noteworthy.  Expected flavors and good quantity with a chicken burrito selection. (Editor's Note:  An initial posting included a reference to enchiladas not being an option. Through a Facebook post, the individual overseeing the Silly Serrano social media account stressed that enchiladas have never been removed from the menu and would've been available on the day our representative was present.)

I do want to go back to the décor which features the Spanish language TVs. In today’s restaurant concepts, TVs are on at places as decoration. With the exception of sports bars, you aren’t there to watch TV, which typically has on a news or sports channel without any sound.  So having the Spanish language TVs is a clever touch and unintentional satire on the ubiquitous of TVs at dining establishments.  One can see someone complain about the Silly Serrano TVs and then us laughing at that person for their complaint.

Ultimately, it’s hard for a place such as this to compete with an established locale such as Cancun, which pumps out quick lunches with a larger menu. 

What this place needs is a “hook” something it undeniably does better than any of the other places in town.  Right now, it has good food, good flavor and a nice interior décor.  There is nothing wrong with the place, but if you already have established American-Mexican fare places you like, frequenting the Silly Serrano may be hard to crack your rotation unless one of your previous favorites slips up.


Only if in that area and planning to eat.  The food is good, I just don’t see myself going out of the way for it. 



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