Saturday, September 10, 2016

Don Julio Mexican Kitchen & Tequila Bar

We had dinner last night at Don Julio Mexican Kitchen & Tequila Bar. I'm glad we got there when we did, because our wait was only a few minutes, but there were a number of people waiting when we left--a testament to the popularity of this place on a Friday evening. 

After our very short wait--only a few minutes--we were seated and quickly given some chips and salsa to start. Our waitress was there in what seemed like seconds to take our drink order. We learned that margarita's were on special for $3 so we opted for those. They were in fact very good, nice and refreshing on a summer evening. They appeared quickly and we were ready to order as well. 

The salsa was a bit of a disappointment. It was not bad, but was also not over-the-top good, either. It seemed to me that perhaps canned tomatoes were used? I could see/taste some onion and cilantro, and it had a bit of heat which I enjoyed. I'd have liked it to have been much chunkier and fresher tasting, that's all. It was just OK. But the "OK" with our meal did stop there, as everything else was very good.

I chose to have the Quesadilla Don Julio, and requested a mix of carnitas and chicken for the filling. I was not disappointed. First of all, presentation is everything, and this was a nice presentation, as you can see. There was a side of yellow rice that was good, and also a side "salad" of lettuce, pico de gallo, sour cream and guacamole that was very fresh and refreshing. I loved the balance that it gave to the savory, gooey, cheesy, meaty quesadillas. The quesadillas were excellent. Both the chicken and the carnitas were way over the top tender and good, and it was a nice and cheesy quesadilla. I loved it and had one piece to take home for another day, along with some rice. 

Tommy had the signature Chimichanga with the shredded beef. And again, presentation is the first impression, and the presentation again was marvelous. Take a look at that picture to the right. The deep-fried chimichanga was uniquely shaped--not a traditional rolled up, burrito-sytle, but was filled and gathered at the top, like a sack of sorts--it really was unique and tasty. The chimichanga was sitting on a pond of queso and salsa. It was accompanied by the same sides I had. The flavor was very, very good as well. This was a good dish and Tommy had some to take home for another day as well. We both agreed, we'd eat here again.

The place when we visited was packed, with people usually waiting a bit for tables. But it was also a bit loud. I think because of the noise level, everyone had to shout to make themselves heard. I'd certainly go back for the food, but would probably try for a quieter time, later at night or a weekday, or perhaps lunch or very early dinner. But again, the food was very good. Hopefully we got their on a "bad salsa" day because the salsa is the first impression. Luckily, great food overcame that. Give it a try, let me know what you think....

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