Friday, August 31, 2007

Cotija's Mexican Grill

406 S. Louisiana, Little Rock
5504 JFK Blvd., North Little Rock.

The one downtown is tucked into a small storefront across from the old Union Bank building, the one in North Little Rock is in that little stand alone building that has been everything from a catfish restaurant to a pizza place. Maybe this one will make it.

The food is very good from what I tried. Tamales, to me, are the true test of a Mexican restaurant and these get a passing grade. Actually they are as good as I've had around here. They were not dry and the meat was not stringy. And they had a wonderful flavor. They were served with melted cheese (not cheese sauce) and a chopped tomato salsa with a very distinct flavor. I could get addicted to these.

The chili relleno was not your standard frozen fare with the cheese sauce oozing out of it. It was a large pepper, breaded and fried, with melted cheese on top of it. And the pepper had some serious fire to it. I don't recommend this for the tender palate, but if you are a relleno fan, this could renew your enthusiasm.

They bring you three styles of salsa, the same as they do at La Hacienda, and all of them were quite good. I've always been partial to verde salsa and this one does not disappoint. Lots of cilantro and garlic and the green chilies have just the right amount of heat. You could seriously make a meal out of the salsa and cheese dip. And the guacamole was the best I've ever had in a restaurant, and nearly as good as my home made.

Based on my experience last night, I intend to delve deeper into the well appointed menu at Cotija's. They have an intriguing list of seafood dishes and brochetas which beg to be sampled. Prices are moderate, ranging from about eight dollars to sixteen dollars for plates and lunch specials starting at about four dollars and going up to around nine. They also have hamburgers in case someone in your party doesn't like Mexican food.

UPDATE: nope, looks like this one passed on to oblivion too...