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I took the family to Mama Mexico on Friday. I was hoping for something along the lines of a Rosa Mexicano experience. While we certainly paid a Rosa Mexicano price, the meal was a lot more like Taco Hell. Our bill came out to nearly $100 before drinks for three dishes, guacamole, and nachos. Sheesh!

They do the guacamole at the table thing and it was fine. The ingredients were fresh. The chips were also fresh and crisp.

Nachos are one of my two kid's favorite foods and they wouldn't touch them. For some reason, they drizzled a red sauce all over them. A warning would have been nice since the menu just said bean and cheese. The nachos arrived only slightly warm, but did have a nice scoop of guacamole on them. I somewhat enjoyed them until I did the math and realized I was paying about $1 per chip.

I had the enchiladas mole poblano. Oof. It was like they made it with Hershey's syrup. Too sweet! It was like a chicken sundae. $24!

My wife had some tacos. I was too disturbed by my meal to notice any more than her saying this was the worst.

My kids had the chicken and beef fajitas. They were in tears when a big steaming pile of onions and peppers arrived with three flour tortillas. $22! Finally we dug out about 5 pieces of meat that were bathed in the same red sauce used on the nachos. After threatening "no dessert for a week", the kids finally choked it down. I haven't had fajitas since leaving Texas 10 years ago, so I'm not really sure what to expect.

Aside from the very unsatisfying meal, the upsides were the decor and service. Our waitress was really nice and attentive. We had some virgin strawberry margs for the kids and pomegranite margs for the adults. They were good.

My biggest regret is that I could have fed the family four times at La Batalla for that amount of money and we would have eaten far better food. Screw the fancy decor and the valet parking (oh man, I hate that).

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WOW. Crazy prices indeed! Just curious if you know if this place is related to the one on the upper UPPER west side (100th and B'way, maybe?). I've been to that one, and the food has been great each time. Of course, in NYC, you expect to spend $$$...

"I'm not eating it...my tongue is just looking at it!" --My then-3.5 year-old niece, who was NOT eating a piece of gum

"Wow--this is a fancy restaurant! They keep bringing us more water and we didn't even ask for it!" --My 5.75 year-old niece, about Bread Bar

"He's jumped the flounder, as you might say."

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yes Curlz it is. can't say i've been very impressed with Mama Mexico in NYC. actually, i find it horrible. the fact that the 49th street outpost is located right across the street from Pampano and Pampano Taqueria makes its existence even more pointless.

Edited by tommy (log)
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Interesting. Never been to the midtown location, but the one uptown was good the few times I went (last at least 18 mos ago). More than anything, I remember that the guac was awesome. And expensive.

"I'm not eating it...my tongue is just looking at it!" --My then-3.5 year-old niece, who was NOT eating a piece of gum

"Wow--this is a fancy restaurant! They keep bringing us more water and we didn't even ask for it!" --My 5.75 year-old niece, about Bread Bar

"He's jumped the flounder, as you might say."

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Interesting.  Never been to the midtown location, but the one uptown was good the few times I went (last at least 18 mos ago).  More than anything, I remember that the guac was awesome.  And expensive.

my guess is that they're exactly the same. they make their guac fresh to order, as any decent restaurant should, and it is quite good. they love to sell that one. "guac for the table?" yeah, sure.

overall the menu and prepartion to me seem very cookie-cutter and unimaginative (not to offend your sensibilities or taste - the place is very very popular) and as you say expensive. it's probably more tex-mex than mexican. i'm definitely looking forward to Rosa Mexicano in Hackensack. I'm very confident it will be much better.

Edited by tommy (log)
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Don't a lot of Mexican places make the food earlier in the day and when you order it they sauce it and put the platter in the oven and heat it up?

I know this wouldn't work for the fried items but for some of the other items?

Just curious because every time I go for Mexican the food comes out really fast on a HOT plate.

Edited by NJ2FLA (log)
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i'm definitely looking forward to Rosa Mexicano in Hackensack.  I'm very confident it will be much better.

I know you're excited about RM; am curious to see how it pans out, as friends in D.C. are less than impressed by it (except for the drinks, iirc).

As for Mexican vs. Tex-Mex, I don't know if I've had great (real) Mexican food in NJ other than at Los Tapatios in West Orange.

