Sunday, October 3, 2010

Restaurant Review: La Merenda

This wasn't my first time to La Merenda, but the first since I started blogging. My friend Lisa, who shares the same birthday as me (March 30), thought it would be fun to get a group together to celebrate our half birthday (September 30) with some dinner at a great restaurant.

We picked La Merenda for our celebration. La Merenda won since we had amazing tres leches cake the last time we were there. I knew it would be a fantastic meal, and I was right!

We had a pretty large group (about 12 people), so Nate and I, along with friends Leah and Ann, decided to order some plates for our group of four. We started with four plates of food, then got two more and then two desserts. Here's what we got (check out La Merenda's menu for detailed descriptions of the items):

Round 1
-Empanadas: these were filled with pork and apple and really wonderful (hence the photo I took too late--I couldn't wait to try it!)

-Spanakopita: The spanakopita was good, but I like it when the phyllo is a bit more buttery. I also didn't like the beet sauce they came with. It was way too beet-y, if that makes sense.

-Argentinian style beef: This was really good. The beef had a lot of flavor and the mashed sweet plantains were awesome.

-Chicken curry with rice: This was one of their daily specials, and was really good. It had a nice spice and wonderful curry flavor.

Round 2
-Tostones: I love tostones and anything with guacamole, so these were definitely a winner.

-Prosciuito and sweet pea arancini: arancini are fried rice balls. I liked the flavor of the ingredients inside the rice ball with the crunch on the outside.

Round 3
-Tres leches cake: the cake had apricot on top of it. The last time we had it it, it was strawberry, which was a bit better, but I still loved it.

-Creme brulee: This was pumpkin-flavored for the season and absolutely wonderful.

All in all, it was a great meal as usual. The only complaint I have about the experience is that our server was definitely not the best I've ever had. I thought that even though we were a pretty large group, we were respectful and nice when ordering when making requests. The server often seemed like everything we asked for was a pain. She also never delivered our group's empanadas and when asked about it, just said, oh, I gave it to the other side of the table. She brought our order, but I guess it wasn't the response I was looking for. She also never brought our table bread (and their bread and flavored butter is fabulous, so I know we wanted some) and when I asked about, I got something along the lines of, "Oh. I can bring some bread."

But, the food and camaraderie definitely outweigh the service experience!

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