Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Romo's Latin Quarter - CLOSED

7915 SE Stark
Happy Hour: (possibly a secret) Weekdays, 5 - 6PM

The website doesn't really work. The signs out front are almost impossible to see. But, this place DOES have a happy hour. And, it's only a ten-minute walk from my apartment...which makes it an ideal location.

We'd been here many, many times before for dinner. I think I've already tried every single vegetarian option on the menu. They are all good...but, completely covered with cheese. I've even included this location as a place for my parents to hit while in town from Idaho. It's good. It's in the neighborhood. There's always space, it seems. And that one time I actually made reservations--the time that they lost the reservations--the won my appreciation through free "make-up" drinks and appetizers. Plus, the owner is super sweet. He seems to have a good memory, too, as he recognizes us each time we return.

It was our first time here for happy hour...which, of course, means our first time to document our opinion on the food, drinks and service. We weren't able to verify that happy hour still existed until sitting down at our table, preparing to order. We had already decided that if they no longer offered a happy hour menu, we'd just stay for dinner (letting go of all of our Spring Break happy hour plans). It's just that good. Our server brought the small bar menu upon our request and, although it wasn't much, we were able to order some great cheap eats and a couple of house margaritas at a discounted price.

After scanning the menu, I quickly asked the server if there were any substitutions available. The happy hour menu, you see, is covered with meat-friendly options. It's short to begin with, yes, but I was hoping to have more available. I was forced to settle with a plate of beans and rice and an order of guacamole. I was quite satisfied, though. With these two and the chips and salsa that came with our meal, I had plenty to eat and a variety of flavors to keep my palate happy.

The beans and rice were topped with shredded cheese (something that this place seems to be well-known for) that was melted under the broiler. For as simple as this dish was, it was full of flavor. I suppose that it could be from the salted chips alone, but I was quite impressed with the abundance of flavors that it possessed. It must be something that they do with the beans in preparation. They are quite tasty and far from the typical refried beans found at almost every Mexican restaurant.

The guacamole had large chunks of avocado making it obvious that this was really freshly made guacamole. And, it was served with freshly made chips as well. So fresh that you can't be too impatient if you request another basket. And, if you are looking the right direction (as in the direction of the kitchen) you'll see the steam rising up off of the freshly fried tortilla chips.

And, of course, I had to order the house margarita. I'm not sure exactly what it is that makes it their own recipe, but I know that I like it. With a salted rim, it would be a perfect treat in the summer sun (too bad they don't really have the space for outdoor seating) or really anytime.

Food: Meets
Drinks: Meets
Service: Meets
Ambiance: Meets
Value: Exceeds


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