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Craft Beer vs. Pub Grub @ The Crafty Monk – Black Rock (Review)

16 Nov

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After checking out the Bridgeport Sound Tigers and Utica Comets game with our friends John and Jenn (we won’t tell you who we were rooting for), we left with a thirst and hunger. We had lots of ideas in our heads with so many restaurants right in the Black Rock area, but since we felt like getting a few good brews, we decided to hit up The Crafty Monk. It’s located where The Field used to be. When we lived in Black Rock, we were regulars there . . . well, before it turned into a night club and a party scene. But, the original owners are back and turned it into a beer-filled gastropub.

Firefly Hollow Cone Flakes DIPASpeaking of beer, there was a nice variety of styles, a solid focus on CT beer, and just good craft beer in general with 40 on tap and 30 in bottles or cans. Dan was hoping to get a taste of Firefly Hollow’s Train’s Best ESB that had just won 1st place in the International Beer Competition, but they were out . . . but our waiter (who happened to be Kristien’s former client) came to the rescue by telling us that their Cone Flakes DIPA was on tap. Score!

Fried pickles at The Crafty Monk in Black Rock, CTOkay, onto the food. What you see is what you get: it’s offical pub grub with a variety of apps and entrees. We decided to do a little of both to get a taste of what the food was all about. Up first were the fried pickles. The breading wasn’t too thick and had some nice herby notes to it, while the pickles were nice and juicy with each bite. But, they don’t expect you to eat ’em just like that, nope: you get three housemade sauces. There was a Wasabi which was our favorite with a nice spicy kick, there was the Black Pepper which was light and refreshing, and the Chipotle that was smoky with a nice little kick. They also have Cajun, Curry, and Pesto if you dig that style. 

Buffalo Garlic wings at The Crafty Monk in Black Rock, CTUp next were the wings, which come in buffalo, bbq, garlic parmesan, and orange chili-glazed flavors. We weren’t really sure what to get, but our server suggested we try this new combo that people have been asking for: buffalo garlic. Both flavors worked very nicely together, with neither taking over too much but blending in well. The skin was a bit crispy, but we would have liked more crunch. The meat, though, was plenty juicy which we think is just as important as that crispy skin.

BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich at The Crafty Monk in Black Rock, CTThen our sandwiches hit the table after a few more brewskis. John had the Pulled Pork with an artisanal baguette which he liked, but it wasn’t anything that amazed him . . . just your typical kinda pulled pork sandwich. Dan had the Merry Monk Burger which he ordered medium rare, but it came out a medium well. But, even still, it was pretty juicy with a nice, rich and fresh flavor. The chipotle aioli added a nice smokiness and the egg added a fatty savoriness to it. With those burgers came some, of course, house cut fries. They were plenty crispy, but needed a little more salt to really bring out the flavor more.

Turkey burger at The Crafty Monk in Black Rock, CTKristien ordered the turkey burger which came out super juicy. The jalapenos that you get to load on to your own delight (or demise) were spicy and added a nice contrast. But, we either didn’t taste the cranberry or they forgot it. Maybe because of this or something else, we felt like the turkey burger needed something else. So, Kristien and Jenn added some of the Black Pepper aioli from before and that definitely helped.

The Merry Monk Burgerat The Crafty Monk in Black Rock, CTFrom all our brews and snacks at the game, we were stuffed and ended there. But, we felt like we had a good handle on The Crafty Monk. It’s a solid spot to go if you want to sit at their massive bar, order some nice craft beer, and watch a game on TV. In terms of food, there were definitely some inconsistencies in almost all that we had. We’d say if you go here with expectations of the standard pub grub experience you’ll be fine, but the beer definitely wins out here.

The Crafty Monk

Noms: 3.25

Cost: $$-$$$

Address: 3001 Fairfield Avenue

                Bridgeport, CT

Fresh Spin on Latin Food @ Aji 10 – Norwalk, CT

28 Apr

Sure, we’ve said it like a million times, but we’ll say it again just in case you forgot: Latin food is our favorite. We can never get enough. So, when we had the chance to visit the recently opened Aji 10 in Norwalk and talk with Executive Chef David Soto, we jumped on it.

