New place opened in the old Gianni’s on 1st Ave. Very interesting place. The owners are the same from Zoe’s which is a wonderful breakfast place.
But I digress. They stuck with pizza too since they had the pizza ovens already there. I tried the pizza and it was good but not special and so many others in town. But their real specialty is the Mexican
First off wonderful fresh chips with Salsa Verde. Crispy, warm, thin and perfectly salted amazingly simple but delicious. And the Salsa Verde was tart and just perfectly spiced. I loved it.
So, we started of with the chicken flautas…wow light and fluffy but crispy and without a hint of grease. Chicken was still juicy and flavorful. Covered in lettuce and avocados. Again, simple and delicious.
The nachos were unique. We got beef nachos which had lots of big chunks of steak not ground beef. The chips seemed to be store made and were so so. I would have preferred more cheese as it was good but just not enough. And the overall was better than most but the flautas eclipsed them.
And finally main course. Wife had the Tacos Al Pastor… Pork was succulent and well flavored. And the tortillas fresh with just enough pineapple. Spot on… And the radish sides were a very nice contrast and complement both in flavor and texture.
And I had the Chile Relleno… It wasn’t super crispy since it had a wonderful red sauce on top. But the flavors were perfect. It was stuffed with that same non melting cheese which is popular lately and well spiced ground beef. And the rice… Wow. Standalone flavorful not just another bunch of white boring side accompaniment And a side of nopales cactus… Again another win
This is not traditional ‘American Mexican’ food. This is real Mexican comfort food. The folks are friendly and warm and the food is just incredible. Very much like Puebla Magico around the corner in the Junction. Both are excellent choices and raise the bar for Mexican food in the entire area. This is not competition for the Red Bank places, when you want a huge menu and fancy food like Juanita’s. This is what I call family/peasant food that warms the soul along with filling the belly…
Oh yes, all that food, multiple sodas and bottled teas and the total just barely hit $60. Very reasonable…
That looks really good. I know the pizza ovens are there, but I wish they ditched the idea of “We do pizza and Italian and Mexican”. Not many places can pull that off without seeming like overreaching and desperate. Atlantic Highlands could use a good Mexican spot. But with Julio’s literally next door, Pomodoro across the highway, and the new Neapolitan place arriving sometime next decade, the market for pizza is getting crowded there.
Looking forward to trying it soon. I’ll avoid the pizza and go for the Mexican.
Thanks for the report @ed_cetron
Greg, I would go 100% mexican there, but removing the pizza ovens probably isn’t an easy job and they probably got a smoking deal on them.
Could they use the ovens to make tlayuda?
Mexican pizza is the bomb!
They’re missing a golden opportunity.
I’ve never seen flautas covered in salad.
I’d have to try those.
Everyone know the real food trend is steak, crabs and Chinese duh!!!
They could make all kinds of cool stuff I bet.
I am definitely rooting for this place but it will be hard to beat some of my favorite dishes in rb or Lb. My fingers are crossed.
The issue is this place will have to not “keep it real” (ie traditional) and cater to gringos. There is no latino population in that town or any surrounding towns. I see all these americanized Mexican joints and they are definitely trending here in nj. Think queso, moe’s, bubbakoo, surf taco, tacoholic, etc. They all make stuff for Americans and seem to be thriving. Have you ever seen a tacobell go out of business? I haven’t lol.
I think the idea is to cater to gringos with the pizza and simple Italian… And there is just enough business for tlreal Mexican I think based on how well the niche Thai is doing down the block…
Chicken flautas are crispy finger food even as a main course. Dip in queso, guacamole or hot sauce. Maybe refried beans and a salad on the side. Never a salad on top. Glad you enjoyed it up there though… Just out of curiosity, did you have to cut it with a knife and fork or?
It wasn’t so much a salad on top as some shredded lettuce to frame the sliced avocados on top. More like the lettuce and few tomatoes you would expect in a taco. And I think you can see in the second picture that they are definitely finger food with various dipping sauces.
So I went and tried the antipast. It was 10.95 and respectable but I wouldn’t personally order again. It was just boiled ham, regular salami and pepperoni…no prosciutto, cap, sopp, etc. I did like the fact that I got 5 pepperoncini on top. No olives.
Next time I will try some Mexican.