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Mexicali Blues, Salvadoran and Mexican in Clarendon


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Ended up here for dinner last night because they had outdoor tables available immediately, and we could sit with the dog. I ordered a chicken tamale, pork and cheese pupusa, chicken enchilada and al pastor taco. The tamale was decent, nice flavor kind of tasted like a corn chicken dumpling, but really not very different- just like chicken soup in a tamale. The pupusas are the best thing here in my humble opinion. A little crunchy on the outside, but tender on the inside, served with a nice non-mayo based slaw that I really like- I wish they would have given me some sort of salsa or chile sauce or hot sauce on the side though (I should of asked, but our waiter was only to be found at long intervals). The enchilada was terrible- no flavor in the chicken or in the sauce. The taco was ok, but the pork was in big meatball sized balls, and mainly garnished with onion- no cilantro, tomato or lettuce. Beans were gloopy, rice way too moist.

I continue to hope to find something really good on this menu, I want to like this place. If I go again it will be just for pupusas or breakfast, which is decent. But Hubby had all enchiladas (which after eating my one I felt bad for him) and they were just dreadful. And I don't like their burritos either. It's like they are just missing flavor on so many items, and perhaps a little care.

Should have gone down to Guajillo instead, but the pup was getting tired at Clarendon.

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I continue to hope to find something really good on this menu, I want to like this place. If I go again it will be just for pupusas or breakfast, which is decent. But Hubby had all enchiladas (which after eating my one I felt bad for him) and they were just dreadful. And I don't like their burritos either. It's like they are just missing flavor on so many items, and perhaps a little care.

I'm always surprised when I walk by and see so many people there - I haven't found anything I like on their menu either. It's too bad because I remember back when it first opened years ago, it had really positive reviews.

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I'm always surprised when I walk by and see so many people there - I haven't found anything I like on their menu either. It's too bad because I remember back when it first opened years ago, it had really positive reviews.

Unfortunately, the food is nothing like what it was a few years ago. I recently got stuck here for dinner, going with the group flow before an event elsewhere in Clarendon. Queso con Chorizo was a salty, boring event, with chips that could have easily come from a store shelf. Service was bizarre. Restaurant was nearly empty, but the servers kept congregating near the kitchen to laugh uproariously at something (perhaps us diners?). Shrimp enchiladas were nothing like the savory morsels of yestaurant (yesterday's restaurant). Floppy corn tortillas, token crustaceans, and heavily salted sauce. Fried yucca left my interest as soon as it arrived, absent creamy/starchy/crispy texture. I don't plan on returning unless margaritas start bellowing at me on a hot afternoon.

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The pupusas are the best thing here in my humble opinion. <snip> Beans were gloopy, rice way too moist.

I continue to hope to find something really good on this menu, I want to like this place.

I had this place on my mind for some reason for dinner tonight and thought the pupusa I had was the best of thing I tried this evening, except that mine wasn't crunchy on the outside as it might supposed to be (I have never had one before, so ktmoomau's review is the only thing to go by). I am probably the only one to say this, but I like when the rice is moist, so the rice here was perfect for me. Other places nearby have rice a bit too dry and although perhaps the beans are supposed to moisten it up, I don't like a gloppy-crunchy combo as opposed to at least a somewhat similar texture combo, I guess.

Anyway, I feel like this place falls into the standby category, which isn't too bad if you are looking for somewhere in a pinch. Just order carefully?

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Have never been here, but have walked by every time I'm in the area (which isn't much, to be honest). I DO have an anecdote and some maybe-interesting info about this restaurant though...

Back a year and a half/two years ago, I had a rat problem in my apartment. Had the local pest control person come in, and he was really nice and chatty. He said he had to work that night at his restaurant job, and I obviously had to ask which restaurant he worked at. Well, it was Mexicali Blues, and I made a mental note to check up on the place one day since (at the very least!) it was bound to be pest-free!

I mention this to a lot of people who live around here because everyone knows at least ONE person who is afraid of the "cleanliness" of certain restaurants (you know what I'm talking about! LOL). Despite the mediocre reviews of their food that I've heard/read basically everywhere, I always suggest this place to people I know to be squeamish about trying anything less than the fanciest of restaurants or chain restaurants. And they always end up liking it enough to go back! :)

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I recently stopped in Mexicali for lunch with my wife and, unfortunately, I will have to echo the comments upthread about the mediocre food. The fish in my fish tacos tasted fishy, the tortillas weren't fresh, and the rice was bland. My wife's dish of rice and shrimp was better but still not noteworthy. We used to dine here regularly and enjoyed it quite a bit but they seem to have made a decision to prioritize drinks over food, as evidenced by almost the entire expanded area being devoted to bar space. I used to love the rice here - it was salty and not sticky - but they dont even do that well anymore. Service was decidedly indifferent and the place didn't seem very clean. I guess if i want a pre-mixed, Day-Glo frozen margarita I know where to come but I won't stay for the food and that's unfortunate.

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