Sunday, May 17, 2009


For Mother's Day, FLO headed up to Abuelo's Mexican Food Embassy. Fred had attempted to get reservations, but in a strange twist, they do not take them on holidays. Wouldn't that be the one time they would want to accept them the most? Regardless, we decided to give it a go.

Upon arrival we were delighted to be seated immediately. While on the way to the table, Ozzy was stopped in his tracks by the wishing well at the entry way to the dining room. He would only budge after we promised to give him some coins after dinner.

The dining room reminded us immediately of Vegas. It was very well decorated with lots of faux architectural elements and a vaulted ceiling painted to look like the sky. But the real icing on the Vegas cake was the clientele. What's up with the north-west side? Since when is it appropriate to go to an upscale place in ripped t-shirts, overalls (seriously?!) or cut-off sweatpants? -- On Mother's Day of all days! For dinner? On Sunday?

Regardless, we sat down and were greeted by a very tasty chips and salsa. The chips were much lighter and thinner than the norm and went very well with a nice thick, but not too chunky salsa. These were another huge plus in Ozzy's book.

After a few too many chips (damned bottomless bowls!), Libby decided on "the picture on the menu" -- three enchiladas: Shredded Beef with chile con queso; Cheese with chile con carne; and Chicken with sour cream sauce. Fred settled on the Chile Manzanillo: Crab stuffed into a roasted poblano, covered with shrimp, scallops, mushrooms and red peppers in a creamy lobster sauce. (pictured above) Ozzy opted for the kid's chicken strips and fries.

The enchiladas, although a very well-known combination, were quite delicious. The meats were well prepared and the sauces all equally mouth pleasing. The sides of re-fried beans and the papas con chile, a house specialty, could stand alone. Talk about a fun, mexican variation on mashed taters! This creation consisted of mashed red potatoes, four cheeses, red and green peppers, sour cream, garlic and jalapeno...woah. To be honest, it was almost too much after the very heavy enchiladas and peppery re-fried beans, but it was a most satisfying belly bomb.

Fred's seafood was excellent, if a bit too mild. He would have preferred a bit more punch, but it was a tasty alternative to the usual Mexican fare. All the shellfish was well cooked and went nicely with the poblano. The rice and broccoli were perfect for sopping up the sauce and each added some much needed spice to the dish. We were unable to define the seasoning on the broccoli, but regardless, it worked well.

Ozzy's meal was sufficient. The fries were batter dipped!(oh yeah!) and the chicken looked like the nugget variety. He chose to do the total carb thing, once again, by sticking with the complimentary chips and those delicious fries.

Even though, both Fred and Libby couldn't stop verbalizing the agony they were experiencing from too much of a good thing, Libby couldn't entirely skip dessert on Mother's Day!? The menu showed three classic mexican desserts, a flan, a dulche de leche cheesecake and, (drum roll) the tres leches cake!! Instead of pushing it over the limit, the tres leches cake was ordered to go! Um, and somehow was able to disappear on the drive home...such a simply sweet, layered cake with fresh cream and strawberries. The perfect summery dessert!

Wrap Up
Price-$$-$$$, There was something to suit every pocket book, especially considering the daily lunch specials.
Atmosphere-****, Clean, fresh, and open feel with beautiful artwork and murals floor to ceiling added a cultural element. The fountain with statue was a great kid magnet!
Service-***, Our waiter was especially good with Ozzy. Very quick with re-fills and a great sense of humor.

Fred -B+, Possibly my favorite chips and salsa in town. Next time, I think I'll stick with the more traditional dishes as mine didn't feel like what this gringo considers "Mexican."
Libby -A-, Very pleasing enchiladas. Had to finish them all. The re-fried beans had a distinct peppery flavor, and those papas con chile were really great. I can't even say enough about the cake!
Ozzy -B+, Insistent on sticking to his boring carb choices, but most excited about the amigas muy bonitas hangin' by the fountain. He was most happy to share his wishing coins with a few!

Abuelo's on Urbanspoon

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