Wednesday, August 19, 2009

1900 Mexican Grille (First look)

I like Mexican food. I like Tex-Mex food. Actually, I like any food that is prepared with care, thought and a passion for what is being presented to those who will be eating it.

Then there is 1900 Mexican Grille, located in the Elizabeth neighborhood. The restaurant is in an enormous space that had previously devoured a local Italian restaurant where the intimate food could not compete with the architecture. The restaurant had only 3 tables seated when we entered. Mariachi music was playing so loudly we asked to be seated as far away from the speakers as possible.

As always, I ordered a margharita. I love the real thing--simply tequila, lime, triple sec in a glass with ice and a lime and salt garnish. Rarely do I get anything that I good, but I hold out hope. What I got tasted watery, medicinal and overly sweet, with a cloying corn syrup taste. Undrinkable.

The menu offers the usual tacos, burritos and fajitas. I really like fajitas, with the smoky, grilled favor and the crunch and contrast of the condiments. So we ordered the Fajitas de la Casa for the table, which included beef, chicken and shrimp as well as our choice of flour or corn tortillas.

The good: the portion we were served could have fed four or five people.

The bad: the taste and the texture. Clearly everything in the dish had been previously prepared and was sitting in a steam table waiting for a victim to order it. Both the beef and the chicken looked like gray chunks of poor quality stir-fry, with no salt, let alone any other type of seasoning. Onions and peppers were a gooey, soggy mess. Now the worst part: I had to spit out a shrimp when I bit into it. It was tough as rubber and coated with some type of unidentifiable barbeque type sauce that was a terrible contrast to any shrimp, let alone these.

We pecked at the food as best we could then asked for the check. The server nicely asked if everything was ok, and I said no, it was terrible. He quickly returned with our check, with half of the price comped.

No one should have to eat food of such a poor quality.

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