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Mexicali Rose / Greek Delights in Montclair, NJ (long)

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Mexicali Rose / Greek Delights in Montclair, NJ (long)

Stan | Oct 2, 2003 01:54 PM

I've never posted on this board before, but I feel this incident deserves it.

My 2 favorite inexpensive restaurants in Montclair are Mexicali Rose (to eat in) and Greek Delights (to take out). Mexicali Rose, while does not have many favorable posts on this board, has been my favorite family-friendly place. The traditional Mexican dishes there are nothing out of the ordinary, but all their specialty dished with fish, poultry and steak have been great, unlike anything I've ever had before. The sauces used in them are fantastic, especially if you like fruit-based sauces (try Mango Durango). The portion sizes are plentiful, and the price is right. Bring your own tequila for the margaritas.

Greek Delights is the new next door neighbor to Mexicali Rose. The space used to be a box diner, so not much seating space. It had been written up in the New York Times about a month ago, and has been very busy since. They have great traditional dishes, and also some items you do not usually see. I think the Times review was pretty accurate.

Here is the story. About 2 weeks ago I ordered some takeout at Greek Delights on a Friday evening. Trying to find a parking spot on a Friday night in Montclair is a challenge, and I was running late to pick up the food. After circling the block a few times and going through the levels of the garage across the street, unsuccessfully, I decided to try to pull in the lot adjacent to Greek Delights, but which is really a parking lot for Mexicali Rose in the evenings. The attendants would not let me park, even though all I needed to was to run in and pick up food. I parked illegally on the street, got my food in about 2 minutes and left, luckily without a ticket. When I got home, I wrote a letter to Dominic, the owner of Mexicali Rose, and basically said it made no sense that their attendants would not let someone park for 2 minutes to pick up food from their neighbor. I really expected him to throw it straight into the trash.

A few days letter I got a call from Dominic on my machine. I was not home, but I figured he was just calling to give me an explanation of why they can not let people park there unless they are going to his restaurant. I did not rush calling back. When I finally called back, I was blown away. He thanked me profusely for writing the letter. He had a talk with his parking attendants and instructed them to let anyone getting take-out from Greek Delights to leave the car in the lot for a few minutes. He expressed the highest praise for his next door neighbors and said that he was happy to help their customers, given the parking situation.

I guess the point is, even though Mexicali Rose was already a favorite of mine, now, knowing how reasonable and caring the owner is, will make every visit to that restaurant even more gratifying. If you decided to try it, try one of their specialty dishes, and see if you disagree with some of the earlier reviews of the place. I think it deserves another look.

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