As "he who thinks he is the boss of me" is back in the States on a whirlwind shopping expedition, I have been taking the opportunity to spend time with friends and divert from my normal daily routine. Tonite, the kids were all meeting at Papalote to watch the lunar eclipse so, with an evening to myself (joy) I decided to go out. That's right....pry my fingers from the keyboard and actually go OUT OF THE HOUSE to dinner with friends John and Libby of In the Roo. We decided on El Angus Grill: "El" - to let you know that it's Mexican, as Libby was quick to point out, "Angus" - undoubtedly, to appeal to Americans, fearful of ingesting foreign, and therefore far less superior and certainly dangerous, meat products (despite the fact that true Angus Cows are from Scotland....but I digress). The restaurant, located on the corner of calle 26 and Avenida 10 was, just a few short months ago, someone's residence. The transformation to restaurant is now complete and I must say, it is quite charming.

  

The juxtaposition of common regional building materials is fun, the palette is rustic and warm and the lighting, primarily provided by whimsical, hanging gourd lamps, is flattering (girls, you know what I mean) yet bright enough to read a menu by.

 

The restaurant is intimate with a cozy bar tucked in the back corner, a handful of tables of varying capacities and an area set aside for large groups or family gatherings. This evening, Karen from Hole In the Wall Deli and Bar was holding court with Luis, Cinder (sp?) and some other friends.

After quickly finding an old favorite on the wine list, Ravenswood Vintner's Blend Zinfandel, we set to the task of perusing the menu. While I generally don't go for filet mignon, I though its accompaniments of goat cheese and a sauce made from Huitlacoche sounded intriguing. John opted for the filet with mushroom sauce and Libby, the tampequena, a cut of meat quite similar in taste and preparation to arrachera. After devouring a basket of good homemade bread dipped in chimichurri, we received our meals.


Filet of Beef with Goat Cheese and Huitlacoche


Tampequena with Rice, Beans, Guacamole and Enchilada Rojo

With the exception of John's filet which was a a bit undercooked and mysteriously lacking its mushroom sauce (and apparently, unworthy of a photograph), the food was delicious and well executed. The cuts of meat were generous, tender and well seasoned and certainly as good as I have had in Playa's finer dining establishments. The accompanying baked potato and steamed vegetables were inarguably uninspired but prepared and seasoned correctly. Dinner for three with a bottle of wine and after dinner drinks $112.00 plus gratuity.

The general consensus: Tasty, well prepared food, friendly, prompt service, reasonable wine list, nice ambience, probably too expensive for its location.

Click here for more pictures of El Angus Grill.