Monday, March 24, 2008

March 20, 2008: Los Amates III

Cindy and I decided to get the Easter weekend underway in style. Lazy, non-cooking, style. So after she'd done some birthday present shopping around Fitzroy and I'd ducked into the city to go to the library, we met up at the corner of Brunswick and Johnston streets in need of a dinner plan. I was keen to try somewhere new - throwing out Blue Chillies, Red Rice and De Los Santos as ideas - but Cindy had set her heart on a repeat visit to Los Amates.

We've tried to return a few times in the last six months, only to find it booked out or closed, so the opportunity to turn up as they were opening and snag a table was too good to pass up. As it turned out, they didn't seem particularly busy at all - by the time we left at 8 or so, half the tables were still vacant - maybe things have died off a little. Cindy and I settled into the long weekend with cocktails: fresh strawberry margaritas, all pink and icy ($10.50). We'd previously sampled the vego tasting plate and the enchiladas combo, but this time we limited our sharing to the entree from the specials menu: quesadillas de flor de calabaza ($9.80), zucchini flower and cheese quesadillas with homemade corn tortillas, served with salsa noja and guacamole.

While these didn't really highlight the delicate zucchini flowers (which were basically smooshed into a mushy filling), they did provide a tasty start to the meal - fresh guacamole is always a winner and the hot sauce that came with it was great.

I kept my attention focussed on the specials menu for the mains, ordering the chiles rellenos: stuffed peppers filled with fresco cheese, topped with a hot red salsa and served with rice, beans and corn tortillas ($18.50). I don't think I read the description of this dish very closely - for some reason I'd imagined the peppers stuffed with some sort of generic stuffing (rice and such), with a few dollops of cheese around for flavour. Instead, the peppers were stuffed full of delicious, melty cheese.

The first pepper was divine, but by the time I was working my way through the second, I could feel the cheese seeping into my arteries. There was nothing wrong with any of the flavours, it was just a bit of a cheese overdose (even for me).

Cindy went for the Budin Aztecan ($18.50): fried tortilla pie with fresh vegies and mole, topped with cheese and served with frijoles salad.

Again, this turned out a little on the cheesy side. The mole was as delicious as was expected, but it was overwhelmed by the cheesiness. Cindy would have liked reverse proportions - the mole should dominate, with just a hint of cheese.

We walked away stuffed to the gills with cheese and sauciness, and just a little disappointed with our meal - based on this display, I'm coming around to the argument that Blue Corn is the Mexican place of choice for Melbourne vegos.

Read about our previous visits to Los Amates here and here.

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