Sunday, February 04, 2007

Mama Mexico and Bistango

What do they have in common? Nothing other than the fact that I ate at both of them this week.

There are a few Mama Mexico locations, but I went to the one at 214 East 49th Street for lunch on Tuesday. Mexican is one of my favorite cuisines (veggie friendly) and Mama Mexico did not disappoint. The dining experience begins with the waiter making guacamole at your table. It gets high marks from me because there wasn’t a lot of cilantro (gag) mixed into the avocado wonderfulness. The salsa did have too much cilantro in it, but why bother with salsa when there’s guac on the table!

I ordered cheese enchiladas and was again impressed. I special ordered my enchiladas with red and green sauce (Christmas style as I learned from a trip to Albuquerque.) Also of note, the beans and rice that came with the entrée were a great compliment to the meal rather than a weak afterthought as is the case at many Mexican restaurants.

The meal was topped off with a delicious glass of sangria. Though lacking chunks of fruit like the version I make (Mrs. Whitmore’s famous recipe), it was some of the better sangria I’ve had.

My fellow diners had paella, fish and beef dishes and everyone seemed to enjoy what they ordered.

Definitely a “go back to” restaurant.

Bistango, a cozy Italian restaurant in Murray Hill/Gramercy was also a great find this week. I had penne with artichokes, shallots, green peas and pink sauce and Andrew had veal parmigiana. While I certainly did not taste the veal, we were both members of the clean plate club in no time! I wish I could remember what my dish was called because I’ve never had that combination of veggies in an Italian dish before. Whatever it was called, it was great! For dessert, Andrew had tiramisu and I had homemade coffee ice cream. Once again, clean plates! The icing on the cake was the manager (maybe owner) who was super attentive and friendly. Personally shaking our hands and asking us how our “dining experience” was a classy touch to the end of the meal!

Also a “go back to” locale.

(Don’t worry, not all my reviews will be positive. Just wait for the next installment of restaurant/lounge reviews.)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

You don't like cilantro?



1:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually, an apology is in order. You have taken many many hours to put up a fascinating and captivating blog, and all I respond in the past month is "You don't like cilantro?"

I'll do better. I promise.

Your last few entries have been fascinating.

Thank you for continuing to do this.

1:45 PM  
Anonymous Better Half of CJS said...

Cilantro is hands down my favorite herb, so you can send all your cilantro my way. I'll have to make you my cucumber salsa sometime WITHOUT the copious amounts of cilantro I normally add. That being said, I think there is nothing wrong with having a few food dislikes. Like, for instance, potatoes... ;)

3:12 PM  
Blogger Erin said...

you are always so sweet! No offense taken... except for the fact that you have now used the word cilantro twice in my presence...yuck! I acutally like cilantro in Indian food but biting into a big piece of it in salsa is terrible. There is actually an anti-cilantro website:

Yeah, who doesn't eat potatoes!?

4:32 PM  
Anonymous better half of cjs said...

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! The "I Hate Cilantro" website is hysterical. I googled "I Hate Potatoes" hoping to find a similar community, but no such luck. I guess you're right about me and potatoes...

6:49 PM  

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