Tuesday, December 30, 2008

No fiesta

It's a good thing I know how to make tamales. Sad news on the culinary front: Two of my favorite Mexican restaurants in Billings, Lolita's and Mamacita's, are closing.

Mamamcita's had an especially warm place in my heart (and belly). The basic Mamacita's combo plate (taco, tamale, enchilada, chili verde, rice, beans, tortilla, served with two sauces, one red and one green) was the best in town and one of the best I have ever had. As in all great Mexican combos, you couldn't take away any part without damaging the whole. It was the concert of flavors, all enhanced by the delicious sauces, that made the special so special.

Mitigating news: The Corral, recently opened on Southgate Drive, has pretty darn good Mexican food and now serves Mexican breakfasts on weekends. In my most-quoted line of prose (quoted only by me, so far as I know, but quoted often), I once wrote that all human endeavors are flawed, with the possible exceptions of Shakespeare's 73rd sonnet and the migas plate at Dos Hermanos restaurant in Bryan, Texas. No migas at the Corral, but good food.

Further mitigation news: The other night we tried out Cafe Italia, Mike Schaer's new venture into Italian cooking. Nice atmosphere, excellent food, not too pricey. Another success for a guy who never seems to make any mistakes downtown. Of course, he is a loyal Outpost advertiser, so you may think I am biased, and I am. But I'm also right.


Anonymous said...

I love Mexican food too. But not their beer. Even lime doesn't help it.

A former restaurant owner told me that Mexican places enjoy a huge advantage over other eateries in that their cost of food is less than 10% of the price of a meal (steakhouses - closer to 50%). It's hard to imagine a Mexican place going out of business other than loss of business.

Pizza places enjoy the same advantage.

David said...

Not even Negra Modelo? Dos Equis dark?

Anonymous said...

Mexican Food varies greatly from one locale to another. Even within a state, different locales will have the same names on the menu but the dishes will be entirely different. Don't sign off on Mexican food until you've had a Green Chili Enchilada (stacked) with a fried egg on top prepared by an older resident of Northern New Mexico.
Cliff Peterson

Anonymous said...

I'm kind of an IPA guy. Mexican beers, even the Negra Modelo, don't do it for me. I like hoppy.