Yesterday was my mama’s birthday!
Our friends sent the most adorable and springtimey flower arrangement:
How presh are the robin eggs? Awww.
I lovingly wrapped her gifts using repurposed Nordstrom’s wrapping paper (the keen-eyed will read it on the ribbon!)
And we went out for MARGARITAS!
Our destination was El Tio, which I discovered when I Yelped “margaritas” plus my address on a stressful day. In my neighborhood, good reviews, yummy Tex Mex and HUGE portions. Yes. This was actually the place I went for my last American meal before the Asia trip! I knew it’d be a great birthday destination for my mother, a great lover of margaritas.
We each got a “small”. Yeah uh huh. This was on the rocks and salted, the way God intended. None of that frozen strawberry crap.
I am not a big drinker at all, but I really do love a good margarita. Tequila is yummy, lime is yummy, coarse salt is yummy.
I attempted to use my hand in this picture to convey both the quality and the vastness of this margarita.
We perused the menu whilst enjoying the old faithful of Tex Mex restaurants, fresh chips and salsa. Mmm.
As I’ve mentioned, my mom is always awaiting the coming famine and likes to have too much food, so we started with an appetizer- we split a bowl of the seafood soup.
Super duper excellent! Bursting with fresh mussels, clams, scallops, and shrimp, flavorful with cilantro. The broth was rich and creamy, and I’m wondering if they used a roux like you would in gumbo. Hmm.
For our entree, we split the carne asada. This was meant for a SINGLE SERVING (my guess is that it was 16-20 ounces of meat?):
Mmm mm mm. The steak was cooked medium rare, just like we wanted. The meat was super tender (clearly it had been marinated) and juicy. The sauce on top was rich and garlicky and oh-so-flavorful.
With it came fried yuca. I’m not sure I’ve ever eaten yuca that wasn’t fried, or honestly if I’d ever want to. So good and crispy and hearty.
And actually you’d think the salad would be a total cop out, but it was great! There’s this tangy dressing that they always have at Peruvian chicken places around here so I guess it’s a Latin-American twist on ranch? Whatever it is I love it.
Just in case that wasn’t enough, there were also rice and beans.
Soooo a single appetizer and an entree and two small drinks between two people… and I am still gestating a seriously substantial food baby (I used that phrase at the restaurant and I thought my mom was going to choke on her margarita- who on earth is left who hadn’t heard the phrase “food baby”?! It’s not just a blog thing!)
Oh, and we took almost all the soup and rice and about 1/3 of the steak home. Leftovers :D