Bryan F. Irrera (bfirrera) wrote,
Bryan F. Irrera

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Dinner was lovely...

This month, the "Eat This" group convened at Tortilla Press in Collingswood, NJ.

For a change of pace, Paul and I (who usually arrive first) were the last to arrive. This time, we brought our friend, Frank Cerione (who is also a "foodie" and has been wanting to join us on one of these excursions). As with most Mexican places, for starters, baskets of nacho chips (freshly fried) were placed on the table with salsa cups (this time the salsa was accompanied by a GREAT black bean paste dip). Water glasses were provided to all (with lemons) and none of us really bothered to order other beverages until dessert (and that was coffee) since the water glasses were continually refilled.
The appetizers: pretty much everyone ordered quesadillas it seemed. We had two with crab and cheese and a third with vegetables (mushrooms were quite prevalent in that one). I'd ordered chicken skewers. Shawn ordered a platter of fried calamari rings. The quesadillas were good (I preferred the crab ones to the veggie ones), the skewers were good (but not NEARLY the same portion size as the other appetizers (which were HUGE) and the calamari rings were good (they were served with fried, battered jalapenos and onion strips. The fried jalapenos were nifty. Chris also got a big soup (some kind of chicken with veggies. It was okay, huge portion, but not great).
The meals: from the worst to the best:

Shawn ordered emoladas. They are like enchiladas but with a mole sauce (the sauce is made from cocoa powder, if I recall correctly). Chocolate just doesn't mix well with beef. It made us all ('cept for Andrea, who is a vegetarian, so she didn't try them) grimace. It sat uneaten.

Frank ordered enchiladas (half chicken, half cheese). He said that the cheese ones were wonderful, but Frank and Dawn agreed that the chicken tasted a bit freezer burnt.

Paul ordered a steak and says it was good, but not special. I did like his chipotle mashed potatoes (they had a great smoky after-taste).

Kim and Chris each had a beef burrito supreme (it was one of the specials). It was yummy.

Dawn, Andrea and I all had seafood (Andrea considers herself vegetarian but will eat some fish). Each of our meals was one of the specials for the night. The waitress did say that the fish was always the freshest possible. Based on the tastes of our dishes, we all agreed that this was the place to come when you wanted a seafood dinner with a Mexican flare to it.

I had a salmon filet (that was just yummy, flaky and soft), Dawn had a "sushi grade" tuna filet that was superb and I loved the tilapia that Andrea ordered.

(Paul and Dawn's was accompanied by the mashed potatoes. Kim, Chris, Frank and Shawn's were all accompained by red/orange rice. Andrea and I got a white rice medley. All dishes were served with a veggie medley (string beans, carrots, etc.)).
We were all a little let down by Shawn's dinner, so it was nice that we all got a great pick-me-up when the desserts arrived. (desserts are made fresh daily and may vary).

Frank and Dawn had a coconut macadamia tart served with a lovely coconut sorbet that was really refreshing.

Chris' was a trio of sorbets that were all wonderful: papaya, mango and coconut (though a different flavor than the one that accompanied the tart).

Andrea had a chocolate brownie with mocha ice-cream and chocolate sauce.

Shawn's was a kahlua cheesecake (it actually was so good, I was struck dumb for a moment just savoring the taste I had).

Paul and Kim had a "chocolate bomb" which was a combination of chocolate ice-cream and cake in a "magic shell" type covering.

Mine was a mango cream pie.

They were ALL good.

All in all, I would say depending on your tastes and appetites: either order a seafood dish or one of the appetizer quesadillas or the calamari rings then go straight for the dessert! Hell, have a couple of the desserts!
I would give this place a 3 out of 5 stars.
Tags: food/eat_this, friends/frank, friends/transducers

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