Cinco de Mayo...
- Beach Chick May 4, 2011 02:55 PM
Hacienda de Vega for me..this place kicks serious ass on food and drinks!
What are your plans?
re: Beach Chick
I really like the Wine Vault. Their version of Cinco de Mayo was certainly a stellar effort with far more hits than misses.
Dishes I really liked:
Yucatan tropical fruit margarita was very good
Chicharones with harissa, lime and fluer de sel
Pork Belly with fried avocado, chipotle ailoi and pickled onions (it's better if you get a bite of each all together)
Chipotle braised short ribs with charred onion puree and pepper chutney
Tres Leches Cake and the chocolate with the churros
Dishes that didn't work for me
Sagrita consume (weak cucumber flavor)
Classic hand shaken margarita (undrinkable for me)
The chile verde on the squash blossom (too much black pepper and cumin)
NY strip steak with pepita mole, marble potato hash and braised greens (the mole was actually a pipian and had F-A-R too much cumin in it, potato hash was virtually non-existent on the plate)
Horchata ice cream tasted more of canela than horchata
Portions on the first 4 courses were miniscule, 3 of the first 4 were small even for an amuse bouche. They were, however, extremely generous with the booze and served w-a-y more alcohol than food. To their credit they told each table as they sat down to not feel obligated to finish all the drinks.
I didn't nend to go anywhere else for an extra dish or two, but because some of the portions are really tiny, it's hard to really enjoy the flavors. One bite and their gone. I *think* the crab tostada was good, but it was smaller than my thumbnail and was gone in one bite, how could I tell?!?!???
Agree with you on most points after our dinner tonight. My 2-cents:
Got the recipe for the tropical margarita, it was fantastic, but...Hello sweet and sour mix. Big surprise.
Thought the cadllac marg tasted a bit harsh because of too much tequila, couldn't taste the sweet and sour, but you are right about the artificial color.
I thought the most cumin overload was on the pork belly, gave my portion to Mr. FC.
Shortribs are shortribs.
Loved the Sangrita (even though inauthentic), ours had great cucumber flavor.
They absolutely ruined the squash blossoms. Overwhelmed with sauce and mine was a salt bomb. Chicharones = amazing.
Loud guy next to us complained about the tres-leche cake and how it was SOOOO much better at the same dinner last year...it was fine.
On actual Cinco de Mayo, not as overbooked as I anticipated. Overall, good job. Probably go back next year.
FC, I like WV but, it appears that they bombed on the Cinco menu, you're being too easy on them. Another reason why I stick to going there on just a regular dining day. The best part of your review was hearing that you threw the over spiced porkbelly in the 'dog dish' for Mr. FC, we men do know our roll when dinng with spouse!
I originally tried to make a res for the 5th but they said they were fully booked so that's why we went on the 4th.
Sounds like they were pretty inconsistent. Our squash blossom was fine except the sauce had too much cumin, but it wasn't too salty. I didn't detect any cumin in the pork belly, that was a pretty successful dish on the 4th.
The tropical margarita was very good, liked it a lot. Best non-traditional margarita I've ever had was a coconut margarita at Augilar y Sol (now sadly closed) in Mexico City. I'm not sure the problem with the Cadillac margarita was too much tequila as much as it was bad sweet and sour.
In spite of the missteps our meal on the 4th wasn't that bad. I'd go again
Even though Wine Vault's special event menus (Mardi Gras, Oktoberfest, beer dinners, etc.) seem to me less consistent overall than their regular nights, they're also often more fun and creative. And while sometimes I miss the wine pairings, it can be nice to have a variety of drinks (here, tequila, beer, two margaritas, and a spiked coffee).
We didn't think they bombed at all. We didn't like the squash blossom, chicharones, or hanger steak that much, but thought everything else was very good (well, I thought the churro was only ok).
The Cucapa Pale Ale they served was pretty interesting for a Mexican beer. We went on the 3rd and also disliked the bitter "classic" margarita the most. I still drank it, but that says less about the margarita than it does about me.
I, too, thought the Cucapa was pretty good. I know the U/T is not the easiest site to use, but they did a story about the guy that started and runs Cucapa that was pretty interesting. You might be able to find the article in the U/T archives, or possibly by Googling for it. Cucapa has pretty wide distribution in SD and isn't that hard to find. I think some of their other products are better than the IPA, or let's just say I prefer the Honey Amber Ale to the IPA :-)
Oh no, BC, you deleted all your old great Cinco de Mayo memories in the original post. Or did I dream that?
My work has a catered festival outside on Friday afternoon for Cinco...nearly every year I think they book it a day late to save on $ or they just plain book too late. It's all you can eat along with a couple of (hey now!) drink tickets! I'll wear a big hat, I'm sure.
BC, I thought you'd appreciate this one. So appropriate for today
"Only he knows why the Mariachi band won't stop smiling"
Made tacos and Pacifico's...that were outstanding!
I always get the Queso de Vega which is so good..served with guac and corn/flour torts..
3 mini tostado's..both app's are filling for 2 and a cadillac marg and a DosXX beer.
I always speak Spanish to the servers and they've known me for awhile..it can be zombie like but I never let it go down that road.
The salsas are good and that green grass tasting one is different and good.
Gorgeous place and I'll have to check out the new outdoor bar.
Take my lead with the app's and speak a little Spanish and see if that gets you a little more love..