What’s cool about Aji 10 is their menu is not just your typical Latin food. Nope, Chef Soto’s fresh spin is called Nikkei, which is a popular fusion of Peruvian and Japanese food. The reviews of this new approach to Latin food in Fairfield County have been quite positive, so we had high expectations for our dinner. Let’s get into it . . .

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What’s in a name…a review of Salsa Picante – Port Chester, NY

2 Sep

…that which we call a Mexican restaurant by any other name would taste just as amazing. Right?

See, we heard about Salsa Picante in Port Chester well before it opened a little over a month ago, but we didn’t really give it any thought because the name made it sound like the same ‘ole, same ‘ole quick service Mexican joint. But then, like magic, we were walking down the street in Port Chester and the new spot caught the corner of our eyes. We peeked in and saw that it seemed to be more than what we thought it was, so Danny ran in to snatch a menu and Kristien immediately whipped out her phone to see what the word was on the street. Both searches turned out to be fruitful as the menu looked ah-mazing and people were RAVING about the food online. So, naturally you know what we had to do next…

The very next day (Sunday to be exact) we headed on over early, around 6PM…which we’re glad we did because by 6:30 there were people lining up outside to get in.  To be fair, the restaurant itself is pretty small fitting about 30 people. It has a simple, casual, cafe type feel with Mexican art work all around the darkly painted walls.  The sounds and sizzles of the grill are heard through the open kitchen and the chachacha of drinks being mixed are like music to diners’ ears.

Alright, let’s get into the drinks.

Before we did much of anything, we ordered some drinks. Lucky for us they got their liquor license just about two weeks before we visited.  That means they had margaritas, sangria, basic cocktails, wine, and beer available!  We went with margaritas for Kristien, sangria for Dan.  The margarita is made with house tequila (though we upgraded to Patron), Cointreau, and freshly squeezed lime and orange juices (we watched the bartender squeeze them by hand). It was a very simple, but well-balanced, fresh tasting margarita. Dan’s White Sangria was light, refreshing, and just sweet enough with a nice peachy undertone from the Schnapps.  Dan later got the Red Sangria (because you HAVE to try both, duh) which, again, was nicely balanced and not too sweet.  We later talked with owner David Dolores who shared that the sangria is made with at lest five different kinds of liquors, making them very complex.

Onto La Comida!

There was definitely lots of options to choose from on the menu like appetizers, tortas (sandwiches), burritos, and lots of classically authentic Mexican dishes.  We decided to start off with their Ceviche Misto, which was good, but we had two major issues:  they were pretty heavy on the lime so it was very acidic and, perhaps because of that, the fish had a bit of a mushy consistency. The shrimp and calamari, though, had a good consistency. Here, too (like the Margarita) it was very simple and traditional.  We also tried one of the specials for that day:  a lobster quesadilla.  The lobster, actually, wasn’t overcooked and had a nice consistency.  While we know lots of people say it’s a horrible sin to pair cheese with seafood, we have to say that it worked nicely here with the crispy tortilla and melty cheese playing off the lobster quite nicely.

Elote at Salsa Picante in Port Chester, NY

Next up is one of our favorite dishes from Latin spots, Elote.  They served two corn on the cobs with mayo, Cotija cheese, and chili powder.  David was accommodating with Dan’s loathing of mayo and kept it off of his ear.  The corn was spicy sweet, and rich from the cheese and mayo, just like we like it. The only issue was it was just warm rather than hot.  We would have preferred it to be hot, if not steaming. We also love those charred grilled marks on the corn, which we didn’t see.

For our entrée we decided to share the Taco Platter.  You got your choice of any 3 tacos meats plus onion, cilantro, lime, rice and beans, tortillas, and guacamole.  When the dish arrived, we were so excited:  it’s essentially “Do it Yourself Tacos”!  David explained to us that this is how they do things in Puebla, Mexica where he’s from:  family style, just like us Italians!  We had decided to go with the fish (tilapia), Carne Asada, and Al Pastor tacos because, well, those are some of our favorite flavor combos.

