Wednesday, March 24, 2004

Ah, my last day in Rochester and the weather has finally gotten better. I just got back from a short trek around downtown. I can't say I was too impressed, but there are some nice buildings here and there.

So, anyways, what you really came here for: the foodie stuff.
Last night, we tried out a restaurant that I had found out about before heading out called Mex. It doesn't take too much of a stretch of the imagination to figure out they serve..what else..Mexican food. The restaurant was just a short 5 minute drive from the hotel and in a neighborhood which reminded me *alot* of Cleveland Heights. It had the same feel to most of the architecture. Mex was located in a large old house. The first floor was strictly a bar. Up the thin stairs, past walls covered in artwork, was the restaurant portion. The first thing you notice when entering is the aforementioned art covering the walls on every spot. Most of it was pretty odd, depicting things like a woman dining with a tiger and a werecat. Thought I can't say it fit my personal tastes, I felt it gave the restaurant a certain eclectic flavor that was definitely cool. We didn't order appetizers this time around. Instead, we went straight for the main course (and some chips and salsa, of course) and a few beers. The chips and salsa, a staple of every Mexican restaurant I've been in, were all homemade and very good. The salsa, a picco de gallo with delicious chunks of fresh tomato swimming in cilantro and pepper, was particularly noteworthy over many other restaurants. Service was good and the food arrived in a prompt fashion. I had a plato (platter) with tostados, torta and a side of refried beans and spanish rice. If that sounds like alot of food (and alot of beans), it was. Dawn (my co-worker) got a salmon, served with a lemon chili sauce on a bed of rice. I didn't have a chance to try it, but it looked and smelled excellent. My dinner, on the other hand, was a bit of let down. The torta (leavened dough stuffed with various ingredients.Mainly a mix of beans, cheese and spices.) was a bit bland. The consistency was excellent though; semi-hard crust gave way to creamy beans inside. It was, unfortunately, very filling and didn't leave much room for the tostados, which was too bad, as these black and blue beauties were excellent. Even more beans & cheese stuffed between huge pieces of blue chips and covered with chorizo (no, not soyrizo ;). They were simple, but very tasty. Dinner was finished off by a few bottles of Tecate, no dessert. I should also probably note that the spice level was way too mild for either of our tastes. Supposedly, the restaurant prides itself on its homemade hot sauces, but they were out of these, so we weren't able to give them a shot. In alternate, they supplied a variety of Tabasco sauces, but the effect wasn't the same. Lastly, for you veggies out there, I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this place if you’re ever in Rochester. Their selection of vegetarian options was excellent (every meat dish could also be prepared with tofu, seitan or a variety of pseudo-meat products).