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Friday, September 30, 2011

El Mariachi

There are so many things I love about El Mariachi. I've only been to the one on Hamilton Street. From the delicious drinks to the sizzling food and the bright decor it is just all in all a good time. We went there for my bachelorette party in June and it was a blast (as shown above). Did I eat lots of fried salty food two days before my wedding? Yes, yes I did, and I didn't feel bad about it. I first went to El Mariachi with my friend who has now left Albany, and I always associated it with a fun girls' night from that time on. What about chips and salsa and tequila doesn't set the stage for fun gossip? The fajitas actually make noise when they come out. Some dishes are things you would not routinely see at a Mexican restaurant. Also, there's Spanish food on the menu. Actually, our waitress one time came up to us and mentioned that Scott was her professor at Hunter when we lived in New York. Small world! And it turns out that her parents own the place and that one of her parents is from Spain and the other is from Mexico. While I haven't actually tried any of the Spanish section of the menu, I think this is a good indication it would actually be good.

Here are things I love from here (quoted from the menu):
  • "Flautas Mexicanas (3 corn tortillas rolled and stuffed with chicken, beef, or goat. Golden fried and topped with green sauce, sour cream and cheese)." This is what I had at my bachelorette party. Fun, crunchy, probably bad for you. I was living it up.
  • "Pozole Y Tostada (A traditional Mexican stew with pork, simmered in its own broth, chile ancho, herbs and hominy. Served with a chicken tostada - No rice and beans)" This stew I love. You might not normally try soups at Mexican restaurants, but I find the broth incredible. Actually last time I got it a woman yelled across the restaurant and asked me what I was having because she thought it looked so delicious. Sometimes I don't finish it and eat the rest for lunch the next day, and it really holds up as leftovers (maybe even improves, like a good chili or bolognese).
  • "Adovo Verde De Puerco (A pork chop cooked with cilantro and our green tomatillo sauce)" My husband does not care for pork or cilantro, but for me this dish is tangy, fresh tasting, and very satisfying. I love tomatillos.
  • "Bistec A La Mexicana (Tender pieces of beef sauteed with onions, garlic, tomatoes and jalapeno peppers)" I know this type of thing is very easily replicated at home, but it is really so delicious. Just the right amount of spice.
  • I am a huge fan of all of their Chile Rellenos, especially this one "Chile Relleno De Carne (A roasted poblano pepper stuffed with almonds, raisins, plantains and ground beef. Topped with a home made tomato sauce)" I had never quite had something like this before at a Mexican restaurant, and even though it is a huge portion I'd always finish it all off. In fact, there was a time period where I was fantasizing about this dish at random times during the week I was so obsessed with it. 
  • I love the sangria. A glass of the white enjoyed out on the patio during the summer couldn't be more sublime.
I also think the servers here are really nice. I wonder about selling Cheesecake Machismo since it is right next door, and they sell it for at least a couple bucks more. But I will admit that once I wanted to take Cheesecake Machismo slices to a dinner party and the shop was closed. I was a sucker and bought some from the restaurant with the upcharge. I did think that it went over really well at the person's house I went to though. 

Anyways, love this place. Love that they branch out from just tacos and the like. Love that things actually taste spicy and fresh. We always take people from out of town here, and they always have a good time.
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