Tuesday, May 13, 2014


Remember that first really nice Saturday this Spring?  Ellen, my friend and recurring star in this blog, and I took full advantage of it and had a fun girls day out.  We ran errands, shopped around at the mall, picked up the petticoat for under her wedding dress, drove around Hertel, hit up a flea market, walked around Elmwood and ended up eating lunch at Agave.

Sitting there at the bar, the sun pouring through windows and keeping us toasty warm, spanish guitars drifting through the speakers, drinking margaritas (hers frozen strawberry, mine regular on the rocks, both with salt), it felt like we were on vacation in Mexico.  We were there for two hours but I could have stayed for four, it just felt good in there.

When we sat down at the bar we were greeted quickly, given our drinks and offered menus.  There are a ton of options on this menu.  Luckily the bartender helped us out and was able to narrow down our options when we told him our preferred meat (Ellen shrimp, me pork). 

We were given chips and salsa to tide us over before the meals came out.  Why some restaurants serve those flavorless thin cardboard chips is beyond me.  Yuck.  But Agave's salsa more than made up for it.  It wasn't very chunky, but it had some acid, some onion, some roasty-ness and some spice.  They even provide extra salsa in a little carafe right off the bat so we didn't have to keep bugging the server for more.  But best of all, it wasn't watery and that made me really happy.  You know how sometimes as the salsa sits it gets watery pools that settle on the top?  Then you dip your chip, and it gets all soggy, and the salsa slides right off... that wasn't the case here.  In fact, it was particularly thick without being pasty.  Ugh, there is nothing worse than expecting salsa and getting tomato water instead.  

Ok... there might be worse things (such as tan lines with strapless dresses) but tomato water salsa has got to be on the list. 

Our plates came out piping hot. 

Camarones al Moho de Ajo

Ellen's garlic butter shrimp was topped with caramelized onions and came with rice, guac, iceberg lettuce, sour cream and warm tortilla shells on the side.  The flavor of the shrimp was as expected, buttery and garlicky, but not at all oily.  They may have been just slightly overcooked, potentially due to residual cooking from that really hot plate.

The simple truth is that you can't beat Ellen's homemade guacamole.  The girl's got it locked down.  Even still, Agave's guac was pretty darn good.  It had a little lime and a touch of hot chiles.  It was creamy with some small avocado chunks.  What I'm saying is: there wasn't any left on the plate.

Burrito Grande

I'm not sitting here wondering why they call this dish Burrito Grande.  The thing was massive.  I have great pride in my ability to house a meal but I could only finish half of this guy.

The picture below is poor, but the innards of this burrito consisted of pulled pork.  Nothing else, just chunks of densely packed, deliciously tender and moist pork.  Under other circumstances I would likely not want a one ingredient taco, but I tackled this plate with a fork and knife which let me stack the other components on the plate (including more salsa from our little carafe) onto each bite.  And I loved it.

The other components were rice, iceberg lettuce (not my fave, but so common on tacos, I can't complain), sour cream and tomato.  There was also some cheese baked right onto the top of the burrito.


I didn't leave behind the uneaten half of my burrito.  They packaged it up for me and I ate it for lunch the next day.  It reheated really well in the toaster oven.  The shell wasn't soppy and it even got a  little crispy (yum) while it reheated.  The pork inside stayed moist and I still had some salsa left over to top it off.


  1. Is this a cousin of the perfect taco? -- Dad

    1. Ahh... I can't wait to post about the perfect taco! I hope I can do it justice. In fact, I think you'll have to come over for dinner for that one and we should write together. :)

  2. the food looks good. I love your inclusion of how well the leftovers reheated. nice to know

    1. I thought I should mention that it went so well because it surprised me. The tortilla stayed nice and dry and even got a little crispy in the oven. When a burrito shell gets soggy, there's no coming back from that!

  3. Wow! My neighborhood and I did not even know this place was here. Love Elmwood Ave and Hertel for the great food. The food looks so good. Can't wait to try this place.

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