Thursday, December 05, 2013

Subterranean Homesick Blues

What lies beneath this placid patch of pasto?
Our favorite Morelia restaurant, Parrilla y Canilla, recently opened a new "Parrilla Express" outlet, down in el sótano, or what appears to be a remodeled storage cellar.

Our ever watchful observer on the scene, Ms J.J. Rose, enthusiastically wrote me about this new, underground development. One of the big features is that you can park right in front.

Another, even more exciting feature is the Pepito de arrachera, under the name "El Canillita". (There are other pepitos, with amusing names, such as "Desordenado Joe".)

El Canillita is a sandwich of sliced, tender juicy arrachera, on a crusty loaf of ciabatta, mushrooms, and optional melted mozzarella cheese, and accompanied by a roasted tomato, garlic and chile salsa. I highly recommend this sandwich. This is a sandwich that may provoke the more excitable of my friends to commit unnatural acts with it while in a public venue.

Pepito under modest cover

Eighteen years old Plus only>>

Pepito exposed
Those are two of the principal highlights we recently encountered at the new Parrilla Express. The menu is limited. You can't get jugo de carne brought to you from the upstairs restaurant, the Restaurant of Light and Grace. You can't even get fries with your sandwich. In fact, other than the salsa, it comes to you solito. Not even papitas. You can get beer and wine, and somewhat small salads. Cerveza Nochebuena was a good accompaniment to the hefty sandwich.

My companions each ordered salad, "La Recoleta"  with grilled cherry tomatoes, and "La Lucrezia" with sliced strawberries. Nice, but not too big, the first with a balsamic dressing, the second with a honey Dijon dressing, which I tasted and found somewhat heavy.

I'm not usually big on ambiance, but the cold, polished cantera walls of this subterranean grotto; the flimsy wooden tables; mitigated somewhat by the amusing Masonic Rites Lights left me homesick for the Restaurant of Casual Grace and Charm that lay overhead.
There is also considerable vehicle noise from the hillside street.
Service was friendly, but not especially express, although we were not in a hurry.

Food: the Pepito de arrachera was a **** item. But one star was deducted as it could have been hotter. Salads did not impress me, but then, I didn't eat one.

Service: *** Friendly, casual, but not very express. We lacked one sandwich on the first go-round, but it was delivered soon thereafter.

Price: around  $1 1/2 - $$ per person. I think it's a bit overpriced for what you get on your plate.

La carta
Parking: You can park directly in front at your own risk on the busy street. Ample parking also in the upper Parrilla y Canilla lot.

Ambience: I said it all, above.

Suggestions to management: Get some warming decor on the walls, some macramé or baskets or anything.

Put in a dumbwaiter so that customers can get food from the Mother Ship Parrilla y Canilla, which will not only please them, but will increase the check average.

Get some sound deadening curtains on the front windows to muffle the noise of passing trucks.

En fin; would I go again? No. I greatly prefer the main restaurant and its many amenities. The Express might be fine for takeout, especially that luscious pepito El Canillita.

Breakfast is also served.
I don't have the open hours at the moment.

J.J. Tablada 60, Santa María, Morelia, Michoacan

Tel: (443) 3198352

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Felisa said...

That sandwich looks amazing. I don't know why I read this blog when I'm hungry.

DonCuevas said...

Perhaps a good option for residents, but not, in the end, destination dining for out of towners.

Don Cuevas

Felipe Zapata said...

I'm gonna go.

DonCuevas said...

Felipe, is it the sandwich or the subterranean ambience that appeals to you most?

Don Cuevas

jennifer rose said...

I would deride tortas, too. I don't much like tortas, and they're something I can't see leaving the house for. But a pepito takes torta to a different level. This is a knife-and-fork sandwich, eating in four open-face installments.

jennifer rose said...

Good point. Should I go there this afternoon, or hold out until next week for a real steak upstairs? Or should I do both?

Felipe Zapata said...

To my wife, anything with bread on two sides is a torta. I've been trying over the years to get her to understand there are nuances regarding things with bread on two sides. I have been only marginally successful.

Andean said...

I avoided "torta" stands in Mexico for years, thinking they sold sweet cakes. Well, in many Latin American countries that is what a torta is. I did wonder why "sanduches" were not on the menu, but, after all, it was the land of tortillas… LOL

DonCuevas said...

I would tend to save the Upstairs Mother Shop for some special occasions, ere it become mundane through frequent custom.

Don Cuevas