Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Plaza Azteca

I'm suddenly full of this bubbling righteousness that makes me want to post.

So I kind of noticed I haven't done a restaurant review in like, seven or eight months. I promise I've eaten out in that time, okay? I just keep forgetting to write about it because usually eating out is followed promptly with a lazy food-induced coma. And comatose people? Not very good bloggers.

Plaza Azteca recently opened up in Manchester (CT, not UK) and it has inhabited what used to be a Macaroni Grill. It's a Mexican restaurant and although it does not in the slightest bit compare to my beloved Sarapes. But it's a heck of a lot more attractive looking since Sarapes is a prime example of hole-in-the-wall. You wouldn't be embarassed of bring a date to P.A. because it's big, spacious, and re-designed to look Southwestern-like with dark wood type decor and Santa Fe paint color. It's also pretty cheap. Even eating dinner there, most menu items are $10 or less. I do however recommend reading the full description of your menu item because a ground beef burrito contains nothing except ground beef. No cheese. No beans. No tomatoes. To me a burrito is a combination of tons of stuff, not just piles of ground beef, but that complaint aside I think it's a good place when a bunch of friends want to go out. And if you really really enjoy ground beef I guess it's a total win. Trevor got very upset at the server who refused to sub out ground beef for carne asada and then continued repeating the term "carne asada" as though it was something he never heard of before. Mind you, our server was obviously a native Spanish speaker from his very clear Spanish accent, so his confusion was all the more baffling.

It's cheap, the menu is not intimidating (think tacos, burritos, fajitas, enchiladas) and you'll leave full. I went with Kim and Lex once and both of them left happy. Considering their combined allergies, pregnancy restriction, dislike for seafood and general aversion to spicy things it can often be a difficult decision where to go out to eat so that all of us can be appeased. And I'm so over eating plain pizza, so I'm super psyched we can all eat Mexican food together and have everyone be moderately happy.

I've been torturing myself with home-pickled-jalapenos. It's so painfully spicy I physically break out in waves of sweat. Which of course is a sign of good food, right? I'm sure you're thinking this is an unnatural attraction to pain, but I'm lucky enough to be married to a guy who might like torturing his taste buds even more than I do. Usually I don't like pickled things but lately I've found it a nice alternative to allowing 99cents/lb jalapenos to rot in my fridge because I cannot humanly eat even one pound of the stuff before something inevitably starts growing fuzz. You can't say I'm not resourceful. But I kind of have to be; have you seen my fridge? I always over-purchase perishables. One day I'll learn that two people cannot reasonably consume 3lbs of cherries or 3 dozen eggs.

You want to pickle stuff too? I pickle like my mom does, like most Viet people do. No spices. No dill. No peppercorns. No celery seeds. Just white vinegar plus water plus a touch of sugar. DONE. It might seem a little unconventional, but that's everything you need to keep the rot at bay, and it's mighty tasty.