As summer dons its travel clothes and quietly kisses us goodbye, we put away our beach sandals and retrieve our suede boots from the shoeboxes under our beds. We tuck away our summer reading and bring home hundreds of dollars worth of textbooks. And we start organizing the thousands of photos we took this past summer into different folders and make new space for all the photos we’ll be taking of mugs of hot chocolate and falling leaves this Autumn.
In the process of sifting through the enormous amount of photos I’ve taken this past summer, I come upon photos that seem to direct sunshine straight into my eyes. There are the ones from Yosemite National Park, where anything more than shorts and a tank would leave you panting like a beast, and the ones from a Seattle beach, where I could stroll around with a breezy boyfriend shirt on and not be chilled by the sea breeze.
And then I saw the photos of Agua Verde Paddle Club and Cafe. The fizzing bottles of Mexican Soda, the rainbow of salsas, the sweet and tangy taste of pineapple juice, the hot masa patties with pulled pork, the overpowering smell of cinnamon in the Mexican Mocha, and none less than a fine burrito worked their ways into my memory and I am inspired to blog about it.
Jarritos. I guess that’s what the menu means by “Mexican soda”. It wasn’t as sweet as Fanta, and instead more tangy and much more fizzy. There were swarms of bubbles swimming their ways to the bottleneck like small guppies. It left my sister and I suppressing burps for about half an hour.
Behind it, you see a basket of chips. The chips were great, filling, leaves-you-grabbing-for-one-more snacks. What left me slightly irritated was the fact that they brought the chips with our food. From previous experiences at Mexican restaurants, I always had the impression that tortilla chips and salsa were meant as appetizers and time-passers as we waited for our favorite gorditas and burritos to be carried pompously from the kitchen.
I suppose the salsa bar made up for that. There were no labels so I poked around with the ladle trying to make out what the floating bits were inside the salsa and had little luck. Red-orange, scarlet, creamy green, pine green…I’m starting to sound like I’m reading the names of my worn out Crayola markers from elementary school. Most of the salsas were spicy and me, being the spicy intolerant person I am, found the salsas mostly appetizing to the eye although my parents found them delicious.
Above you see my gorditas de puerco (two masa patties stuffed with shredded all-natural pork or free range chicken served with lettuce, sour cream, tomatillo sauce, guacamole and salsa mexicana).
Warning. Super filling. If you’re not famished, I recommend ordering a main dish and a side dish to share with someone. Otherwise, meat quality was nice. I would have liked my masa patties a little crisper because they were on the soggy side.
Above you see a burrito vegetariano (sautéed yams, onions and peppers with rice, pinto beans, spinach and jack cheese, served with lettuce, salsa mexicana and guacamole) that my sister ordered. It came with a generous portion of beans and my favorite Mexican rice. As she carefully sliced her burrito into bite-sized strips, the steam from the yams wafted out and fogged her sunglasses. I satisfied most of my “steal-from-sister” portion with the Mexican rice, which my dish was deprived of. I love eating long grains of rice that are spiced to give you a true sense of Mexican food. Most of the times, the plain steamed rice mashed with beans don’t cut it. This rice did.
And, last but not least, the Mexican Mocha. If you’re thinking to yourself “What the heck is this crazy girl doing ordering a hot mocha on a warm sunny day?”, I’m also thinking the same thing as I look at the picture. But the mocha was delicious. None of that American whipped cream business going on here. Instead, this is a rave party of spices. Take cinnamon, spiced chocolate, and warm milk, and you’ve got yourself a delicious Mexican Mocha. Even if the mocha unpleasantly upped my facial temperature by a few degrees, I managed to find a perfect balance with my Jarrito and pineapple juice.
In summary, I love this place for its authentic Mexican food. It is a bit on the pricey side, but to sit by Lake Union and watch the sunset as you gobble down pulled pork and Mexican rice? That’s an experience. The service was very accommodating. The atmosphere was homely with guests ranging from college students ordering margaritas to families sharing kids’ meals.
Have I made you long for summer? Just thinking about watching the golden sun sink into Lake Union, makes my heart beat faster.