this week’s feast!

In this week’s Feast!, I wrote about Momocho. Please ignore the lame headline. I was struggling that day and very tired. Anyway, Momocho, in my opinion, is the best Mexican in the city – and definitely my favorite for guacamole. If you have yet to try, it’s definitely worth your time and should be on your must-dine list. Try and go while the weather is still nice and you can take advantage of the cute and secluded patio (if not, the inside is equally as fun).

Speaking of Mexican food, my friend recently tried Zocalo and wasn’t impressed. I have’t been there, and honestly wasn’t planning to ever give it a try. But, if it’s on your list, here is her review:

YUCK! The first thing I ordered was a pomegranate margarita. That was good. The atmosphere was really cool, but it was super loud. We ordered the queso fundido as an appetizer – one of my favorite things since I’m a cheese-aholic. I love the queso when it’s super gooey and you have to cut it with a knife. This cheese was like soup and had absolutely zero flavor. The first thing we did was add salt and pepper. There was barely any sausage and no jalapenos (like the menu said would be on top). The chips were good. They make them fresh on site. The salsa came in a tiny dish and was really spicy, but had a lot of chipotle in it and I’m just not a fan of smoky anything. So I ordered the fish special because, a) it was grouper and b) it was to come with grilled peppers, onions, olives and capers. Well the vegetables were just this side of raw, there was about one sliced black olive and NO capers! Capers are one of my favorite things. Plus, I’m looking at the plate and there is a green spice sprinkled over everything. One taste and it’s oregano! Am I new or do you think that is totally weird for Mexican? The fish had no taste except that damn oregano so I didn’t eat it. I had a huge side of rice because I told them no beans and I swear it was Zataran’s. So, maybe a nice place for margaritas, but not for food. And I never have something that I actually don’t eat, so for me it was a big deal.


  1. Anonymous
    Posted September 25, 2007 at 10:14 am | Permalink

    Mexican oregano is pretty common.

  2. Alexa
    Posted September 25, 2007 at 10:30 am | Permalink

    Zocalo is icky icky poo poo!

    When I went I literally got into a little tiff with the waitress. I ordered a chicken quesadilla. Simple enough right? On the menu it says it comes with guacamole and sour cream. We get the meal and there is one line of sour cream squirted on it and no guac. I ask for the guac… first she says that are out of it. Then she says that if she gives it to me she’ll have to charge me for it. I bring up how on the menu it says it comes with it. Finally she brings me a side. I wasn’t very happy to say the least.

    I wanted Zocalo to be so cool and I was so disappointed.

  3. rockandroller
    Posted September 25, 2007 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

    This confirms everything I’ve heard from everyone else too. Unbelievable!

  4. Anonymous
    Posted September 25, 2007 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

    Ditto. I had an enchilada that came covered in marinara sauce!! Ugh!!

  5. Michael Walsh
    Posted September 25, 2007 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

    I had two borritos from the take-out window, they where horrible. I should have went to Taco Bell. I din’t like the chips. They were thick and very hard. I didn’t like the salsa, it had way to much raw garlic. The guac was also very pastey, and flavorless.

    Good luck to whoever has to clean up the mess they’ve created for themselves.

  6. michelle v
    Posted September 25, 2007 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

    It’s a chain so I’m not surprised by all the poor reviews. Not that every chain is horrible, but you can’t expect the same type of quality and freshness – and local attention to produce and ingredients – that you would get from an indy (most anyway).

  7. rockandroller
    Posted September 25, 2007 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

    ooooo, I didn’t know they were a chain. Even more of a reason to avoid them.

  8. Amy G
    Posted September 25, 2007 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

    Wow, crazy, but I’ve never heard of Mexican oregano!! It’s terrible. I am glad I wasn’t the only one with a bad experience, but it’s a shame. The atmosphere and surrounding E. 4th area make you want to love it.

