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May 5, 2009 03:15 PM

Napa: Tuscany closes. The Border is open.

The Border moved into the location that was Tuscany.

Any news? Any truth it is run by th Jacinto Brothers who worked as executive chefs under Cindy Pawlcyn?

Only one yelp review bemoaning the fact that the place is trying to be authentic Mexican and doesn't serve chips and salsa.

The Border
1005 1st St, Napa, CA 94559

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  1. Hi RW,

    Yes, it's ran by the Jacinto brothers. (Pablo is my mom's neighbor) We actually went to a private pre-opening industry party there last week. We sampled a bunch of small plates, like Dungeness crab tamales, Tinga (chicken) tostadas, prawn cocktail, chorizo and nopales tacos, skirt steak with black bean sauce, and I can't recall what else. Everything I tried was excellent. We're actually going back tonight for dinner, so I'll report back tomorrow.

    p.s. pretty funny about the Yelp review. Most likely never been to Mexico, or at least not outside a resort! Imagine that, no chips and salsa! :)

    6 Replies
    1. re: brucemac707

      Cool. If you can pick up the phone number and hours for the Place record that would be nice if you think of it.

      1. re: rworange

        the phone number is the same as Tuscany's. 707 258 1000. When I talked to them this morning, they said they're open til 1am tonight. I said really, because of cinco de drinko? They said yes, but they will be serving late every night. Good thing, we really need more late night options in Napa proper.

      2. re: brucemac707

        Hopefully they're serving the famous "Pablo's Oysters"?

        1. re: Melanie Wong

          Thank goodness they are really oysters and not the Rocky Mountain type.
          Pablo's oysters, named for Chef Pablo Jacinto.... These medium-size oysters were broiled in the half shell with fresh spinach and topped with a chili-spiked creamy cheese sauce. The oysters were just cooked through, juicy, sweet, and tender.
          Melanie Wong Sep 27, 2003

          1. re: wolfe

            I'm sure Pablo appreciates your looking out for his family jewels.

        2. re: brucemac707

          What are you doing to me? Now that I move away Wine Country is getting some real Mexican cuisine?


        3. report: Unfortunately, a subpar experience. To be fair, they've only been open a week, and they were slammed last night, so I won't read too much into it, and will definitely return in a month or so. Our server was pleasant enough, but in the weeds, for sure. For starters we had: Mexican meatballs (tasty) and the cheese/chorizo dip (so-so). My friend and I both ordered the Rib eye tacos, which were actually very tasty. Three tacos filled with chunks of rib-eye, coleslaw and pickled veggies. Good stuff, but for $15 (with no sides) a bit pricey. My lovely woman ordered the Dungeness crab tamales. Last week we loved these, last night they were borderline nasty. Very pungent fishy aroma/taste, which shouldn't happen if using fresh crab. Probably would not order these again. Also, the table next to me waited almost an hour for their food, and we observed no less than four groups of people get up and leave over the course of our meal due to the service.

          1. This restaurant is not even worthy of one star – This was more than a disappointment!

            Surprisingly, this place was recommended to us. Chips and salsa had to be requested at an additional charge and they were afraid to serve too many chips. I think we asked for chips 6 times, the servings were that skimpy! Our server was prompt and friendly, but went back and forth to the kitchen multiple times to see if they would accommodate our minimal food requests. In the end, we got exactly what was on the menu, cookie cutter. The beans were clearly out of can, the portions were minuscule, especially for the steep menu prices, rice was extra AND they had no sour cream. What Mexican restaurant does not have sour cream?!?!?

            Typically, our small group is not vocal in feedback, unless positive, but the disappointment was so significant that we had to share. The wife to the owner of the restaurant came out to listen, but she clearly did not care! Her arms were crossed and eyes glazed over – perhaps she was tired of hearing the negative feedback? An apology was an effort.

            Authentic Mexican puts this place to shame - Been to Mexico and the food there is 1000 times better!

            Do not waste your time or money at The Borders.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Lbitzer

              If you have been to Mexico and not just the tourist places, then it would be really unusual to get chips or sour cream. I have to seriously doubt the beans are from a can, though I haven't been yet. It just doesn't fit with the profile of this place. What in the Bay Area is what you consider real Mexican?.

              1. re: Lbitzer

                Have to admit, my one experience wasn't much better, though the server tried hard. Had the enchiladas mole and was underwhelmed. La Mixteca in Napa serves a much better mole, and for 1/2 the cost. Agreed on the beans. I have to ask, though, regarding the sour cream. Was this just requested as a side or to be served on a dish? If it wasn't included with a specific dish itself, I can't fault them for not providing it. Nothing worse than a glob of sour cream on a dish that doesn't require it. May give it one more try in a month as the 2 chef's have great cred.

              2. Went the the other night to check it out . . . the Border margarita was not so great - overly sweet with nothing reminiscent of fresh limes. We had just an appetizer of their guacamole which was OK . . . freshly made. As others have noted, had to ask for refills on chips so we had something to eat the appetizer with! With so many nice tequilas on the bar menu, I would recommend making an authentic simple margarita with fresh limes, and lots of good fresh hot chips . . . My BF said he didn't think he would be going back anytime soon.

                2 Replies
                1. re: vday

                  Well - not sounding great so far, but it was month one. Anyone else been more recently? I love the local taco trucks and was psyched about a nice sit down Mexican place in Napa (was hoping it was going to be the BarbersQ of the Mexican genre). Don't care about the chips/salsa, but do care about great, tart margaritas and food.

                  1. re: teejaymoore

                    Thanks teejay. I'm curiously too, but hesitant to go back . . . just bringing up the thread once again . . . anyone?

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