We walked in and were seated at a table in the middle of the medium-sized dining area. Um. . .they had no problem moving us over to one of the booths on the left wall, a much more prime spot. Bright pastels, fake flowers, pink tablecloths–it was like Todd Oldham and Jessica McClintock were commissioned to collaborate on their dream vision of a Mexican restaurant. The baby cacti on each table was a nice touch, and the crystal chandelier that hangs in the dining room is, well, that’s a chandelier all right.
After conducting a thorough examination of the menu composed by chef Joaquin Campos, I settled on the Chile Relleno–two cornmeal coated poblana chili stuffed with three cheeses over roasted tomato salsa, black bean sauce, and crema fresca for $9.95, while Cat went with a side of grilled vegetables. We also ordered the Ensalda de Jicama Y Naranja–mango, watercress, avocado, toasted pepitas, manchego cheese, pineapple, and lemon-lime cilantro dressing for $5.95.
Our main dishes arrived, but no appetizer. They forgot to make it. A Brazilian Chelsea boy came over and emphatically apologized, but we just laughed it off because he was overdoing it and we were getting toasty from our excellent margaritas. Nevertheless. . .swing and a miss, strike one.
The stuffed peppers totally hit the spot. Not too greasy despite three cheeses, and the cornmeal crust was perfect, and. . .um, what is that? I was cutting a piece off with my fork when I hit something hard. A human finger!! Just kidding. . .no. . .it was only a chicken bone. Not your average chicken wing bone, this thing was substantial, like a thighbone. Ok, I’m vegetarian, but I wasn’t like screaming and puking or anything like that. Cat and I were pretty incredulous though, and called over the head waiter, who took the plate away. He offered to have it remade, but I declined. Caught looking, strike two.
A few minutes later a new dish appears. Um, again, thanks but no thanks–foul ball. Instead we opt for another round of margaritas–hey, you can’t screw up a margarita, right? No–unless they first forget to place the order for 10 minutes, and then bring them without salt as requested. They were tasty though.
Strike three, you’re out. The future could still be promising for this rookie though–they did end up comping my meal and a few margaritas, so better luck next time, aye rookie?
by Mr. Wonka
Brooklyn, New York
October 9, 2003
From journal A Week at Home in NYC