  9. Anonymous
    Posted September 25, 2007 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

    There are way to many interesting places to eat in Cleve owned and operated by independents. Its a shame that just because it is new people keep trying them out and support this garbage. Places like Momocho, Ty fun, Lolita, etc deserve to be full all the time. Do people really know what good food and wine is or is it just hip to be seen at the new kid on the block?

  10. Anonymous
    Posted September 25, 2007 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

    To the previous comment:

    Thanks from the folks at Ty Fun. We very much appreciate your support.

  11. rockandroller
    Posted September 25, 2007 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

    I don’t check out new places to be seen or to be hip, I check them out due to curiosity.

  12. michelle v
    Posted September 25, 2007 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

    I think there is a certain amount of curiosity that draws people to try new things when they open, and that’s only natural. That’s why new places are so crazy busy when they open – but it’s good word of mouth that will keep them busy and negative that will shut them down. I like when new places open, but usually only if they are independents. I had no intention of trying it b/c it’s a chain and b/c I chose to support independent places. I know I am getting a better product for my money and like to support the local guys. But some people just don’t care and think Macaroni Grill is quality Italian, etc. And chains do there homework, that’s why so many end up in this market. I’m getting off track, but you could go to Lolita or Ty Fun – even sushi at Parallax – and spend less than $20 pp for a great meal. That’s basically the same as a chain so why bother???

  13. Alexa
    Posted September 25, 2007 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

    I didnt think Zocalo was a chain. I thought it was just part of the Trifecta Management Group, of the Flannery’s and Corner Alley fame.

  14. rockandroller
    Posted September 25, 2007 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

    Hey, I *like* macaroni grill! It’s one of the few chains I patronize. Why?

    It’s about 5 minutes from home. This is the #1 reason. Tremont is at least 25 minutes drive and we just don’t feel like it all the time, especially in the winter. I’ve also never been able to get out of Lolita for less than $100 for a meal for 2 people with wine, and I can get out of Mac Grill with dinner for 2 with wine (2 glasses each) for $45.

    The food is consisently good, fresh and hot. I know how it’s cooked because I used to work there, so I know when they get shipments in, what’s made on the premises, etc.

    I think there is a place for chains occasionally, particularly if you’re stuck in suburbia. Now, I’d prefer to give my money to Carrie Cerino’s, which is an indie and maybe 10 minutes from home, but they don’t do carryout on fridy and saturday and they’re closed on sundays, so it’s a bit limiting.

  15. Anonymous
    Posted September 26, 2007 at 7:51 am | Permalink

    Zocalo isn’t a chain. It’s a unique concept for Cleveland thought up by Trifecta Management Group. If people are looking for TexMex they won’t find it there. Also, the food dishes were a lot better the second time I tried it. I think the place just needed some time and feedback in order to get things right.

  16. michelle v
    Posted September 26, 2007 at 10:03 am | Permalink

    To Rockandroller: I agree, there is a time and place for chains. I’m sure parents frequent them a lot b/c it’s easier with kids and frankly, all kids care about is chicken fingers or pb&j. I’m not totally anti chians, but most of the time will support independents. Like you, my husband likes Macaroni Grill.

    As for Zocalo, the reason I assumed it was a chain is becase there are locations in NYC, Chicago, Philly, San Diego, Virginia and several in between. Maybe it’s a franchise of some sorts run by Trifecta, I’m not sure. It does say Trifecta on the Web site. All I know is that this is not a new concept and there are plenty of Zocalos around the country. So to me, that’s a chain.

  17. Anonymous
    Posted September 26, 2007 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

    time and feedback to get it right?! eek, who needs time and feedback to get deliver what’s on the menu without trying to charge the customer? yikes, I don’t think any service delivery company gets a second chance on that kind of stuff.

    Mexican oregeno quite common? I have tried every mexican restaurant I come across and don’t find such pungent oregeno in use anywhere including in So Cal and Mexico.

  18. Anonymous
    Posted September 30, 2007 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

    I order a superior quality whole leaf oregano from Rancho Gordo, purveyors of heirloom native dried beans and other new world foods.
    Before I tried the Mexican oregano from RG, I positively loathed the stuff.