Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Papatzul - 55 Grand Street

For a friend's birthday we headed for some authentic Mexican food at Papatzul. The dining area was adequately sized for the table of 8 we had. The atmosphere wasn't anything shocking or revolutionary, but if you're analyzing the ceiling fans and window treatments for the majority of the meal, chances are you need new company......or your Ritalin is wearing off.

The margaritas were nice and sour and seemed to have the correct amount of booze in them. They really didn't cut you a deal on the pitchers though (yielded 4 glasses for $36 when glasses were $9 a piece.......this led to some unecessary confusion on our part). Although I didn't have any, the tequilla menu was really impressive too.

The menu was packed with alot of Mexican classics (quesadillas, tortilla soup), but had a few nice fusion twists also. This was mostly featured in the starters, which I feel really carried the meal. Chile rellenos were stuffed with goat cheese and lump crab meat (definitely a dish i'd like to re-create , aka steal). Everyone got a good size appetizer and fought, across the table when necessary, to stab at others' plates. The octopus with sweet chipote-tomato sauce was extremely tender and flavorful. This and the spicy ceviche were the main plates that I eyed.

By the time the main course came, I already had a good base of food and drink in me. I had the Budin al Pasilla, a sort of a Mexican lasagna. It layered flour tortillas with shredded chicken, black beans, cheese and heavy cream. Truthfully, it was a bit bland and under seasoned, but a little hot sauce perked it up the next day in the form of leftovers.....the sign of a true good dish.

Overall, the meal and service was satisfactory, but not mind-blowing. Definitely good to check out once.

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