Fish (tilapia) taco at Salsa Picante in Port Chester, NY

First up was the tilapia that came out red (from paprika), moist, and delicate.  We made ours with cilantro, onion, radish, lime, and a touch of their orange sauce.  Then we both made our own Carne Asada tacos!  The beef had nice grill marks, giving off even more flavor.  We threw everything on this taco, using the smoky red sauce on one and the orange sauce on our seconds.  And, finally, we made our Al Pastor tacos. Unlike most variations we’ve had, you can actually taste (and see) the pineapple along with the pork…which we loved!  We decided to make ours with cilantro, onions, lime, and the orange sauce, though the red sauce did help to highlight the pork even more, too. We had enough meat and toppings to make 6 tacos each and even asked for more tortillas so we could make two more tacos at home. All in all a tasty (and again, simple and traditional) dish!

And last, but never least, dessert.

We couldn’t decide which to go with, the Quatro Leches (ooo that’s one more leche than normal) or the Churros. So guess what? Yeah, we did both…don’t judge!

The Quatro Leches was ridiculously moist, and only a little sweet unlike most we have that hurt our teeth. The chocolate syrup on top gave it a nice little warmth/depth. Honestly, this was one of the best we’ve ever had.

The Churros were stuffed with cream and Cotija…OMG. They were super crispy on the outside and oh so ooey gooey on the inside.  Man, that cheese really sent this dessert over the top. Yum!

So, would we say Salsa Picante lived up to our expectations of its name, or did it far exceed those expectations? Well, if you’re looking for a traditional, simple, affordable, authentic Mexican experience that is a major step up from quick service Mexican spots, then this is most definitely a great place to go. If you’re looking for modern twists, fancy cocktails, a hopping ambiance, and complex flavors, you can stick to one of our other fave trendy Mexican spots, like Bodega.

Noms: 3.25

Cost: $$-$$$

Address: 110 Adee Street.

Port Chester, NY 10573

Phone:  (914) 481-5488

Salsa Picante on Urbanspoon

Our new go-to spot + probably yours too: Port Chester Hall + Beer Garden

5 Jun

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Update:  we have been back a few times since our review and we have had mixed results. At times we have good service, at other times service is spotty and slow. During our last visit, the food wasn’t as good as it used to be. The burger, in particular, was bland, mushy, and disappointing while the chicken sandwich was also bland and uninteresting. 

Last year when we heard that Heartland Brewery was opening up a new brewery in Port Chester, we darn near jumped for joy. First off, we live just a few minutes away. Secondly, we think that Port Chester is the most underrated place in our area and were psyched for people to show it some love. And thirdly, mmmm, beeeeeeer.

Now, a few months back we got a little worried and upset when we learned that it wasn’t actually going to be a brewery, but our frown got turned upside down when we learned that it would become a beer hall and a beer garden with beer pumped in from Heartland Brewery.  So, when the weather this past Saturday turned out to be beautiful, we knew what we had to do…

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Dear readers, this is our review of Post 154 in Westport. Sincerely, OmNomCT

30 Sep

Interior of Post 154 in Westport overlooking the open kitchen

Dear beloved OmNomivores,

When’s the last time that you wrote a letter to a friend, folded it up into an envelope, slapped a stamp on it, then mailed it out?  If you’re anything like us, you can probably count on your hands the number of things you’ve mailed in the last few years. We bet you don’t even know where your closest mailbox is.  So, it’s no surprise to see post offices close down across Connecticut and the rest of America.  And, the fate of these (often-times) architecturally amazing and ornate buildings is either to be knocked down (sad), to stay put, unoccupied (bad for the neighborhood), or to be repurposed for another great thing (awesomeness).

This is where Post 154 of Westport comes in. Opened just two months ago in the old Westport Post Office building, you can still see traces of the post office inside, but you also see an astonishingly beautiful open kitchen, a large, welcoming bar, and cozy booths and tables throughout. After gawking at the interior, we were quickly seated. Now, it’s important to point out that we called ahead and asked about reservations.  Unfortunately, like many new restaurants in the area, they only take reservations for large groups, so we asked when there is no wait. The host said if you come before 6:30pm or after 9:00pm you’re golden, so we came at 9:30pm, because if we eat at 6:00pm, well, we’d need a 4th meal by 11:00pm. Yeah, that’s how we roll.

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Riko’s Pizza Expanding from Stamford into Norwalk

1 Nov

Update:  now open!

Whatever side you are on of the pizza wars in Stamford and Connecticut, we can all agree about one thing: ehermerged pizza is good. You might be a Pepe’s lover, a Colony fascist, a Bar addict, or even a Riko’s junkie.  Note:  they used to be called Rico’s Pizza, but are now Riko’s Pizza…same pizza.

