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El Jarro (De Mole) Is Great -- Really?

c
Cara Aug 27, 2006 04:06 AM

Based on Chowish reviews, I went back there tonight for a second visit. I ate there once when the place first opened, what, a year or two ago? I wasn't impressed the first time around, thought I was tasting garlic powder in the food...anyway, tonight I ate a bland, almost tasteless soup that sounded interesting when described by the waiter, but which turned out to be just some chicken broth with zucchini slices and a bit of squash blossom floating in it for color. If it hadn't been for the little cubes of queso blanco floating in the broth there would have been nothing at all to taste.

I tried an al pastor taco that was generous in size, but tough to chew, and similarly lacking in flavor: no heat, little spiciness, sparse unripe pineapple, barely any cilantro. Al pastor is one of my favorite taco varieties, but this was just a chore to get through. The best of the three things I tried was a quesadilla, also stuffed with squash blossoms, cheese and some other ingredients, with a nicely fried corn tortilla. Also had a very good salsa and tortilla strips before the meal. Nice service too.

I certainly like the prices, and wouldn't mind another visit, but if this place is as good as it gets, some guidance is in order. What should I be ordering?

  1. east elmhurst al Aug 27, 2006 03:47 PM

    I'm with you Cara. I've been 3 times and have yet to be overly impressed.

    I've had the grilled pork chops which were tough and flavorless, the tinga de puebla which was too watery for my taste and the ceviche which just didnt work.

    On the positive side I've enjoyed the guacamole and the chicken taquitos. I felt the enchiladas verde were good, not great.

    That being said...it is cheap and it is a nice place decor wise.
    I may give it one more shot because I'd like it to work but as of now it's just not doing it for me.

    1. Up With Olives Aug 28, 2006 07:24 PM

      Usually I love EJ/DM. I've been more times than I can count. But sometimes I think the spices aren't strong enough. We ate there yesterday again, and felt the mole didn't have enough oomph. Everything was well-prepared and delicious, but the zip of peppers was lacking. Whenever that happens it makes me want to go get a big sloppy plate of food at Azteca again.

      That said, the salsa that comes with the chips has been really nice lately.

      1. c
        ceeceee Aug 29, 2006 02:02 PM

        i LOVE the ceviche. it's really fresh and full of flavor. let's see the gucamole is fantastic & the salsa's great. i love the el jarro salad (i guess de mole salad now) with tiger shrimp...perfectly dressed and fresh.
        we love the burritos, quesadillas, tamales.
        and the tres leches---OUT OF THIS WORLD!

        1 Reply
        1. re: ceeceee
          k
          kenito799 Aug 30, 2006 03:07 PM

          Worth a visit just for the tres leches. I love all the tacos. We had pork chops with a green pipian sauce that was excellent. BYOB makes it even cheaper.

        2. janie Sep 1, 2006 03:16 AM

          Finally had the chance to try it tonight, and my husband and I had a WONDERFUL meal. What a cute little comfortable place. We had the De Mole salad with grilled shrimp--huge portion for $6-fresh and lovely--husband had chicken burrito-huge but not heavy or greasy like so many other renditions...I had quesadilla with spinach garlic and chicken--prepared perfect, and light as could be--especially love the onion, tomato garnish spicy salad on the side. We asked for the tres leches but they were out, so we got coconut flan instead, and it was FABULOUS!! Melt in your mouth fabulous, and I know flan!

          Great meal, total bill came to $21. Can't beat that..-even in the tight seating--we had the baby with us, and he dug the tv sitting in his stroller-- nice, friendly place.-------we'll be back again VERY SOON! Thanks for tip on this place!

          1. k
            kenito799 Sep 7, 2006 05:12 PM

            Just ate at De Mole Tuesday. Brought some wine.

            Special of a vegetable soup with squash, squash blossoms and chunks of firm fresh cheese was outstanding.

            Ceviche was stellar--not the usual soupy Mexican shrimp ceviche, this was chopped fish with tomato, onion and avocado served on a crisp tortilla shell--delicious.

            Tacos are so wonderful, we had 4: spicy pork, barbacoa (tender non gamey goat), and 2 al pastor (prominent pineapple flavor)

            The shredded stewed beef brisket was also delicious, with black beans, rice, topped with sliced avocado and fresh cheese, served with tortillas.

            Had both tres leches (utterly addictive) and coconut flan (with crispy shredded fried coconut on top--amazing).

            We took home 8 tamales for the next day, unfortunately they were out of all but jalapeno/cheese, but these were great, the masa flavored with a touch of cinnamon.

            Total bill $50 before tip.

            2 Replies
            1. re: kenito799
              c
              ceeceee Sep 7, 2006 07:15 PM

              i love the ceviche, loooove it. the beef brisket sounds yummy too.
              has anyone tried the pipian sauce? it sounds great, but how is it served, or what do i order it with?

              1. re: ceeceee
                k
                kenito799 Sep 8, 2006 02:43 AM

                had it with pork chops, very good, not spicy. the spicy red salsa can be used to spice things up.

            2. m
              Mike V Sep 7, 2006 08:20 PM

              I was there Tuesday for lunch. Ordered the Pipan Sauce but they didn't have it. It served with either chicken, pork or sea food (black sea bass). Ordered the Pollo Con Poblano with chicken leg. Chicken was practically raw on the inside and I wasn't impressed at all with the sauce. Excellent Guacomole e and the regular complimentary red sauce served with outstanding chips. The regular red sauce isn't all all watery like most but much too mild. Outstanding Pastel de Tres Leches. Next time I'm having the other dessert which is No Way Jose Orange Flan which I understand is fabulous. Had a first rate large Fresh Lemonade. Excellent service but then we were the only two in the restaurant at 1:30. I plan to return next week for the Black Sea Bass with Pipian but after I call and confirm they have it. I'll also order the Ceviche. Great restaurant and prices.

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