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Mar 9, 2013 02:21 PM

New Mexican Restaurant on Bay Ridge, Annapolis (Jalepenos?)

Does anyone know anything about the new restaurant that just opened on Bay Ridge next to the Little Caesars? I'm looking for something quick and easy for dinner tonight and saw that it was open, so maybe I'll go check it out. Just hoping that someone else might know something about it whether it's worth my time or not that spot has been very hit or miss lately.

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  1. Caliente Grille, just noticed the "now open" sign this morning. I work around the corner.

    I'll definitely get in at some point this week, but if you get there first, please post.

    4 Replies
    1. re: laststandchili

      Haven't had a chance to go there yet, but the fridge is starting to get empty, and with my SO out of town that usually means eating out. Taqueria Juquilita, across from Bay Ridge Liquors, is my go-to Mexican in the area, but I've also been meaning to try the food truck farther up Forest (in the California Tanning parking lot?) as well.

      1. re: MrBigTime

        Love the Taqueria. Don't get in there nearly enough.

        I've been frequenting the Smokehouse about once a week for the past few. Good, but not great. They have some really good ideas, but they're not translating to the food completely. At least not yet. I was psyched to see their pork belly lettuce and tomato sandwich, and think it's a great idea, but aside from the very good belly the L and the T were sad. Just the wrong time of year for a sandwich featuring tomatos. They'd be better off using the belly in some kind of bahn mi interpretation. BBQ is pretty good though. Not overly smoked or seasoned. Sauces are available on the table. In an area where Adams defines bbq the Smokehouse is a standout.

        1. re: laststandchili

          The Smoke House is definitely a good option, one of a small handful of places in the immediate neighborhood for fine(er than takeout) dinning (and I know other parts of Annapolis are very close by). Been there a couple of times, place is always packed. I agree that it isn't the best BBQ around, but sometimes convenience does win out. One time I was convinced to try the brisket - I say convinced because I've never met a brisket I liked until this one, and it was delicious - it made me an instant brisket convert. One thing I will say is that they featured Full Sail Brewery beers, which I hadn't seen before. Very good beer. Noticed that Bay Ridge liquors next door has started carrying them.

          As a 'hound whose favorite vegetable is tomatoes, I second your thoughts on use of out of season vegetables. I love tomatoes in all forms, and am often (successfully) tempted by dishes in restaurants that have raw tomatoes in them. I usually end up disappointed ...

          1. re: MrBigTime

            Review of Caliente Grill, 907 Bay Ridge Drive, Annapolis


            I walked into this restaurant expecting a take out burrito type restaurant, and was mildly surprised to see a full bar in the back (no beer taps that I could discern), with about nine 4-person tables for a sit down meal. The tables were about half full, which I attribute to the recent grand opening. There were three T.V.s playing a soccer game on Fox Deportes with the sound on, which made the classical music also playing on the speakers placed throughout the room difficult to hear.

            As soon as I sat down I was given a menu with sparse offerings, the typical chips and salsa appetizer, and was offered a beer. They carry the typical blue collar domestic and imported Mexican beers - Budweiser, Miller, Corona, Modelo, and Dos Equis to name a few. They also called out "made to order soft and hard Mexican drinks" on their menu, highlighting their Margarita, which I ordered. After a halting discussion in Spanish (you definitely want to bone up on your Spanish before dining here), I determined that they did not in fact serve Margaritas. Beer was $2.50 for domestic bottles and $3.50 for imported.

            The salsa was not very good - probably the cheapest brand that can be bought in large quantities at Sam's Club, and the chips matched in quality. The menu options consisted of steak, chicken, and shrimp tacos, fajitas, tamales, mexican ribs, roasted chicken, and several other options. Prices ranged from $10-$15.

            I ordered the steak and chicken fajitas, which came with refried beans, yellow rice, and pico de gallo. All tasted like they also came from Sam's Club. The meat, though not of great quality, was well seasoned and cooked very well. The portion, while smaller than you typically see, was still adequate.

            The shining star of the meal were the two home made corn tortillas that came with the fajitas. They were just the right size to fit in your hand, and thicker than what you would find in the grocery store. Their thickness worked to their advantage - crunchy on the outside, soft and warm on the inside, with a nice char like they had been placed over an open flame for a few seconds.

            My overall impression is that this is a family owned and run establishment, and most of their startup money went to overhead of renting the space, outfitting the kitchen, and purchasing the plates, equipment, etc. that is necessary to run a restaurant without much left over to stock the fridge. While the chef is probably a very good cook in the comfort of his own kitchen, he probably has not had the practice and experience to master the commercial kitchen and the supply lines to go with it. I think that given time, the quality coming out of the kitchen will vastly improve, I just hope that they continue to get enough business to stay open long enough to get to the top of the learning curve.

    2. I am always leery of restaurants that can't spell the name of a key food item, and when the misspelling is in the name of the restaurant, all the more reason for concern.

      Motto: If they spell it DELLY, it ain't a deli.

      But just to be fair to this restaurant, I checked it out online and they did spell it correctly. The name is Jalapenos. It is actually Spanish and Mexican. The menu looks great and I will give the place a try. If you hadn't misspelled it, I would never have looked it up, so thanks for that.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Just Visiting

        In the interest of clarity, the restaurant reviewed above is not Jalapenos which is a Zagat rated, and well regarded establishment, located in the Parole area of Annapolis. This thread is regarding a newly opened restaurant called the Caliente Grill in Hillsmere.