Sausage, hot oil, stingers, onions, and cherry pepper pie at Riko’s Pizza in Stamford

Well, if you can’t get enough of your Riko’s Pizza, you will have another option. Along with their Selleck Street and Newfield Ave. locations in Stamford, you’ll soon be able to get your Riko’s fix in Norwalk too. They will be located at 345 Main Ave. and will feature take out and delivery.  With such a highly trafficked street, Riko’s could give Letizia’s and other pizza places in the area a run for their money.

What’s your favorite pizza place in the area?  Shout it out, punks.

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Enough Sushi for a Whale at Sushi X II – Stamford, CT

8 May

So, two Italians walk into a Japanese restaurant on St. Patrick’s Day.  Oh, it’s no joke.  See, when the urge for sushi hits you, it’s nearly impossible to shake it even if it was St. Patty’s Day.  Yeah, we should’ve been eating corn beef and cabbage and throwing back some beers.

We wanted to try a new sushi spot, so Danny threw out the idea of Sushi X II:  a sushi lover’s paradise that is all you can om nom for $19.99 or $21.95 on weekends.  Immediately, I resisted.  Sushi…all you can eat?  Um, yeah, I wasn’t convinced it would be any good. But, I felt daring and adventurous so I agreed. After all, we had to be lucky, it was St. Patty’s Day.

How it Works

You can order all you can eat sushi from their paper menus or you can even order a la carte (or 品料理 in Japanese – yeah, we can copy and paste from Google translator, what?) off the kitchen menu.  If you’re lame, you order a la carte.  If you’re awesome, you order all you can eat:

1) There are two paper menus that you can order from.  Start by writing the number of each appetizer that you would like.  For example, if you want two crab wontons, write “2.”   Give  your choices to your server.

2) Pick up the sushi menu and circle your order of sushi, sashimi, rolls, and speciality rolls.  Give that bad boy in to the server.

Space it out however you’d like, but don’t take more than you can eat.  First of all, it’s a waste, but second of all, they’ll charge you for whatever you have left on your plate at the end.  We actually like that they do that so we were sure to finish everything on our plates.  Aw, our moms are so proud of us!

The Food

They’ve got salad, sushi appetizers, more appetizers, fried goodness, soup, and teriyaki dishes.  We went with some spring rolls, shumai, crab wontons, bbq ribs, and bbq squid.  The crab wontons were cream cheese-erific, had bits of crab, were not too crispy–a nice start to the meal.  The shumai was also great, but the same can’t be said about the bbq squid.  The flavors from the sauce were too overpowering and it came out tough and hard to chew.  The bbq ribs were similar, kind of tough and dry.  They were the kind of ribs that you needed to literally tear apart, not fall off the bone with a light tug like they should be.  So, half of the apps were good, half weren’t.  But, you go to a sushi palace to get sushi, not just apps, right?

Now, the sushi.  The fish here tasted fresh, smelled fresh and looked good too.  If you just want to try some fish, order some sashimi to get some slabs of yumminess.  If you want a bit more, you can order from the sushi portion of the menu.  If you like more of a flavor and texture mixture, stick with the rolls and specialty rolls.  We had some white tuna and red snapper sashimi and a peanut avocado roll because we were feeling HUNgry. All the rolls were actually pretty decent, but our favorite was the Winter Roll.  It had mango, cucumber, and avocado, topped with spicy crabmeat, crunch, and mango sauce.  The contrast of flavors and textures is what made this roll so great.  As for which rolls you should pick, that’s a personal matter that we need not pry into.  I, for example, will not have any eel or eel sauce because the texture freaks me out.  But, you, ya weirdos, might like it. hehe I kid.

Wrapping Up

If you’ve got a serious hankering for whale-portioned amounts of sushi, this is the spot to hit up.  You’ll pay one flat rate, pick out your apps and pick out how you’d like your sushi.  Granted, some of the appetizers can be avoided, but some of them are good.  You’d be wise to try a great variety of sushi and rolls rather than some of the apps.  Yes, this isn’t going to be the most amazing sushi that you’ve had (it’s no Fin for example) but for the price and the portions it’s actually decent. Shockingly.

