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“Food was okay, Atmosphere was terrible”
Review of Caballo Loco Steakhouse - CLOSED

Caballo Loco Steakhouse
Cuisines: Spanish, Steakhouse
Restaurant details
DeLand, Florida
Level Contributor
27 reviews
26 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Food was okay, Atmosphere was terrible”
Reviewed 5 November 2012

The food was nothing impressive. I found some of it pricey, but was able to find something more in my price range. The cook serenades the diners after making the waiting dishes. However, due to the small area of the seating (we were right up front), the music was way too loud. I could not hear my husband from across the table without yelling and leaning in.

  • Visited May 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank lilylouise13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

8 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Orlando, Florida
Level Contributor
7 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Deland secret worth trying”
Reviewed 25 August 2012 via mobile

Crazy Horse is a name that may not attract you for a great meal and the location is a little beyond downtown but you would be missing a delicious eclectic choice by not trying this place.

The meals are tasty and there is a range of selections from Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban and Carribean. A full bar adds to the variety.

This place has local small town flavor.....it was a slow evening and at the end of our meal the chef came out an serenaded is with a selection from Spain, Italy and Mexico!

Truly was a great experience

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank msgrab
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DeLand
Level Contributor
9 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“They Aim To Please”
Reviewed 13 August 2012

After three visits I can say that the staff could not have been more accommodating including, on one occasion, a serenade by the talented, guitar playing owner/chef. The menu offers a wide variety of international selections highlighted by the use of mostly fresh, natural vegetables and the sparing use of salt; a pleasant change from most restaurants. So where did they go wrong? If you prefer your steaks rare or medium rare you had better ask your server to emphasize your choice to the chef. The first time I ordered a steak it came to the table cooked medium well. This led me to avoid that entree the second time only to be delighted by a mixed Mexican selection that rivaled anything I have eaten in the Southwest. On my third visit I chose steak and emphasized medium/rare. It was close but not perfect. I will return; the menu is large and inviting so I can easily avoid the steak.

  • Visited July 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank OntourDeLand
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DeLand, FL
Level Contributor
32 reviews
31 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“Tons of potential here--fascinating flavors”
Reviewed 11 August 2012

Caballo Loco may be aptly named: you'd have to be loco to mix Mexican, Caribbean, and Mediterranean flavors on one menu.

You'd have to be even more loco to pull it off.

It could happen. It really could happen. I got to watch it tonight.

The first taste of the evening was complementary chips and salsa. The chips were unsalted beyond whatever salt was in the tortillas to start. I know some people's eyes are starting to glaze over already--but no extra salt is a good thing. The salsa had a nice tomato presence, supplemented by...wait for it...oregano. Yes--oregano. It's a common component in Mexican cooking but you've been eating Tex-Mex for so long you've forgotten that. Salted chips would have overwhelmed the salsa, and shouldn't salsa be the star in that pairing? It was very pleasant, and not at all Italian (which is what you were thinking). I want to taste that salsa on an omelet one day--I believe it would be superb there, too.

We ordered the Trio Platter for an appetizer, a combination of hummus, tabbouleh, and bruschetta topping served with crostini and flatbread. That sent us over the Atlantic to the Mediterranean--but wait: the server wondered which of us was partial to fish. My reply: "You're thinking of the ceviche, right?" He was. Well, so was I, even before entering the place--I'd read the menu online first. I ordered the ceviche because I can never pass up ceviche. Now we at the table had one collective foot in the Mediterranean and the other in the Caribbean.

The tabbouleh was devoid of bulgar wheat--cucumbers played that part, and I have no problem with that. Since it was going to be eaten on some sort of bread anyway, why double up on the starch? It was fresh and simple, with clear flavors. The hummus was smooth and no one flavor or seasoning dominated. I enjoyed the balance of chickpeas and tahini, and the silky texture. The bruschetta topping had a great fresh tomato flavor working in concert with a gentle balsamic sweetness from the vinegar. The Mediterranean was well-represented here.

Meanwhile, back in the Caribbean, the ceviche sold itself with a very citrus-forward sales pitch. The fish was cobia, a Caribbean denizen with a firm texture well-suited for ceviche. The acidity was very well controlled, and married well with the mix of herbs presented on the plate. The chef said he uses either cobia or snapper for the ceviche. I can be happy with either.

