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Xiloa in Durham

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I had lunch at the new restaurant on 9th St. and was pleased to find that we have a new, moderate to inexpensive restaurant in town that is actually good. You may, as I was, be a little turned off by the idea of "a taste of the tropics with a twist of the southwest," but don't be. The "southwest" that they're talking about is not the sort of Tex-Mex that Americans think of, but might actually be authentic soutwestern cuisine such as Indian tacos which are on frybread, bean patties, and a marinated mushroom dish that looks interesting. My friend and I shared the maduro, which were sweet, tender on the inside and crisp on the edges. They were served with a vinegary cabbage salad and a nice fresh cheese ball that was a little like a salty mozzarella. We also had the green chili pork stew, which was more of a soup -- brothy rather than saucy, but very delicious. Tender hunks of pork and potato with a little cilantro sprinkled over. Served with rice on the side. Make sure you ask for chili sauce to mix in with the stew... hot! hot! hot! The day I was there, the owner was offering samples of the refrescos. I tried the bitter orange and the passion fruit. If they have the bitter orange, get it, it's really unique and worth the $2.50 for a glass. I will definitely return and try other things on the menu.

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