Tuesday, March 1, 2016

another try

We are always on the lookout for good ethnic -authentic ethnic food when in SRQ for the winter...LOL- fat chance... We have one - count it - ONE - decent Chinese (Yummy House) because I guess the Chinese folks haven't discovered Sarasota yet.  Honestly Sarasota probably wouldn't get it even if the Chinese brought it here- PFChang's seems to be the most popular Chinese place around here (I would be embarrassed for them but they are so clueless about authentic ethnic around here it isn't worth bothering...)

All winter though I have a yearning for real Mexican food. Living in the summer in a city with more than a million Mexicans (and loving it I might add) we have plenty of choice for good Mex... Here in SRQ there is not so much - actually almost NONE LOL.  So when we found our waiter Damien at the Columbia restaurant was an immigrant from Mexico via Chicago we asked him for recommendations for "real" Mexican food. So far with mixed results.... the first place a steam table eatery in the back of a local grocery store had pretty good food but no table service and plastic utensils.  The second, of three that he gave us to try, turned out to be a Puerto Rican/Mexican place... so more Caribbean than we are used to.  While I still would love to find a Chicago style Mexican place - this one was pretty good. It is called Guadalupana.

We went for lunch and found not a single parking spot in the lot (which had more than half of the spots reserved for the pawn shop next door LOL a good sign LOL) and upon entering found it more than half full- all male customers... but the ladies at the stove who doubled as servers were very welcoming.  They did have the gringo menus with English (which we mostly didn't need) and a board with "Especiales" LOL

we tried various tacos- which were actually really good- I got chorizo and Phil carnitas and chorizo-

we also had ensalada- and mofongo (our first time) which was a mashed plantain dish with corn which is stuffed with terrific bits of Chicharrón inside - here is what wikipedia says-

Mofongo is an Afro-Puerto Rican dish with fried plantains as its main ingredient. Plantains are picked green and mashed with salt and water in a wooden pilón, a kitchen device also known as mortar and pestle. The object is to produce a tight ball of mashed plantains that would absorb the attending condiments and have either pork cracklings (Chicharrón) or bits of bacon inside. Most dressings include garlic and olive oil. 

It was really heavy on the garlic (you can see it on the top in the photo above) but the starchy plantain could take it- and the chicharron were wonderful- since Phil loves pork crackling - he loved this dish--- so that was a winner...

However the chips and salsa get mixed reviews - the chips were good but the salsa was heated- and weirdly Italian tasting...

We also split a shrimp quesadilla for a starter and found it good but nothing special (Phil said mine were better - Thanks Honey!)

so the review is a slight thumbs up - we might return to try the tortas which seemed to be the big item at lunch time (many were ordered by the men eating there and they had a nice selection too) what we had was very good but it wasn't exactly what I was looking for...

And speaking of lunches, yesterday we had our third meal at Blu Mangrove.  The food was still excellent.  We had grouper sandwiches (Phil and Barry) and grouper tacos (Ellen and me.)  Phil and I split a wedge salad which was really just perfect in my opinion, when we were there with Matt & Ann we had split a Cobb and that was too much unless you weren't ordering mains...  photo shows HALF the salad!

we have a fairly quiet week this week - which is a welcome respite.  We are in process with juggling a lot of plans for upcoming travel and visitors and possibly real estate closings - with the Chicago house and another building on the market. And we are watching the condo market in Chicago for the exact kind of property that we want to buy to replace the house.  They move fast, one I put on my list mid-week last week is gone this morning.  But since we have this place to live in during any interim, we can wait for what we want...

However, all these logistic make your head spin... LOL  I just keep telling Phil let's wait to see about X before deciding Y.  This is a tough thing for him, as he is the kind of guy who likes to think things through completely... So, we await deadlines before making any moves on something for ourselves.  Stay tuned - always more to come...

PS- I decided to do another search for near me Mexican and here is how bad it is- LOL- this is a photo of the team for a taqueria nearby - LOL this is so effing lame--- you have to laugh- what would these people know about Mexican food?

I rest my case!

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