Sunday, September 27, 2009

Maine Oyster Festival in York Cancelled for 2009

For those seacoast supporters who were wondering if it was or wasn't going to happen this year, I'm sorry to say we are going without the Oyster Fest this year. I'm quoting below what was posted on the York Lobster and Seafood BLOG:
"The decision has been made to cancel this year's Oyster Fest. While we all had a great time during the first 2 years, this year has seen hard times for Maine Oyster Growers. With all the rain we had this spring, the harvest in Maine was shut down for almost two months. The economic impact this had on the local growers was significant. We felt it would be an added stress on these growers to donate quantities of oysters to the event this year. "
For my fellow oyster lovers, we will just have to get out there and support all our hot spots that are serving up the local farms oysters and enjoy what we can while we can!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

La Chiquita Mexican Restaurant & Cantina-Salisbury, MA

188 Lafayett Rd (Route 1)
Salisbury, MA
I think I have driven by La Chiquita Restaurant & Cantina at least fifty times in the past year and a half it has been located on Rt 1 in Salisbury, MA. Never would I have known about this diamond in the rough if not for a tip from a friend to give it a try.
Family owned and operated, Ricardo (O.K, Richard) will welcome you as a part of his family and bring the true, traditional, authentic flavors of Mexico. Sure, the building is nothing special and the decor is far from fancy, but take my word for it friends, the Mexican food served up here daily will blow you away. Open 7 days a week, serving a FULL menu until 1am (yup, 1am), you just have to give it a try. The Cantina offers you over 200 different types of Tequila (see picture of Ricardo in front of the Tequila wall) and they don't mess around with their Margarita mix here either. It's made right in house in the traditional Mexico style. I had the opportunity to attend one of Ricardo's Tequila 101 dinners which are now being offered every Monday night at 7pm. For only $29.95, you can learn all about Tequila, sample 3 different types hand picked by Ricardo, have dinner AND enjoy a house margarita with your choice of one of the three Tequilas you sampled. I learned about the 5 points of Tequila, why some leave me with huge headaches the next day and why some do not.
The food is amazing. The flavors bold and fresh. Everything is house made from the chips and salsa served up at 3 different heat levels, to the tortillas and the cactus salad. As part of my dinner, I chose the El Indio dinner combination plate ($12.99 on the menu). It included a huge side cactus salad (a cold pear cactus salad with fresh tomato, onion, cilantro, lime juice) and a chicken tamale. One bite of my tamale and I knew immediately I will be a new regular here. It was better than the tamale I enjoyed while visiting my friend Amy in San Diego who took me to a farmers market. I don't think there wasn't a clean plate in my group at the end of our meal. Two fellow diners had the Zapatas combination plate ($11.99) and they both inhaled the chile relleno (a battered cheese stuffed poblano pepper) that came along side a beef or chicken burrito. Another diner in the group went for the La Suiza ($10.99) which has 3 enchiladas, one chicken, one cheese and one beef served up with green and red sauce. All the combination plates are served with rice and beans. At the end of the Tequila 101 lesson and meal, we enjoyed our margaritas and it was seriously one of the best margaritas I have ever had.
In addition to the Monday night Tequila 101 dinners there is different entertainment nightly including Latin dance lessons on Tuesdays. If you go and have to drag a friend or two that aren't big fans of Mexican food, don't worry, they also have nightly American dinner specials and the Wednesday night all you can eat BBQ for only $10.00 is hard to beat. He even will host this by request for a larger group or gathering on the weekends if you call and ask him to. There is also a 2000 square foot patio off the back that is great in the summer. You can even play KENO while you dine if you want to. I have a friend Kristin that I think is a closet junky for that game. All football season you can watch the Patriots games and every time the Pats score a touchdown, they serve everyone a Mystery Margarita shot. What is it you ask? Well, any tequila bottles that have 2 ounces or less at the end of the night Ricardo pours into one large container, mixes it up with the house margarita mix and you have the next days Mystery Margarita (color and taste changes daily and it is on the Margarita menu for $7.50). All the Margaritas are 16 oz servings too and you don't see that often around these parts with the short pours. Every Thursday night during the month of October, Ricardo is running the Rocky Horror picture show at 10pm and in January there will be Mexican cooking classes offered. The next time you want authentic, good, homemade Mexican food, make the trip to Salisbury, MA and tell Ricardo your friend the Seacoast blogger sent you.