Sunday, March 22, 2015

So-So Mexican in Mashpee

I know, I know.... I'm almost non-existent as a blogger now, which is sad because I actually want to blog. I stopped writing because people keep telling me I can't write like I speak. So I've spent hours, sometimes days, rereading and rewriting blog posts. It took all the fun out of it, I got to the point where I dreaded doing it.

Since I want to blog a bit I decided I'm going to write like I speak. I'll do one quick reread and hit post. And if my English is crappy, something is spelled wrong, or a sentence would have made more sense structured a different way, tough. I hope you get the gist of what I'm trying to say. So on to my review:

El Colibri Restaurant, South Cape Village, Mashpee, MA

It's located in the old Oak & Embers location and owned by the same people (The Wicked Pizza group).  My first thought was: do we need more Mexican on the Cape?
My second thought was: why did they choose to do Mexican?  I'm a business person, I actually work with small business. I help them make good decisions that will in turn make them more successful. I'm not sure El Colibri was a great decision.

Had I been hired to come up with a concept for a restaurant on Cape Cod it would not have been Mexican. I don't think people come to the Cape to eat Mexican food, they come to eat seafood. My advice would have been a take off on a clam shack. Just a tiny bit more upscale so it would have table service and alcohol.

Sort of like Jasper White's Summer Shack in Boston. Very casual, the best lobster roll in town, oysters, clam chowder, grilled, fried and baked seafood. Maybe served in baskets with newspaper. Fantastic slaw, fries, corn on the cob, and seafood. If you ask tourists why they come to the Cape, seafood is usually among their top 5 reasons (along with beaches, biking, ice cream).

OK, they didn't ask me for help and what we got was another Mexican restaurant and I guess that's what I'll review. I was there the other night with 3 family members. The dining room was busy (but not full) and the bar was about half full. The interior of the restaurant looks more or less the same as it was when it was Oak & Embers. They painted the walls an orangy color and hung up some Mexican decor, but nothing else has changed.

The experience didn't start out really well. We waited quite a while for a server to even get to our table. We ordered drinks and the house Nachos. The regular Margarita's were excellent. They really make a fantastic drink. However, they didn't come in a Margarita glass but in a plain bar glass (I believe it's all the same glasses, plates, etc. that they used in Oak & Embers). Either way they were really good.

The Nachos came and they were so-so. Heavy on the refried beans and cheese. Slightly greasy. My daughter, who has never turned down a nacho of any sort, ate some but said she didn't really like them.  We ate half of them and the consensus was they were too heavy and nothing special.

We ordered dinner, Mahi Fish Taco, Smoked Pork Belly Taco, and Seafood Paella. The taco dinners only came with 2 taco's (most places seem to serve 3) which is fine by me but I would have expected more fish in mine since there were only 2 tacos.

My fish was in the shape of a fish stick, now please understand it was not breaded nor was it a fish stick, I'm just trying to give you an idea of the size. One taco had 1.5 of these "sticks" in them and the other had 1. The fish was "grilled" but so blackened that I am reasonably sure had you fed me a bite of one with a blindfold on I would not have been able to identify what sort of protein I was eating. The fish was almost flavorless. However the slaw and salsa in the taco were delish. I really enjoyed that slaw, along with the Margarita, is was the high point of the meal.

The Pork Belly taco was again only 2 tacos and they were overpowered by the barbeque/smoke and the pork belly was dry. Both meals were served with rice, beans, and a small nondescript salad.

The Seafood Paella was a bit dry as if the rice had been made way ahead of time and left to sit around. The seafood in it was fine, but it didn't look anything like the picture below, which I took off the restaurant Facebook page. The dish was predominately rice with a little seafood in the center.

So that's it, I'm not impressed. I don't think I'd go back for dinner again. I'd go to the bar with friends and have one of those yummy Margaritas. We spent $103.00 (not including tip) on our meal (we each had only 1 drink) so it's mid-priced, I guess. Honestly, 3 meals for $103 in a Mexican restaurant I'd have expected the food to be great. I do need to mention that they have a fairly extensive gluten free menu and I didn't have any problems at all with that. Everything I had was GF.

What slays me is that I love Wicked Pizza and go there regularly. How can they get one restaurant so right and the other is just ho-hum?  I'd love to hear from any of you that have been there to get your take on it.


  1. You are the 3rd person I know who hasn't liked place. I still haven't made it there and not really feeling a desire to go, especially with Wicked right next door which is so yummy.

  2. I really wanted to like it. By and large Mexican food on Cape Cod is just ok in my opinion. I do like Anejo and Burrito Bistro. I'm sticking with Wicked.

  3. I'll stink with Anejo, if I really need a margarita on the Cape....


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