"I'm not eating it...my tongue is just looking at it!" --My then-3.5 year-old niece, who was NOT eating a piece of gum

"Wow--this is a fancy restaurant! They keep bringing us more water and we didn't even ask for it!" --My 5.75 year-old niece, about Bread Bar

"He's jumped the flounder, as you might say."

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Don't a lot of Mexican places make the food earlier in the day and when you order it they sauce it and put the platter in the oven and heat it up?

I know this wouldn't work for the fried items but for some of the other items?

Just curious because every time I go for Mexican the food comes out really fast on a HOT plate.

the plate will likely contain refried beans (made ahead or from a bag) and a bunch of cheese, which is likely melted on the plate, accounting for that hot plate.

there's nothing inherently wrong with making food or elements of food ahead of time. i'd say that just about every restaurant does this on some level.

curlz, as far as RM in DC goes, i can't speak to that. the original location has always been a good place, though, and the Lincoln Center location not so much. the union square location falls inbetween. even the lesser of the three will be a welcome addition to NJ. if only for the margaritas.

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They opened a Rosa Mexicana here in Palm Beach in a new outdoor mall called Downtown at the Gardens.

I went there last night and wasn't that thrilled and thought it was quite expensive for what it was.

I did order a pitcher of Sangria for $22. The bartender took the plastic (kind you find everywhere) and filled it over the brim with ice cubes. He then added the liquor and I sipped my drink and it was all watered down. I complained and he considerably added more liquor and it was much better. He said the ice was to keep it nice and cold. Obviously they are trained to do that to make more profit.

I had a dish of what they called Taco's and it was with chicken and cheese on a hot skillet. It's served with flour tortillas that are soft. It also comes with a sweet type cole slaw with pineapple and raisins which was the best part of the meal. I believe this dish was around $17-18. The skillet was square and about 3x3 inches. There was an ample amount of chicken but thats mainly what the dish was about. It maybe would total up to one breast if that.

I am not really in a rush to head back there.

They also serve chips which were coated in salt. The sauce for the chips which one is green and the other brown were pretty good though.

We didn't order the freshly made at your table guacamole.

-Scott

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  • 2 weeks later...

admin: threads merged

We live within 10 minutes walking distance from this restaurant and finally decided to try it earlier this evening as after a month the rough edges should be smoothed out. My thoughts for whatever they are worth.

1) Very pricey fast food Mexicann, no more, no less.

2) Extremely noisy. (A very young crowd having a good time screaming their heads off drinking pitchers of Sangria and not caring or knowing what the food is about.)) By 7:15 an extremely loud Mexican band showed up to add to the already unbearable noise. Could not wait to leave.

3) Sangria, also a faux Mewxican rest. about a mile up on 9W closed about 5/6 weeks ago and we were hoping that we would finally get an authentic Mexican restaurant in our area as true Mexican food can be wonderful. Wrong. Think Zocalo or Maya in NYC to name just 2.

4) Service was pleasant but very amateurish. Don't greet my wife and I with: "Hi guys. What are we drinking tonight." (At 70 plus we are no longer guys.)Also, at these prices I don't want to be asked if I want my very dirty cutlery changed.

To reopen old wounds and posts, why can't our area of Bergen County be blessed with serious restaurants such as what Montclair, Ridgewood, etc. have to offer.

Edited by johnder (log)

Hank

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I agree with Hank... I would die to have a serious Mexican (e.g. not Tex-Mex, more like Zarela or a Rick Bayless establishment) in Bergen somewhere. It's good to have Fortunato not five minutes from where I live, and Balocco looks good as well. But even so, Serious Italian is well and good, but I miss Serious Mexican.

"Part of the secret of success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside" -Mark Twain

"Video games are bad for you? That's what they said about rock 'n roll." -Shigeru Miyamoto, creator of The Legend of Zelda, circa 1990

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Does anybody have any takes on Mexican restaurants in places like New Brunswick and Plainfield? These seem to be there for working immigrants and don't appear to cater to the outside world at all.

Is anybody checking these places out?

Hmmm. This usually means these places have better food and are more authentic. Who needs the "outside world"?

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  • 2 months later...

sour mix of some sort goes into the margaritas. i just can't get behind that.

a fantastic looking place though, and i can see why people would probably like the concept. if they made the bar 10 times larger, they could probably make enough profit having people look at handsome eye candy like me while sipping those margs. oh yes, they could. food? Go to Cliff's first for a steak.

Edited by tommy (log)
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