img_0136If you’ve taken any road trips in the last 10 years, you’ve surely noticed the Mexican restaurants popping up like Mexican jumping beans in all but the most far-flung reaches of this nation. For years I passed them by with a snicker, imagining the diarrhea-inducing dog food that they must serve at such places. Don’t get me wrong — I felt similarly about many truck stops.

Which goes to show how much of a snob I can be. El Agave and many of the these Mexican mom-and-pop stores are serving above-average TexMex fare in a friendly atmosphere for reasonable prices. I’m sure many truck stops are too.

We stopped at El Agave on our way back to Charlottesville, looking specifically for a random Mexican place with outdoor seating so we wouldn’t have to leave our cat in the car on a 95+ degree day (long story about the cat). We found this place along 29 in Ruckersville and it fit the ticket perfectly.img_0142

The manager welcomed us with a smile and ushered us to a patio that was pleasant enough, if bombarded with noise from 29. The chips and salsa, while not spectacular, were better than you get at most comparable places in C-ville, and the main dishes — a chicken burrito with fresh pico de gallo for Erin and chicken flautas for me — were tasty and fresh. Again, not earth-shattering, but better than, say, Guadalajara, which has yet to really impress me.

This place is obviously not a secret in Ruckersville, either. As we sat there, car after car of Ruckersvillians, many of them clearly coming right from church, popped in for a bite or take-out.

If you’re in the mood for decent TexMex and happen to be traveling by Ruckersville or the Charlottesville airport, give El Agave a shot. You can even bring your dog or cat.

Erin says: “Coca-Cola in a bottle and El Agave’s pro-cat attitude won me over. Wilbur recommends the cheese on the Burrito Degallado.”

award_star_gold_3 16Rating: Erin: Jed:

thumb_up 16 iconPros: Fresh ingredients, generous servings but not ridiculous, good chips and salsa.

thumb_down 16 iconCons: Outdoor seating right on noisy 29, inside décor a bit white and antiseptic.

money_dollar 16 iconPrice: Lunch for two less than $20.

car famfam 16 iconParking: Plenty of parking in right at the restaurant.

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