Thanks to everyone for their suggestions/recs - we went to Tu Y Yo on Sunday night and had a great experience/dinner. Our large group (supposed to be eight) was whittled to two by babysitter cancellations and children falling ill. No worries.
We arrived at 7:30 with no res and were seated immediately (the only remaining booth). We ordered traditional sangria (which was great) and a special beer drink that had salt, pepper, lime and hot sauce (not very good imo, but I had to try it. it was like having a carbonated bloody mary - strange).
We ordered the tamales app (very tasty - we both would have ordered this again, although the coconut wasn't our favorite - the pork was) and the stuffed jalapenos (they were delicious. i've always wondered what authentic stuffed japapenos were like, the standard bar food just seems like an exceedingly cheap imitation. this dish reminded us of a tapas experience in barcelona, where we had a dish of fried local peppers. some are hotter than others and eating them is a sort of gastronomic russian roulette. the same occured with these peppers - three of the four were mild... the fourth knocked our socks off).
We ordered two main dishes shredded pork and shredded chicken. Both were delicious, but very different in the way they were spiced. They both came with rice (two shades - yellow [??] and green [tomatillo]), black beans (very mellow and good complement to the dish) and hot corn tortillas. The portions were large - we probably should have had leftovers, but ended up eating too much since it was so good. They brought three tortillas with the dishes and refreshed it upon request (nicer to have warm tortillas than have them drop six with the plates).
Mexican coffee (coffee flavored with chocolate, orange peel, raisins and spices) was good, but not something I'd write home about (am I doing that now?). The flan with the cinnamon cream was very good - I'll save more room for it next time.
The service was very good. We never wanted for anything. We never felt rushed, in fact our waitress was very good about patiently explaining/recommending numerous dishes (even while holding several plates in a free hand). I highly recommend Tu Y Yo for a nice night out for traditional mexican.
ps.. If you go on a Sunday, the salsa dancing at Johnny D's is a good way to work off the meal. ;-)
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