In the past six months, Sunnyside has lost three excellent Mexican restaurants: La Lupe, La Lupita, and Taco Fiesta. What we now have is the recently opened CHIPS (which was warmly reviewed by the usually sensible Mark Bittman in the NY Times a few weeks ago). Here are some highlights of this evening's meal:
1. Extremely watered-down soda. No bottles of Mexican sodas available.
2. Greasy, leathery torilla chips.
3. Warm salsa from a bottle, with a few pieces of fresh curly parsley mixed in.
4. Beige-green stale-tasting guacamole, pulverized to a gag-inducing gummy consistency, which strangely didn't seem to contain any lime juice or salt, or cilantro (they used the curley parsley again).
5. Their "carnitas" tacos were made with very lean, dried out, and SMELLY grilled pork, cut into large, unwieldy pieces that fell out of the taco as you tried to eat it. Also contained some tomatoes and onions apparently chopped a very long time ago, and still more curly parsley.
6. Chicken mole consisted of two small dried out chicken breasts submerged in average-tasting mole sauce (for $13!).
7. Gloppy, canned-tasting refried beans.
8. Whenever we asked for something, the owner replies "Perfect!" This got more and more infuriating as our meal wore on....
The owner has obviously decided that he's going to cook gringo for his clientele, and that's probably not a bad decision from a business point of view (the place always seems lively whenever I walk by). But does he have to cook CRAPPY gringo food? This was the most cynical and depressing meal I've had in a very long time.