Friday, April 4, 2008

First Look: Mexicali Blues

There's something to be said for solid food. For food that may not be gourmet, may not come to your table with fancy plating, but just does the job.

This area is filled with places like that, and one of them is Mexicali Blues in Clarendon.

Apples and I went last night, it was my first time but she's been a number of times before. The rain pretty much cut seating capacity in half, so it filled up pretty quick.

We started with drinks. Mexicali has some great appetizer and drink specials - with buy one/get one apps and $2 beers and $1 all drinks until 7pm.

Like most Mexican restaurants you'll start off with chips and salsa. The chips are right out of a bag, and the salsa right out of a jar, but again, did the job. We got some guac to go along with it and I thought it was very well made.

We also got the Platanos Fritos which was served with beans and sour cream and I thought was fantastic.

For our entrees, Apples got a shrimp burrito (which they call Burros), and I got one of each item under the "Salvadorean Specialties" portion of the menu. This consisted of a bean and cheese pupusa, a Tamal de Elote, and a tamale.

The pupusa was a little disappointing (too greasy), but the Tamal and tamale certainly made up for it - both very flavorful and fresh.

This is a restaurant with a lot of potential in an area with few decent ethnic options. They're in the process of expanding to take over the empty storefront next door which will give them more seating and a more open eating environment.

Mexicali Blues is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year; it's stayed open so long not because it's fancy, not because it's got a great atmosphere, but because it serves good food at a great price, and that's good enough for me.

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