Sushi X II

Noms: 3.25

Cost: $$

Address: 109 Atlantic Street

Stamford, CT

Phone: (203) 327-6888

Sushi X II on Urbanspoon

Our dish on 14 dishes at Cactus Rose Cantina- Wilton, CT

17 Apr

*Click a picture to start the gallery*

We had the fortunate opportunity a few months ago, thanks to local foodie and PR extraordinaire Linda Kavanagh, to enjoy  a complimentary press dinner at Cactus Rose Cantina in Wilton, CT that would prove to be a record breaking number of courses. And now we want to share that experience with you. Here’s how it went down:

We were struck by how bright and fun the interior is, with beautiful, bright tiled mosaics along the walls, perfect lighting, and an adorable fireplace. They even have a fireplace outside on their huge patio that’s perfect for kind weather dining. You could really tell both owners, Maria Pertesis and her mom Katerina love what they do too because they’re usually found greeting guests, making the rounds, asking customers how the food is, talking, chatting, and even helping to bring dishes to tables from time to time. We love when we see that!

Before we sat, we had some margaritas at the large bar.  They have four signature margarita concoctions, so it was our duty to try them all out, you know?  Danny started with the Dali, a margarita with Sauza 100 yr reposado, triple sec, lime
juice and simple syrup with a splash fresh orange juice.  I had the Apache, a spicy margarita that hit you at the end with a nice heat from the serrano.  All and all, they were pretty delish! We also started with some beef empanadas in a light ranchero sauce and dipped into some vertical nachos that were smothered in chihuahua cheese (no, they didn’t milk the dog, it’s a yummy Mexican cheese), refried black beans, and guac.  Both were hardy apps filling enough if you’re looking to just get a bite at the bar.

As we sat down, we saw the tasting menu, awaiting us like Wonka’s Golden Ticket.  Danny and I didn’t know what to order from the 14 dishes available, as usual. Well, that problem was solved for us because apparently we were trying every. single. one. Holy crap, I didn’t wear an elastic band skirt, haha. Well, let us take you on the tasting tour, so you know what to order when you hit up Cactus Rose.

Seafood cocktail shooters (lobster, crab & shrimp with citrus, chile, & tomato): This was a cross between a ceviche and a seafood cocktail.  Must love cocktail sauce here for sure or you won’t dig this! Seafood was fresh and the chile added a fun kick.

Wilted greens (warm chorizo vinaigrette, orange, jicama, organic sunny side up egg): The dressing was very light and the oranges added a nice contrast with the greens and the crispiness of the jicama.  And the egg?  Well, everything’s better with an egg on it.

Corn & poblano chowder (applewood smoked bacon, potatoes, cilantro): Great chowder (actually won the Critics Choice Award at Chowdafest IV) with chunks of corn and a smooth after heat. The smokey bacon was a really nice addition. This was my favorite.

Tuna tostada (watercress salad, pickled jalapeño, cilantro aioli): A bit too much aioli for us, but the tuna was seared nicely and served with a bright and herbaceous salad.  Good for summer.

Chile relleno (goat cheese, black beans, red chile salsa): Loads of goat cheese, though thicker and milder than the goat cheese Kristien is in love with. It was fried in a batter that was too thick for us. We prefer a lightly fried chile relleno.

Mini wagyu burger (poblano pepper, applewood bacon, Monterey Jack): Cooked close to well, which is more cooked than we like it causing it to be a bit on the dry side.  Shoestring fries were crispy and were nice. Bacon flavor really came through with the thick cuts.

Seared salmon with chorizo cream: All agreed the salmon was cooked great and the sauce was a nice, unique complement.  I was proud for picking up Executive Chef Lisa Varnberg’s use of cardamom in the dish. A unique salmon dish I actually enjoyed, and I usually don’t like salmon.

Grilled lamb chop with New Mexican ratatouille: The lamb chops were cooked appropriately and the ratatouille was good, but we were both hoping for more of a kick and flavor. The lamb was a bit fatty. Definitely not our favorite.

Chile chocolate pots de crème:  Imagine a pudding, lighter than air, just floating into your belly.  Yup, that’s this. Quite tasty!

Leche asado (queso fresco and maldon salt): Think custard, but on crack.  Really filling, so make sure you’ve saved up some room in that gut. Delish!

Banana bandit (banana cheesecake “burrito” w/ chocolate ice cream): Danny’s not a big fan of cheesecake, but even he thought this was a great dessert.  It “stole” our hearts, bah ha ha (yeah, we’re lame).

