Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Maria Bonita's

Maria Bonita Mexican Grill Photo
When my wife and I walked  into Maria Bonita's, we were greeted with hugs and an enthusiastic  exclamation of "Princess!!! Champion!!! ". This is the third time I have visited, but I was received the same way the first two times. Though the restaurant was full and it was a Friday night, our party of seven was seated after about 6 minutes. For some reason my father in law thought it would work out to get the the $17 nachos...for himself. The nachos were covered in shrimp, jalepeƱos, cheese, beans, all piled in a stack higher than a trained circus dog could jump over. They brought out the chips and salsa first (they were decent) followed by a small cup of chicken rice soup broth.

 The first time I ate here I was halfway full by the time the entree was put on the table. The main course was brought out ( I got the Carne con chile rojo) and it tasted fantastic. Did I mention they serve unlimited horchata on tap? Well they do. While you'll pay more here than you will at some other places, the portion sizes ensure that you'll get at least two meals out of every entree. If you have the Utah entertainment book, you can buy an entree and get one free, allowing you to feed a small army or two hungry hobbits. The only downside is that they don't have a smooth process for handling quick payment when you're done. One employee was struggling to hand write receipts for a line of 10 people who wanted to pay for their food. I've heard from others that they had similar experiences; good food, great atmosphere, slow service. I give this restaurant 4 out of 5 sombreros.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Sensuous Sandwich: As Exciting As It Sounds

A buddy from work and I decided to grab a sub for lunch the other day.  We wanted a change from our standard fare, so we headed over to Sensuous Sandwich. It was before noon when we arrived, but there was already a line of about 8 people in front of us. The first thing that caught my eye was the menu listing slightly naughty sounding sandwiches like "The Stimulator" and "The Spicy Enticer". You can get a sub as small as 4", but I needed enough to get me through to dinner time. Getting a footlong, on the other hand, seemed a bit inappropriate, so I decided to take a chance on the 10" Tantalizer. The chipper staff took my order and I got my sandwich a little more than 3 minutes after ordering (the cashier called out the time it had taken from ordering to completion, a nice touch). I dug in, and ended up significantly more full than when I eat a 12" sub at [National Submarine Chain].
The bread had that coveted, soft yet chewy combo that sets apart the true submarine from the mass produced loaf designed with the sole, utilitarian purpose of conveying meats and veggies to your mouth. It was a true harmony of simple ingredients. They don't have a huge selection of vegetables (banana peppers and jalepenos are as wild as it gets), but I didn't feel like i needed more than lettuce, tomato, pickles, and green peppers because those combined with the deli meat and fluffy bread did all the work. The horseradish complemented the roastbeef exceptionally and a little spicy brown mustard worked well with the turkey. Because I'm a cheap guy, my buddy and I used the Starving Student card (buy 1 get 1 50% off in this case) so my sandwich came out to $5.10. Without the deal it would have been $6.29 which puts it about $1 more than a $5 footlong after tax. I'd say it's worth it even without a deal because of 1) how full I got, 2) the flavor, 3) the speed of service, and 4) the abscence of a distinct [Mediocre Sub Shoppe] odor that can linger after lunch (if you eat at your desk which I occasionally do), often offending coworkers with sensitive noses. I rate this 8 subs out of 10. Give it a try and you won't be disappointed.   

Yours in food,
Nigel :^]

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