Saturday, March 24, 2012

Restaurant Review - Paisano's, Waltham MA

Pepe Boquitas
I can't even believe it's taken me this long to get to Paisano's. It's not my fault,  though ! I definitely plan to make up for my neglect in the future.

Paisano's ( )  opened in 2006, replacing a Southwestern-type place called Buckaroo's (where Steven Tyler was known to breakfast occasionally, back in the day). The menu is billed as "Mexican-Guatemalan", though there are some Salvadoran dishes as well. This place is maybe a half mile from my house, and that's only assuming I don't cut through any yards - we walk right by it on our way to Moody Street (Waltham's "Restaurant lucky am I that I can walk there ?? ) . When we first moved to the neighborhood many years ago, we used to eat at Buckaroo's occasionally...somehow the quality declined the longer they were there, though, and eventually they closed.

When Paisano's opened, my guys and my inlaws checked it out a few times, and came back with pretty consistent reviews..."that place SUCKS". "McMexican", they called it - bad Mexican fast food. Worse then Taco Bell. So I've stayed away all these years...though on summer walks to Moody Street, I'd look longingly at the outdoor tables, filled with happy smiling margarita people being serenaded by a mariachi band. "Is it really that bad ?" I'd ask...and the answer was always "yes !".

Cut to a few months ago. Mark ended up stopping at Paisano's bar with a friend, and was a little hungry...he decided to be brave, and order ceviche. (That took some balls - I definitely would have not ordered raw seafood at a questionable joint !) . Thinking it would be just a small, so-so bite, he was astounded when he was served a giant, oversized margarita glass, piled high with some really amazing, fresh, absolutely delicious seafood. Paisano's, it seemed, had kicked it up and started making actual food.

Since we've been having summer in March this week in Boston, it seemed a perfect time to do one of our walks to Moody Street....which meant walking right by Paisano's. This time, the happy smiling margarita people won (too early in the year for the band, I guess) , so we took a seat...and I am so, SO glad we did !

We started out, of course, with margaritas :

Black Raspberry and House Margaritas
These were some fine, fine margaritas - plenty strong, and I loved the black raspberry option. House was stock, but good. Chips were hot, salsa was fresh...oh yeah, definitely see more of this in my future.

Next up was the Pepe Boquitas (pictured at top of post). Boquitas are basically a Central-South American version of tapas...little bites to have with drinks. Our super smiley, cute-as-a-button, fantastic waitress warned us that it was huge...we should have listened, as this would have served a few people for dinner. A giant platter, chock full of steak, carne adobada (marinated, grilled meat), grilled chicken, shrimp, cassava, fresh cheese, and fried plantains, garnished with grilled scallions, grilled jalapeno peppers and cilantro. Beautifully seasoned (but not overly so), perfectly cooked, absolutely delicious. We ate a small portion and brought the rest home, and I have to tell you - I am eating a bowl of it now, and it is still awesome. So hard to tear ourselves away, but we had entrees to try - and at this point, based on what we had had so far, we couldn't wait !

Parrillada Chapana 

The entrees did not disappoint. Mark ordered the Parrillada Chapina, which is billed as "the perfect dish if you want to try a variety of Guatemalan flavors". Basically a Guatemalan mixed grill, this one included chicken, carne adovada, churrasco, and chorizo. Garnished with scallions and cilantro, served with fluffy corn tortillas - this was a definite win.           

Enchilada Del Mar

My entree - the Enchilada Del Mar - absolutely rocked. Stuffed with shrimp and sauteed onions, peppers and tomatoes, and napped in an utterly amazing chipotle cream sauce. Not a sour cream, but possibly crema-based...whatever it was, it was totally addictive and I could not stop eating it !

This is definitely a place I plan to go back to often - I should add that the prices are super reasonable, at least by our standards :). The only cons would be that if you eat outside, be prepared for a lot of street noise - High Street is a very busy street. It's also across the street from Calvary Cemetery. If those sorts of things bother you,  definitely eat inside (it didn't overly bother us, though). Otherwise, prepare for absolute Culinary Orgasm !

1 comment:

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