Tuesday, March 20, 2012

El Mezcal - Marshfield, WI

Date of Visit: 03-12-2012
Time of Visit: 6:00 PM
El Mezcal on Urbanspoon
Pebble Score:
Oh, Mexico. I never really been but I'd sure like to go. Where I'd imagine the sun warms your skin, causes the agave to grow to astounding heights and you find yourself wishing you had a damn hat or some SPF 30! Luckily, for us northern folk, we can get a bit of the divine flavor from our south facing immigrant producing machine right in our own back yards. It seems like Mexican restaurants have sprouted up everywhere like illegals trying to hide under a cabbage truck. So many, in fact, that giant burritos, churros and sizzling fajita plates have become ubiquitous in American cuisine.
I recently had the opportunity to visit El Mezcal in Marshfield, WI. This restaurant comes highly recommended by the locals as is evident by their Urbanspoon rating. The decor is quite a cliche' and you can just imagine yourself whisked away to some fiesta in the heart of San Francisco by a gay caballero! Still, the place is inviting and has a festive feel. The hostesses were of non-suntanned descent and I immediately felt as if I had been sucked into some sort of oxymoronic time warp where I was certain to find both Amilia Earhart and Herve Villechaize enjoying happy hour margaritas on the wings of a Lockheed Electra yelling; "Da plane! Da plane!"

I was accompanied by a few other members of my family and we were quickly seated in one of those long booths that have multiple tables and wouldn't you know it, right next to some of the only other patrons in the place. Strike one. The chips and salsa came flying in hot, flavorful and never-ending. Another human of non-suntanned descent took our order and politely asked if we needed anything right away. Since we happened to be celebrating one of our group's birthday, we gladly threw them under the bus and asked for a Mexican Hat Dance! This was going to be hilarious! 

Our food came out quickly and was served hot with warm plates to ensure the cheeses stayed melted. Good call. An order of meat nachos, cheese nachos, a taco salad with more meat than lettuce, cheese sauce, bean dip, more chips and salsa, and an order of pork chile colorado with six mechanically produced tortillas were laid out before us. Everyone was happy with their choice of food and the portions were generous. The chili colorado (my dish) was a little tough, but was flavorful with a twinge of heat. I added some bottled Tapatio salsa and all was better.

Refills on drinks were a little slow, but they did eventually come. Towards the end of the meal, the plates were cleared and a surprise ice cream sundae with raspberry and fudge sauces was laid before the birthday girl in the group. The mandatory Mexican hat that accompanied the sundae and had been worn by countless other celebrants without the mere thought of disinfection was not well received and I would suffer sever penalties if I were to post the incriminating photo on in this blog. Hilarity did ensue! 

Overall, the service was decent, the food, although not truly authentic, was gringo flavorful and served hot. The overall value was good with a total bill of only $40.64 with a 20% tip! Right at 10 bucks a head. Not too bad for bunch of south-of-the-border brothers. Try them out, you will probably like them. 

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