Good food in Monterrey for a not very chowish eater?
My husband, who is not the most chowish of souls (he has other redeeming qualities), is going on a business trip to Monterrey in a couple of weeks. He likes Mexican food as long as it's not packing much heat.
Any suggestions for places (and specific dishes at those places) that he might enjoy?
He should definitely have Cabrito (roasted baby goat) the local regional specialty by far. Monterrey is a meat & potatoes type place, founded by Sephardic Jews,... they don't really eat spicey food... and there is nothing too exotic among the regional menus.
Any of the places in the following link, labeled Regional or Cabrito... would be perfectly fine for a non-Chowish business man. (I am willing to bet $20 he will come back saying it was one of the best meals he has ever had).
As Eat Nopal says, cabrito is the specialty in Monterrey. El Gran San Carlos does it very well, and is frequented by mostly local, mostly upscale Mexicans. Everything is a la carte and he'll be able to order the exact cut of cabrito (kid) he wants such as shoulder, leg, breast.
Two other options are La Caterina or Valentina (or maybe it's Valentines). Both offer a wide selection of well prepared food that isn't too exotic or intimidating. It's been a couple of years since I've been in Monterrey, but if I recall correctly, I had an outstanding Arrachera at Valentina.
There's a Ramada Inn on one corner of the Plaza Hidalgo that serves a fabulous Sunday brunch complete with a ceviche station rigged up to look like a beach palapa. The ceviche and other mariscos were darned good too. Pastries were house made and delicious.