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by the restaurant professor
queens, New York
March 14, 2008
Bayside, New York
September 24, 2001
The first time we went to Iguanas (it has become a fave for the whole family), we had read a review in one of the Queens news journals, and it sounded fun. The owners greeted us at that time, but those days are gone. There is a bar, naturally, whose raucous noise you can't escape, but the music on the dining side makes up for the distraction. On weekends, there is a Mexican guitarist to enchant you with old ballads from south of the border. The decor is a bit overdone, with gold sundial, masks, garlic and fake hanging vegetables and a fish tank at the entrance. You get free hors d'oeuvres at Happy Hour, but I don't know what those are, since I never get that happy.
What I like the most are the tables with their very bright and cheerful cloths onto which they have installed a glass barrier which is quite smart as it cuts down on the laundry bill. The virgin Piña colada is good, and I hear that the margaritas are terrific. The menu is ample: quesadillas, flautas, guacamole, pico de gallo, chimichangas as appetizers. Chorrizo, Steak, Shrimp, or Chicken in a variety of entrees with rice and beans, vegetables, etc.. I do recommend one item on the menu which is fabulous especially if you are not dining alone: it's called the Tower, and that's exactly what it is: a 3 tiered tower which on the first level offers meat filled tacos, second level has crusty-melt in your mouth chicken flautas, and the third is quesadillas with sour cream and guacamole. We tried the cheese cake chimichanga, and were shocked to see an entire plate of rolled cheeke cake in dough (6 large servings). It was delicious, but the greater part of it went into a doggie bag. There have been times prior where the food was absolutely awful: too greasy, burned, etc..I think they must have changed chefs in the last month or two.
They also redid the facade of the restaurant in green which definitely calls for attention.
From journal Queens - A Culinary Trove