Friday, January 23, 2015

Oaxaca Sojourn— Part 11: Restaurant El Quinqué: El Encanto Del Buen Comer

Yesterday we joined our friend Bixa at El Quinqué. The place is charmingly inviting. The affable, English speaking host and owner, Carlos was stretched a bit thin that day, as he was missing some of his regular waitstaff, but he was still very attentive and gave us friendly, personalized service.

The Menú del Día featured pork cecina, salad and potatoes, but we looked instead to the a la carte menu.

Bixa chose Filete de Mahi-mahi Encamaronado, which consisted of a thick, moist and beautiful piece of fish in a light, tangy sauce, all covered with large shrimp. I was envious, to tell the truth. It also was accompanied by a nice salad and chunky potatoes fried in olive oil.

Filete de Mahi-mahi Encamaronado
Señora Cuevas also had mahi-mahi, but al Ajillo; a popular treatment of chiles guajillos and garlic. It also looked very appealing. (This was the first time that I’d seen a dish of food prepared al ajillo, with whole chiles guajillos rather then in little ribbons. My wife prudently, set the hard to digest chiles aside on her plate while enjoying the flavor they imparted to the dish.)

Mahi-mahi Al Ajillo, with nicely cooked vegetables
After 12 days of eating wonderful Oaxacan food around the city, at El Quinqué I gave in to my native tastes and had a Quinqué hamburger. It was a hefty burger of good beef, with a good piece of bacon and cheese, cooked just a tad longer than I prefer, but I had no trouble eating all of it. A minor quibble was that the homemade bun was a little too much bread, so I cut the top off and then was happy. We were given small dishes of a good salsa roja and a delicious, chile chipotle based barbecue sauce.

The El Quinqué Hamburger
Our meal came with a complimentary pitcher of agua fresca. Ours was a pitcher of refreshing but not very strong limonada.

Because of the small size of the attractive ground floor dining room, the acoustics don’t lend themselves to conversation when the room is busy. (There is a smaller dining are up a short, steep flight of stairs. But noisy acoustics are not a reason, in my opinion, to deny yourself the pleasure of eating at this delightful, casual restaurant.)

To sum up: delicious food, simple but attractive plate presentations, friendly, helpful, bilingual host, excellent chef (Carlos’ mom) in the kitchen. Reasonable prices. What’s not to like?
 No beer, wine or liquor. You might be able to BYO. Check first by calling ahead.


Food: ****1/2

Service: ******

Cost: $-$1/2 Nuestra Cuenta

Ambience: Cozy, charming

Restroom: Single, unisex, small but acceptable.

Contact Info:
Macedonio Alcala 901 Esq. Gomez Farias Col. Centro, Oaxaca 68000, Mexico
Tel: 951- 5026702

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