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Monte Alban in Great Barrington

cowgirlinthesand Jan 21, 2010 08:34 AM

New Mexican that opened in Helsinki location. Same owner as Azteca . Has anyone been yet?

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  1. BerkshireTsarina RE: cowgirlinthesand Jan 21, 2010 08:49 AM

    Frustration! We were supposed to go last night with friends and I came down with a fierce cold instead. Eagerly await info from others ---

    1. l
      LenaInNE RE: cowgirlinthesand Jan 21, 2010 01:30 PM

      There is a Monte Alban in Hartford...It's a neighborhood restaurant on Farmington Ave in the West End...very good Mexican food...inexpensive... great chocolate mole...corn cakes (can't remember what they're called)... if it's the same owners you're in for a treat...

      3 Replies
      1. re: LenaInNE
        cowgirlinthesand RE: LenaInNE Jan 21, 2010 03:00 PM

        No, this is a different owner.

        1. re: LenaInNE
          j
          jkuhlen RE: LenaInNE Jan 22, 2010 08:53 PM

          Love the wonderful food at Monte Alban in Hartford! I'm no expert about Mexican cuisine, but I have no doubt that the folks there are the real deal. Monte Alban refers to a famous site in Oaxaca (check out http://www.oaxacaoaxaca.com/monte-alb...), so it is not surprising that these two restaurants have the same name. I hope the Great Barrington restaurant lives up to its name!

          1. re: jkuhlen
            m
            mjoyous RE: jkuhlen Jan 23, 2010 07:46 AM

            As Cowgirl noted, this is not the same owner/restaurant. And we're all still waiting for someone who has eaten in the new GB one to report! I had a burrito from their take out stand across the hall a few years ago, and wasn't too impressed. Nothing wrong with it, but nothing special.

        2. a
          AikiLou RE: cowgirlinthesand Jan 31, 2010 06:19 AM

          I and a friend had dinner there last night. It was quite good, and, it was value for the money. The service was, if ANYthing, TOO attentive. But, that for a new restaurant is, to me, a GOOD thing. My friend had the chicken chimichanga. I had the chicken flautas. We had chips and salsa and a couple of beers. They DO have a full bar. Next time, I will ask for the flautas to be soft as opposed to crispy. I used to love to go to the bar at Pearl's after a 6:00 movie for a salad or sandwich and a glass of wine...this will be a very good alternative for me. Also, the prices are moderate. So, I would recommend it to people.

          4 Replies
          1. re: AikiLou
            c
            corinnerose RE: AikiLou Feb 1, 2010 06:31 AM

            Might be a bad sign that they serve chimichangas...

            1. re: corinnerose
              m
              mjoyous RE: corinnerose Feb 1, 2010 03:53 PM

              We were there last week at lunch time (they were closed) and the menu didn't overly inspire. Fairly typical tex-mex 'cept for choices on filling for the chile rellanos. Still awaiting some more reviews.

              1. re: mjoyous
                adamclyde RE: mjoyous Feb 2, 2010 09:28 AM

                sad. with a name like Monte Alban, you'd think they'd be more true to their name. Maybe I'm a little biased because it reminds me of a that GREAT Oaxacan restaurant in Los Angeles...

                1. re: adamclyde
                  cowgirlinthesand RE: adamclyde Feb 3, 2010 08:57 AM

                  I know the owner is from Oaxaca but I haven't eaten his food. I was hoping to hear abut the chile rellenos!
                  (mj - I had the same thought about the Chimichangas - but even Sarape has them on their menu!)

          2. j
            Johnnysox RE: cowgirlinthesand Feb 3, 2010 10:07 AM

            Yes ! It was very good. The menu may appear like an ordinary mexican restaurant but the preparation and ingrediants were superb and different. I had an enchelada and it was fresh roasted pork filling with a mole sauce covered in fresh lettuce, etc. Awesome.
            My wife's tostada was greaat, e will be back!

            1 Reply
            1. re: Johnnysox
              m
              mjoyous RE: Johnnysox Feb 3, 2010 12:21 PM

              Thanks, any one else been?

            2. r
              railroadst.girl RE: cowgirlinthesand May 9, 2010 03:30 PM

              The new Monte Alban is awesome! I grew up on the West Coast, and have desperately missed getting good mexican food in the Northeast. It is not "tex-mex" by any means - its "oaxacan," specifically - very different even from the sometimes generic fare of the West Coast. If you want truly authentic, try the mole - in red or black - made in house! Or try the "Molcajete" on the specials menu (we went last night). The margaritas are great. They looked a little "watery" at first glance, but they pack a punch. Turns out they make their own fresh squeezed lemon and lime juice for sour mix, rather than using that awful, syrupy bar mixture from a bottle. Way better! The service was great, prices reasonable. And they had salsa lessons in the back last night and then a d.j.! We will definitely be back and will tell friends!

              1. m
                mjoyous RE: cowgirlinthesand Jul 8, 2010 02:10 PM

                Mexican-si. Monte Alban-no!!!!! Inspired by some of the reviews, we stopped for lunch after a foray to the Lee outlets. Restaurant was empty, 'cept for us. The owner was at the bar doing some work. After we ordered someone came in and asked him how his summer was going, to which he answered things were terrible. We wished we'd heard that before we ordered.
                I picked the Tamal plate; only option was shredded chicken, in mole sauce. Friend had a chile rellano plate.
                My first tamale came out with literal mold on the corn husk (no, not the good kind you pay to eat!) Sent it back and got another one. For a $10 lunch plate I got one very bland (OK, often tamales are bland, but in a comfort food way) shredded chicken tamale in a mole sauce with just a touch of chile, not much heat, and minimal (if any) complexity. It was served with a huge mound of plain, unseasoned white rice and some very mild beans (the best thing on the plate.)
                But my problems with that paled in comparison to the absolutely awful chile rellano my friend had. For $12.95 she got one very doughy chile, covered with the same insipid mole, rice and beans. I would have sent it back, as it had obviously been breaded and fried some other time, then microwaved. The dough was 1) completely rubbery, and 2) sickeningly sweet. It was by far the worst chile rellano I've ever tasted. I would take the frozen then deep fried ones at On The Border any day over this, and that is NOT saying much.
                We had decided to pass on the Margaritas as they seemed awfully pricey for even GB at lunch time. As it was, with a decent tip for the server for whom we felt sorry, it was a $30 lunch with just water.
                Margaritas and food way better at home, and it made us long for the good margs and better food at Jose Malones in Troy.

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