Saturday, July 3, 2010
Restaurant Mexico Garibaldi
Wednesday June 16th 2010
Restaurant Mexico Garibaldi, Atwells and Mount Pleasant, Providence, RI
It occurred to me recently that despite having spent the bulk of my life in this city I have almost no knowledge of good cheap places to eat here. Someone texted me recently, asking where they should go out to eat in Providence. Annoyed that they would ask me a question that would obviously entail a more lengthy answer than I would care to type into the keypad on my phone, I was in no real rush to answer, but with the question fresh in my mind I pondered it, coming up blank. I blame this on the fact that during the adult part of my life spent here, I rarely had any type of gainful employment and would keep a white knuckle grip on any loose change I had around, refusing to spend very much money at all on food. This was made possible by the close proximity of my parents house and my preference, taste and price wise, to the wonderful food that was cooked there. Beneficial at the time, most certainly, but troublesome now.
I was assisting my Dad in scraping paint off the metal handrails of a near by home, when we decided a lunch break was in order. He suggested we go to a place called Three Gringo’s, and I at first didn’t object, stunned by the fact that someone would basically name their restaurant ‘several white guys trying to make Mexican food’. Several hints were thrown out on the drive to hopefully steer us away from what would surely be somber disappointment, and luckily this ‘Mexico’ restaurant caught my Dad’s eye and thats where we went.
With the old man picking up the check, more items were ordered than usual. We had a spread of chips and refried beans, a bowl of guacamole, varieties of salsas, I doubled up on horchata’s. Unexpectedly it became one of the few several course meals I’ve ever participated in, myself ordering both a taco and a gordita, and my Dad ordering both a gordita and a burrito. It was a lunch no one held back on.
My chicken taco wasn’t exceptional or anything, but it was good, the chicken very moist and seasoned well, wrapped up with some onions and cilantro. The gordita, topped with spicy pork, was amazing, just loaded up with meat, cheese, vegetables, sour cream. Wonderful and cheap, the gorditas being only about $2.50 and the taco’s a dollar less. I felt kind of like I’d ripped myself off having lived in an apartment only about 2 blocks from here for like 9 months, wrapping up little pieces of cheese in store bought dough and under frying it on the stove, eating a plate of those with a double batch of ramen...and that was on a good day! When if I’d tried just even a little bit harder I could’ve been immersed in a platter of Mexican wonder food just around the corner. I’ve come a long way I suppose.
Having tried then and again in more recent years, two or three other Mexican places in Providence, I would say this one is the best, especially when you take the price into consideration. We did our best to clean up the bean and chip plate and guac bowl, but we’d overestimated how much we’d need to have a lunch that would fill us up nicely, but allow the job at hand to still inch its way towards completion. My Dad especially, having tackled both the burrito and gordita.
I just moved out of Philly, so I promise I won’t make these nagging comparisons anymore, but I mean if a place like Providence, Rhode Island can have an awesome cheap Mexican place, how is it that giant city like Philadelphia can’t? Something is very wrong down there and I’m happy to have removed myself from the situation.