Wednesday, July 14, 2010

ethnic food fail

I violated my own rule today (about not trying Mexican restaurants in Chile) and, based on appearance and the presence of milanesa (Mexican breaded steak) on the specials menu, hoped against hope that Restaurant Guacamole in Valdivia might not suck.

There were hopeful signs at first. The entrees sounded a little odd (zucchini in the burrito, and no mention of rice?), but the chips were funky-homemade and tasty, and the accompanying salsas were mid-high quality by California standards. Unlike Distrito Federal in Vina, someone here had at least taken the trouble of opening a Mexican cookbook to see what spices they used.

It went downhill from there. The separate bowls of rice and black beans were a bit suspect: clearly spiced, but not in a Mexican sort of way. After an excessive delay, they brought Steve's soup: he'd ordered consome' de ave and sure enough, he got the Chilean soup by that name.

Then the "burrito" came. Mushrooms on top--okay, quirky, but not out of bounds. Why does it smell like oregano? And coated half a centimeter thick with a cream sauce that would have served admirably on a pile of linguini? It was tasty enough, but it's a travesty to call it Mexican food.

This is why we have rules.

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