Jelly doughnuts (strawberry jalapeño jam and vanilla milkshake): Dear sweet beautiful lovely god of food.  Seriously, some of the best donuts that we’ve ever had.  The strawberry jalapeño jam sneaks up on you slowly but just mellows out behind things.  The milkshake was frothy and makes you feel like a little kid again.  This dish has to be ordered.

Final Impressions

Cactus Rose Cantina is a cozy, friendly spot where you could easily kick back while laughing with friends. The drinks are creative and tasty. As for the food, you can expect to find some wonderful gems on the menu and some dishes that don’t quite make the grade. Yes, it can be a bit hit or miss, but if you choose carefully you could have a great experience. And you really can’t go wrong with any of the desserts, so it’s definitely worth trying for yourselves.

Cactus Rose Cantina

Noms:  3.25

Cost: $$$

Address: 5 River Road

Wilton, CT 06897

Phone: (203) 762-8484


Cactus Rose Cantina on Urbanspoon

Bring a Posse to Tackle the Posse at Ash Creek Saloon – Norwalk, CT

10 Jan

Ever get a craving that can never seem to go away?  Bacon, for example:  when you think of that crispiness, the savoriness…well, you can’t stop until you get it. Then once you have it, well, you have to have it again.  Sorry, did I just make you hungry?  Don’t hate!

Well, we had one of those cravings a few weekends ago:  bbq (that’s me) AND mac & cheese (yeah that’s Kristien of course).  Believe it or not, it’s not that easy to get both together (and have them both be good).  We had two great options that rocked both:  Q in Port Chester and Bobby Q’s in Westport, but we were so hungry that we couldn’t drive 30 minutes.  We needed that food STAT  so we sped on over to Ash Creek Saloon in Norwalk.

Our jaws dropped when we found out there’d be at least a 20 minute wait, but we made the best of it and saddled on up to the bar.  Now, pardners, we ordered from a decent list of draughts, but before we could finish our table was ready.  Don’t you love those nice surprises in life?

We got our strategy underway:  buffalo wings, mac & cheese, and some bbq.  We couldn’t figure out what BBQ, so we figured…hey, why not get it all with The Posse?  Yeah, we had to bake Christmas cookies the next day anyway, so we could use leftovers for fuel.

The Wings

Our wings came to us, steamy, warm, and dripping with a sweet and tangy hell-fire sauce.  There was definite heat going on, but it wasn’t overpowering at all.  Evidence of heat?  Sliced jalapenos were strewn about the wings and were steeping in the sauce.  The meat was cooked nicely, wasn’t dried out, and was nice and juicy.  Our problem with the wings, though, was that they weren’t crispy enough like you come to expect.  Monster B’s, for example, were nice and crispy, had great sauce, and still kept the meat juicy.

The Baked Mac & Cheese

The baked mac & cheese was good too with golden breadcrumbs on top.  This is more of a solid, baked, less liquidy kind of mac & cheese.  The flavors were almost there, but it could have used just a few more hits of salt – it was kind of bland.

The  Posse

$47 for two people ($23.50 for each additional person) gets ya Shorty’s baby back ribs, Memphis dry rub ribs, bbq chicken, bbq sausage, brisket, sweet potato fries, french fries, coleslaw, cornbread, and beans.  Holy crap, did we actually eat all that?  First, we have to say that everything was cooked so well here.  The chicken skin was well-flavored and was nice and crispy, while the meat itself was juicy.  The ribs were delicate and fell off the bone with just a slight tug.  On the ribs, though, was a very sweet sauce that became very overpowering.  Kristien was not a fan. The sausage was interesting because it tasted like an Italian sausage with fennel.  I mean, who the heck doesn’t like Italian sausage, but served as bbq sausage? Meh, not so much! Last of all was the brisket and that comes pulled apart for you.  It was delicate, tender, and full of flavor, but definitely different than a typical brisket. Kristien would’ve liked it with more fat – yeah that’s how she likes her brisket. Can you blame her?

