Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Easter Dinner at La Trattoria now Asador Campestre

I have hesitated writing restaurant reviews especially after one owner went ballistic that I even insinuated that his Italian restaurant was less than acceptable.
Some of these crazy restaurant owners simply drink too much of their own kool aid.

We have been passing this place over and over, it's located on the hiway between Patzcuaro and Morelia and it's called La Trattoria. 
I hope it has nothing to do with the joint called that in Patzcuaro where we had the worst two meals on earth about 2 or so years ago. That place was located on the plaza where El Bigoli occupies the location there now.

We arrive a few minutes before 2, and were not surprised that the place was empty, The place is modern, built and finished about a year ago and is one giant circle with open windows almost on all sides. On the ceiling dome there is a circle of open windows providing great light. ( This construction will be important a tad later )

We were brought menus right away and asked what we would like to drink. We both wanted some Margaritas but were told that they don't have the ingredients for them but do have Pina Coladas.
Although they have several tequilas on the menu, the waitress said that it seem the owner took off for the beach for the week and has left them short of a lot of supplies to which to run the restaurant.

Remove one star.

So we decided on a couple of Micheladas. The selection of beer that they had was void of what we would have ordered. We usually will go for Modelo Especial or Modelo Negro.  The only beer they had to offer was XX lager and Tecate, and Tecate Lite.

 Remove another star.....

Since we had only coffee for breakfast we were very hungry and decided to order one of the 5 appetizers. It was either between Guacamole and chips or Queso Fondido. And several variations of that.
We optioned for something a little healthier, so ordered the Guacamole which arrive about 15 minutes later.

I am use to Guacamole have some smashed avocado, some finely chopped onion, perhaps a little cilantro , lime juice, sometimes perhaps also finely chopped tomato with mixed to incorporate and seasoned with salt.

This dish was none of that, it was a solo or two avocado smashed with about a dozen and a half chips suck in various places resembling a overturned cactus.

No flavor , no seasoning, no reason to ever order this thing again.

Remove another star.

Then our Sopa Tarasca arrived. Served in little vertical bowls with a nice squiggle of crema. These arrived tepid with one piece of dried chili floating on top of a half dozen smashed tortilla chips.  The soup had the same disease that the guacamole had, that of having no seasoning, very little chili flavor. Not even the table salt would elevate the soup to being close to the tasty soup I am use to. which almost every place in the region seems to have.

Remove another star.

About 10 minutes later our Molcahete Mixta arrived , hot, bubbling with great aroma. Although my wife had requested that they not include any chicken meat, it showed up with about half a breast sliced into 6 pieces. The arrachera was sliced into about 8 or 9 decent pieces and was cooked to our order of medium rare. There was also some very thin sirloin which was tasty and not dried out which was served on top of some nice napalito leaves , along with a few nice healthy cuts of cheese. I  don't remember the name of the cheese, but it squeaks on your teeth as you chew on it, and is semi firm. This was finished with a decent piece of overly dry chorizo which was the only down side of the dish.
As we were about finished it started to rain, my wife first heard the plunking of the hail on the roof.  After a minute or two the downpour and wind came flying into the openings in the dome of the roof. ( see above picture)  Even though the opening were under eves of the roof, the wind was strong enough that we had to move all the way across the restaurant to keep from having the table get all wet.

We did much better than the newly seated family of 8 that not only got the downpour from the roof openings, but the side windows which were only covered with an awing pulled halfway down did a soak job in a minute or less. The sky darkened and it opened up, with wind blowing tablecloths off a few of the tables.

We were presented the bill and they took off the price of both soups, noticing that we had not touched them after the first tablespoon. ( commendable ) We waited by the front door for about 10 minutes for a pause in the passing dark clouds before we were able to get to the car and depart.

The service was acceptable, although no one ever came to ask if everything was ok, the big issue was that half of the items we were told they were out of, and the bar was disappointing.

 All in all I think it could be the same people that had the place in Patzcuaro based on the overall lukewarm experience.

 The place is designed for having nice big parties, including a raised platform for the head table or band to set up on. Big parking lot, so it probably could do a nice vent for 200 or 300 people.

It has a few outside kiddy occupiers, like a trampoline and some other distractions, inside included were a few pool tables, a Foosball table and something else I couldn't ID.

I wish them luck, but I doubt we will be a regular.

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