For my entree I ordered the Pernil--it's listed as a pork specialty on the Caribbean side of the house. One of my companions ordered the Tagliatele & Scalopinni de Manzo, a sauteed beef dish served over tagliatelle pasta with a light Cabernet cream sauce and blue cheese crumbles. The other two companions ordered from the "Light Menu," choosing a Capri flat bread (cheese, tomato, basil) and a chicken quesadilla served with rice and re-fried beans. Again we found ourselves straddling the Western hemisphere in terms of cuisine.

I did not have the opportunity to sample either of the two items off the Light Menu, although I did manage to sneak a taste of the refried beans off of the one plate (highly acceptable) and some guacamole salad/garnish from the other (very good first impression--I'll be investigating it further in a subsequent visit).

The tagliatelle dish was impressive to behold--a very nice mound of pasta with two medium-rare slabs of flank steak on top. The steak had the right amount of chewiness to it, and although I like my flank a little crispy-burnt on the edges, that wouldn't have been right for the dish. The sauce was very light and portrayed the Cabernet appropriately.

I can summarize the Pernil in five words: Puerto Rico on a plate. It came with arroz con gandules (rice with pigeon peas), fried yucca (very crispy, not salted--I thank you, my cardiologist thanks you....), and sweet plantains which I was forced to share with my table mates. The centerpiece of the dish, wrapped in a banana leaf, was the pork. I checked it for moisture and tenderness before biting into it--it passed those tests without reservation. The flavor reminded me of pork served by my grandmother--the mix of lean to fat, the texture of the bite, everything about it matched with the best memories I have of her cooking. She never got closer to the Caribbean than a condo apartment in Naples, Florida--but she knew how to cook, and she got to cook with pork that was what it was supposed to be. (Pork these days is heart-healthy--thank you very much, American Heart Association, for completely ruining pork...but I digress.)

The Pernil, however, was not made of such sorry stuff as is recommended by the AHA. Each bite absolutely screamed "pork," without being too salty or too fatty. The two words which best describe it: "done right." It was--as was everything on the plate.

The service was friendly without being unprofessional, and very respectful of the customer. The building itself needs work--it's been many different restaurants over the years and is showing its age. That's not the current owner's fault, and with time it can improve. In any event, I go there to eat, not speculate on the finer points of interior design.

Another reviewer described the menu as "eclectic," and I echo that. I'm almost afraid that it risks confusing potential diners, as people want to know what to expect, what range of choices with which they might be presented. A menu that includes flat breads, quesadillas, salmon with raspberry sauce, and chimichurri pork chops might be daunting to some.

After thinking about it awhile, I've decided to go with the advice of a former colleague--sometimes you just have to get out of your comfort zone. Most of the dining scene in DeLand is downtown these days--but downtown shouldn't be the only place in town to get an amazing meal. This chef has been all over the world and wants to combine both his family history and his personal travels into a single mildly eccentric and globe-spanning menu.

It's a crazy idea. The question which divides me is whether or not it's crazy enough to work.*

The proof is in the eating, I think. And what I ate at Caballo Loco tells me yeah--this could work. It could work very, very well.

* Tip of the hat to Neils Bohr

  • Visited August 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Mercurian
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DeLand, Florida
Level Contributor
52 reviews
47 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
“Cold Everything!!! Husband sick for two days since eating here!”
Reviewed 16 June 2012

Where do I start? Husbands $17.95 Sirloin Steak tasted good, rest of it ie; Garlic Potatoes (boiled in garlic absolutely no taste of any kind) mexican rice and beans were cold. Rice bareley cooked and clumped together! My Carnitas Taco's were cold, rice was cold, beans were cold.

I don't know why I am bothering to write this review, should have sent the whole mess back, and walked out!

Husband has been sick to his stomach for two days since eating there...WTH?

Stay away, or give them specific orders to serve hot/un-tainted food!

Your spendy menu suggest that the food will be tremendous! No wonder there was not another soul in the place the whole time we were there! Good-luck trying to stay in business!

There are just too many places with great food in competition with this nonsense!

  • Visited June 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Lynda1944
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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