Onto the sides that came with The Posse!  The major reason to come to Ash Creek Saloon is to have the sweet potato fries that come with a lovely and sweet molasses sauce.  They come out crispy, hot, and ready to dip.  Ahhhh.  SO GOOD! The french fries, though, were soggy and not so good…so we just ate more sweet potato fries.  Kristien took ownership over the coleslaw.  It was seasoned well and had a tangy kick, but had just a little too much mayo.  I lorded (or larded?) over the beans, cooked with nice chunks of pork.  The pork added great flavor and a smokiness to the beans, but it could have used a bit more brown sugar to sweeten it up.  Last stop was the cornbread.  It’s that kind of cornbread that’s heavy and solid, close to the consistency of a muffin.  Yum!  You feel about 20 lbs. heavier after downing a slice, but hey, it’s Saturday.  Calories don’t count on Saturdays, duh.

Overall Impressions

Ash Creek Saloon is a good, go-to place for grub and bbq food.  You’re not going to get the bbq that you’ve been dreaming of your whole life, but it’s certainly satisfying.  They cook the food nicely here, but with just a bit more (or maybe a bit less) flavor and seasoning, the food would be closer to great.  The Posse is definitely a cool way to go if you want to try all of their bbq at once…especially if you enjoy bbq leftovers.  SO MUCH FOOD!

Ash Creek Saloon

Noms: 3.25

Cost: $$$

Address: 2 Wilton Ave.

Norwalk, CT 06851

Phone: (203) 847-75o0



Ash Creek Saloon on Urbanspoon

Get drunk for cheap and eat some decent tacos too. Tacos Mexico- Norwalk, CT

24 Jun

Peppered rim? Sounds dirty.

We’re in a recession here and the experts say it ain’t gettin’ much better.  But, you know what?  Liquor sales remain steady and people are still going out, wining and dining.  Enter Tacos Mexico.  Good Mexican food, good margaritas, crazy ass good prices.  Let’s list all we got for 40 pesos. Ok not really pesos because I don’t know the conversion rate, but you get the point:

1) Tortilla chips with salsa verde, salsa, and pico de gallo (free)

Pico de Gallo nomworthy

Starting off, we got a plate of tortilla chips that were served with an amazing pico de gallo that boomed with cilantro.  It was fresh and just cried, “Summer.”  There was a nice spicy kick to it, also.  The salsa verde was good, but was maybe just a little too watery.  The salsa tasted similar to the pico de gallo, but was just not as chunky.
2) Humongo glob of guacamole
We got some guac with that and were surprised to see how much they gave.  Normally, you pay 6 bucks for a tiny cup, but you pay 4 for a giant ass cup.  The guac was definitely freshly made, but needed more bite from lime and salt.
3) Two margaritas, on the rocks, with Patron.  Yeah, Patron. 
Rim salted, and pepper flaked, the margaritas were good too, but could have been stronger.  They taste like they came from a mix rather than freshly squeezed.   Then again, at $8 a pop, we’re talking value.  Most places will charge ya at least $13 for a Patron margarita.
4) Three tacos with rice
Because we’re at Tacos Mexico, we figure, duh, try the tacos. All tacos were served with grilled onions on top and pickled veggies on the side. First was the carnitas taco.  Good deep flavor with lots of spice, but was a bit overcooked.  The chorizo taco was next and this was pretty tasty.  The meat was all crumbly and had a really fun kick of clove to it.  I saved that bite for last-loved it!  Last up was the al pastor taco.  This was great at Riviera Maya, and it’s great here too.  The flavors are all there, making the chicken dance, bold and beautiful.  
5) Enchiladas with a salad
 Kristien had these and they were ok. She agreed there was a nice balance of sauce, cheese, and chicken which lots of places tend to mess up, usually with way too much cheese and not enough sauce.  But, at the risk of sounding like a broken record, the chicken was dry and the whole thing just lacked any real flavor. 
6) Side of rice and beans
The rice here was actually pretty good, but then again that’s because it was drenched in 20 pounds of butter. Which some people may hate, but we have a special place in our hearts for butter. Add some carrots, peas, and corn and you have a nice little side dish. 

Yeah, we feasted on the food here for cheap.  Granted, it was no Casa Villa and wasn’t amazing or excellent Mexican, but it’s good enough and the liquor ain’t expensive.  Worth it, yes, but you can’t go in expecting the world from this place.

Tacos Mexico

Noms: 3.25

Cost: $$

Address:  82 Fort Point St
Norwalk, CT 06855


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