Friday, March 26, 2010

Mercadito Chef Week Lunch

.I dined at Mercadito for New Years Eve and was so impressed with their prix fixe offering that I had to go back for a Chef Week menu for only $20 at lunch time. The format was the same as NYE, you choose a guacamole course, a ceviche course, a taco course and dessert. Since all but the taco course are made "for the table," going with a table for 2 is the best value. As I expected the food was great with plenty to go around. My only complaint with this visit is that our service was substandard. Our third taco course was forgotten, it took time to get service and to top it off, the computer crashed and we waited 20 minutes to get our check. I still recommend checking out Mercadito because the food is top notch, we just ran into an unlucky service breakdown (or so I hope).

There were not a ton of choices for your courses (pick 2 out of 3 options) except for the taco selections. The run down of our menu selection is as follows:

We went with the mango and manzana guacamole, one hot, one medium spice level

 For the Ceviche, we ordered the dorado (mahi mahi) and the callo (bay scallops). I was dissapointed with the dorado, not as good as I remembered - a little fishy. The callo was great, served with apples to bring a complimentary sweet taste to the dish.

The tacos are the main course, and you get to choose 3 types from a list of 8. Our friends highly suggested the carnitas (braised pork) and pescado (tilapia), both dishes I remembered from NYE. For the third choice we went with carne (skirt steak). All were delicious and surprisingly above average spicy (I loved it but Erica drank a few pitchers of water). The tilapia was particularly tasty, served with hot salsa and avocado.

The carnitas was jam packed with meat, and topped with peanuts. I thought there was more flavor in the other tacos but I enjoyed the unique combination.

The last choice was the spiciest, and one of my favorites. There was a great balance between the steak, salsa, cheese and crunchy onions. Just the way I like my tacos.

The flan finale was a nice touch. We went with the flan de tres leches, or three milk custard served with mini pound cake and raisins.

Stating the obvious, we ate a lot of food for $40. Had we not had some service issues this would have been another near perfect meal. The food is still great and with a prix fixe option, the value is hard to beat. Chef Week ends sunday, so get in before it's too late. Full lunch menu here.

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