Lime Fresh Mexican Grill opened a location a couple of months ago in the Whole Foods plaza at the crossroads of Turkey and Sand Lakes (Roads, that is). Lime was originally described to me as Ruby Tuesday’s answer to Chipotle (which is owned by the McDonald’s corporation). I’m not sure if Chipotle needed to be answered, but if what I experienced at Lime is any indication, Chipotle doesn’t have much to worry about.
Lime is out of South Florida and features a confusingly long menu of salads, soups, quesadillas, tacos, fajitas and burritos. I say confusing because the overwritten menu has way too much information to sift through, especially while standing at the counter with people standing behind you while a worker waits to take your order. (Although the name says Mexican, we're a lot closer to Tex-Mex here, if not some other hybrid.) I decided on the Lime burrito, which can be prepared with either chicken or ground beef, both “humanely raised” and, one assumes, humanely slaughtered. I requested the Lime burrito with beef.
While eating my burrito, I tried to think how my order might have been misinterpreted as, “Please give me a burrito that is mostly flour tortilla and under no circumstances put any meat product in it whatsoever.” There were refried beans in it -- organic, according to the menu -- and lots and lots of shredded lettuce. But I could discern no beef, ground or otherwise, humanely raised or not.
Lime features a salsa bar with various degrees of heat. It wasn’t the most extensive array of salsas I’ve seen, but I did like the stack of fresh cilantro.
The staff is young and didn’t seem to be trained in the finer points of customer service. Or, if they have been trained, it doesn’t seem to have stuck.
It would seem to me that Lime is betting that its “certified humane raised and handled” designation will carry it a long way. That’s all well and good, but better food and service needs to be the starting point.
Lime Fresh Mexican Grill is at 8031 Turkey Lake Road, Orlando. It’s open for lunch and dinner daily. Here’s a link to the Web site. (Caution: the Web site plays music.) The phone number is 407-370-3810.