We tend to love (and like the idea of supporting) family run, hole-in-the-wall ethnic places. So, after having heard good things about it, we had been wanting to try this family run Peruvian place for some time. We finally made it there last Friday night. And we really wanted to like it. We tried to like it. But we just couldn’t.
We walked in on Friday night at about 6:30 and the place was empty except for some young kids at the counter. Service was pleasant and friendly throughout the meal. There was very loud music playing, but our server happily turned down the volume at our request.
A basket of chips and salsa were placed on the table when we ordered. The chips seemed to be basic inexpensive bagged chips. The salsa was interesting in that it was served warm and appeared to be bean-based, as in refried beans that had been thinned into a salsa consistency – only a lot tastier than that sounds. We agreed that, while the chips were unfortunate, the salsa was nice.
We started with a bottle of Peruvian beer for my husband, and a pair of bean and cheese pupusas (sp?). The pupusas were very enjoyable; hot, crispy on the outside, and flavorful on the inside. They were served with two accompaniments; a sauce similar to canned tomato sauce and some lightly pickled cabbage. It all seemed odd when we looked at it on the plate, but we liked the contrasting flavors.
For entrees we ordered the “Sauteed beef with onions and potatoes” and “Beef Stew”. Each entrée comes with a choice of two sides. We each had the yellow rice. I had the fried plantains and hubby had the beans. The sides were all just fine, but both main dishes were extremely salty. You could tell there were some interesting flavors down in there somewhere, but it was all masked by the overriding SALT. Hubby felt his beef stew would have been a decent dish without the salt. Unfortunately, I can’t say the same for the sautéed beef. It appeared to be poor quality beef that had been heavily tenderized (something about the texture/taste reminded me of childhood meals with too much Accent meat tenderizer used).
We had heard such nice things about the place that we left shaking our heads. Did we just manage to choose poorly when we selected entrees? Or were they indicative of the rest of the fare?
If we’re passing by we might stop in for a pupusa, but other than that, I don’t think we’ll be back.
Flores Family Restaurant
1427 State St, Schenectady, NY 12304