Saturday, February 5, 2011

The Original Christo's

Not bad and has potential, that's how I'd sum up my recent (first) visit to the new The Original Christo's. This location used to be a place called Angelo's, but that closed in the fall. It underwent a bit of renovation and reopened around December as Christo's. We were at the recent Fourth Friday Art Walk in downtown Sanford and Christo's provided the appetizers and snacks. The bruschetta they had there was absolutely excellent, and that alone is what convinced me to visit Christo's sooner rather than later. Overall, I'm glad I did.

When we arrived on a recent Saturday evening, it was pretty busy inside. We were quickly greeted and fortunate to snag one of the last inside tables.

Let me get the one disappointment I had off of my chest first, because all the rest is good: the so-called firecracker sauce. The firecracker sauce was served with (1) our appetizer, (2) my main course, and (3) one of the extra sides i ordered. My complaint: it was way too sweet. Advertised as firecracker sauce, it was hard for me to get past the sugary sweetness of it. Overall, it was not bad, it had a bit of heat and a bit of tang. But the sweetness ruined it for me, it reminded me too much of french dressing that was kicked up a notch. So, if it had been less sweet with a bit more heat and a bit more acid, it would have been pretty good. Don't get me wrong, it wasn't terrible, just too too too sweet.

Now on to the good, as there was  a lot.

We took a quick look at the menu and decided to start off with an appetizer--Firecracker Fried Cheese. This is a four-cheese blend that is hand-breaded and deep fried. It was served with the (sigh!) firecracker sauce. 

Overall, these were very good. The cheese was nicely melted and very flavorful. Hey, I'm from Wisconsin and I know good cheese when i taste it. The breading was nice and crunchy and the filling good and gooey. The firecracker sauce was a nice accompaniment to these (less the sweetness). I'd order these again, for sure.

I started my meal with a Salad. It was a pretty ordinary salad, but good. The lettuce was topped with some tomato and cucumber and a bit of red onion, as well as croutons. I had the citrus viniagrette dressing and it was very good. Thankfully, it was served on the side, too.

For his main dish, my friend Tommy had one of the specials. It was chicken and spinach in an alfredo sauce over what I think was penne. Tommy said it was OK, but just OK. He was not wildly crazy about it, but did take home an ample portion for another day.

For my main course, i ordered the No Skimp Firecracker Shrimp. There were eight jumbo butterflied shrimp, breaded in kettle corn and served with the aforementioned firecracker dipping sauce and two sides. The shrimp were very good, not overcooked, but nice and tender. And the portion was very adequate. They were on a bed of romain. One of my sides was the salad, and the other was coleslaw. It was decent coleslaw and nice and fresh. This was a pretty darned good dish. 

But there was another side item on the menu that I was curious about, and so I ordered it: the Fried Macaroni -n- Cheese. This was pretty good, little triangles of macaroni and cheese that had been breaded and deep fried. It was a bit rich after along with all the other food we had to eat, but still pretty good outside of the dipping sauce--yes, again the overly sweet firecracker dipping sauce (I think they need to work on that recipe a bit, and if they did, they'd have a real winner!).

I have to mention the bread basket, too. And the marinara that accompanied it. There were two garlic knots that were nice and tender with a great flavor. And two pieces of fresh-baked pepperoni bread. This was very good, especially with the excellent marinara. A real hit.

We had a very nice meal here with good food and pleasant and efficient service. They seemed to be quite busy, and that's a great thing. Sanford is really the home to a number of excellent places to eat. Having to choose between them all is really a good thing for us the consumers. I'd eat here again, and plan on it. I want to try their pizzas, they looked very good. Overall, definitely good eats! 

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