In Shynes Mind

Weekend dinner!

Over the weekend, Lovey and I had the opportunity to go out to dinner as Kiddo was out doing Kiddo things. Our decisions always go a little something like this:

  • Should we order in or shower and go out?
  • Pasta? Sushi? Mexican? Chinese? What?
  • How far do we want to drive?

I really should make a flowchart for us to make these decisions easier.

We decided on go out, Mexican and not far which led us to Talavera in Coral Gables. As you may know, I LOVE Mexican food (Tex Mex also although it’s not Mexican) and basically 99% of everything about Mexico. (See also, wedding there in June and lived there for a couple of years.) I even learned to love tacos off the street that I would have previously turned my nose up at. I am plotting a trip to Chicago simply so that I can visit Frontera and XOCO.

It was still relatively early (for Miami) when we arrived at about 7:45pm. While there was no wait, the restaurant was still pulling in a good crowd. They didn’t reach a wait while we there, but the steady flow of business was maintained. We were warmly greeted and given our choice of several open tables.

Chips and salsa arrived promptly for us to munch on. Talavera provides two types of chips and two types of salsa. Right, I neglected to take a picture of the chips, but one looked like a flour tortilla that had been cut into smaller pieces and fried and the other was blue corn.

The salsa on the right had a slightly sweet taste to it with a kick. I honestly don’t know what was in it. The salsa on the left tasted like tomatillo and cilantro and had a mild spice. Both salsas tasted better with the blue corn tortilla although I’m not sure why.

The menu has plenty of choices and we refrained from gorging ourselves on the first visit. As appetizers, we both had a cup of soup. The cups are normal sized cups with just enough soup. Lovey had the black bean which looked fantastically hearty and tasted just as well. I had the tortilla soup. I will admit that at first glance, I was put off by my soup as it just didn’t look anything like I thought it should, but after the first taste, it didn’t matter what it looked like. Tomatillo was certainly utilized in the tortilla soup but it gave the soup a light and refreshing quality. Each of the soups had small strips of tortilla and a sprinkling of cheese in them.

Before moving on to the main course, of course we had margaritas!! Lovey had The Original and I had The Ambitious. While I didn’t try his, I had my hands full with my own. Let’s just say that the bartender makes a damn good drink.

After much indecision, I finally settled on Tacos de Chilorio and Lovey had the Mexico City Beef Tacos, left and right respectively.

Wow! Let me start with the rice. I love when Lovey’s mom makes rice. I don’t know what she does to it, but it’s fantastic. Talavera is giving her a run for her money. Each order of Tacos de Chilorio comes with a small side of guacamole which was also quite tasty. You would think that five tacos is an awfully large serving, but after you eat the first one, you know you’ll have no problem finishing the rest. The pork was soft and delicious.

The Mexico City Beef Tacos are just as delicious. Although you can’t see them, the tortillas are the same size as the ones you see on my plate and they’re hiding in that little silver basket. I don’t know if it’s the cut of meat or what they marinate it in, but the beef was just plain fantastic and I don’t really care for red meat. Lovey had no problem putting them all away.

I believe the dessert menu changes often as our server explained them to us rather than providing a menu. The only sadness of the trip was that they didn’t have the fantastic sounding churro dessert. We instead had a chocolate souffle with a scoop of ice cream. It surprised us with just a touch of spicy, just like it might in Mexico.

The bill came in at the regular price it does when we go out for a meal and have three courses and drinks, so I didn’t find it to be overpriced, or even expensive, especially considering that 40% of our bill was liquor. All in all, it was a lovely meal in a lovely environment and I can’t wait to try it out again.

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