javier restaurant... downhill in less than a month
Javier is a month old, mostly take-out, home-cooking Puerto Rican restaurant in my neighborhood. Just after it opened Eric Asimov wrote a little squib that caught the eye of my friend and his PR-born boyfriend. So, we ordered take out and when the food came, yum. The Pernil (roast pork) was succulent and well-crisped -- a taste revelation, the red beans more complex and flavor loaded than I ever had. Tasty, garlic-loaded roast chicken, Greaseless amarillos, tasty desserts. I tried the food last week and it was completely different. In 3 short weeks, the Pernil was now leathery and dry and tasted "old" the red beans not nearly as good. Then last night I saw my friend (who enjoyed the first meal with me) and despite what I experience last week, decided to give them one more shot. Just as last week's dinner was poor, last night's was even worse. The pernil was again, super dry, gray, gristly and tasted old, the red beans good, not great, the amarillos greasy. The roast chicken dry and overly garlicy.
I figured I could share this experience with the Chowhound community. I was thrilled with my first meal from there -- it was so promising and delicious -- but am angry and sad that this place turned sour in three weeks. My speculative guess is that Javier had his mother do the cooking for him when he first opened and he's now in over his head. Regardless, I'm just bummed -- usually it takes restaurants longer than three weeks to go down hill.