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Carolina's Tex-Mex (Balto)

baltoellen | Dec 22, 2005 04:14 PM

This afternoon, fellow hound, Crowsonguy, and I had lunch at Carolina's. (The original one, further north on B'dwy...not the one that is where Cafe Madrid used to be.)

I've been to Carolina's several times before, but never bothered with a review, but my fellow hound, on his first visit, thought that this place was too good not to share (or remind people that it's still around).

We split a seafood pulpulsa (cheese and seafood sandwiched between two corn tortillas and grilled), chicken soup, and a Cuban sandwhich.

First, the Cubano. It was a filled with ham, pork, pickles and cheese, grilled to melty, decadent perfection. And, loads of pork fat....and, doesn't everything taste better with a bit of fat? It came with non-homemade fries, and packets of ketchup.

The chicken soup was a (very) large bowl of very yellow, chicken-y chicken stock, with loads of chicken on the bone, potatoes, and for some unknown reason, baby corn. It's the epitome of healing chicken soup, if you came from south of the border. It also is served with lime wedges. And, like pork fat, what really isn't enhanced by a squeeze or two of lime?

The pulpulsa wasn't quite as good as I've had in the past--less seafood than average, but overall, nice. It came with some Salvadoran "cole slaw," (I'm sure someone can tell me the name....) Which I liked, but fellow chowhound didn't care for.

And, about the name. I don't know why it's called "Tex-Mex." Could it be a bit of marketing, for the gringo market? And, speaking of which, the server spoke little English, and was very patient with my "Spanglish," and while the place wasn't very crowded, there was a steady stream of people coming in for lunch (all of whom, it seemed, spoke Spanish). It was a great lunch....of course, it may just have been the charming chowhoundish company....but, it was comfortable, comforting, and cheap!

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