After a long weekend celebrating and eating at James Beard and Red Egg, we decided to postpone CT’s birthday dinner with my family until the next weekend in order to recover. Since my parents prefer staying in my neighborhood when they come in for dinner, mostly due to the plethora of free parking, we decided to appease them this time and stay local. Fortunately, we found a restaurant a couple months back that we were looking for an excuse to return, El Parador Cafe.
After being seated, we were presented with some fresh chips and their non-vegetarian warm “salsa.” I limited myself to just a few chips to save plenty of room for the meal.
We started with a couple appetizers to share.
Guacamole ($9). Although it didn’t necessarily “wow” us last time, not that we expected it to, it was still a good, standard preparation. We enjoyed it again.
Chorizos ($10) with onions and fino sherry. We had our choice of fried or grilled, we chose grilled. It was surprisingly pretty mild, not the strongly flavored chorizo I am used to, but I could never turned down some freshly grilled sausages. I surprised everyone by actually eating some of the sauteed onions which were nice and sweet.
CT had a tough time not ordering those delicious ribs again, but decided to risk it and try something different. Cerdo Picante ($24). “Double Cut Pork Chop. Marinated In Chipotle Adobo, Seared And Finished On The Grill . Smoky Chile Cascabel Salsa.” As you can see, it was a HUGE portion. Unfortunately, we didn’t remember to take a picture of the bowl of delicious salsa/barbeque sauce. I had a small taste of this simply prepared pork dipped in the complex sauce and enjoyed it.
CT says: This was huge, but I still finished it! (It was my birthday, I was allowed to be a piggy!) It was very well cooked and juicy. And while it was good on its own, I like the sauces they provided for dipping. I also appreciated that the sauces were served on the side and not drowning the chop. Though I liked the ribs (from my first trip) more, this was another great option. Thanks TT-family!
This time I decided to order off the regular menu, rather than one of the nightly specials. Ropa Vieja Mexicana ($23). “Braised And Shredded Flank Steak. Plantain Tostones And Black Beans
Classic Salsa Criolla.” Although it didn’t look like much, this was very good. The meat was super tender with just a bit of sweetness from the accompanying sauce. I wish there were more tostones on the plate because they salty and crunchy. One of my favorite combinations! The unpictured sides of rice and black beans were pretty standard. I enjoyed this dish and am glad I tried it, but I would probably order something else next time.
Although we didn’t take pictures of my parents or Aunt B’s entrees, they said they liked it a lot and backed that up by leaving clean plates.
All in all, it was another nice meal at our new, favorite local restaurant. Although I didn’t enjoy the food as much as last time, partially due to the fact that I was a little under the weather, I left satisfied. This was a great way to wrap up CT’s birthday celebrations. Thanks to my parents for treating us to a nice meal.