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Soho Cantina Posting(medium long)

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Soho Cantina Posting(medium long)

claire | Jun 10, 2004 02:15 PM

We went on Friday, after having read a good review of it(i think in NYMag). I ordered a margarita, rocks no salt, and asked that it not be too sweet--definitely one of the better I've had in the city. My friend ordered the sangria and told they were out of red, only white, which was rather perfumey and yet also sort of flavorless.
We ordered the Corn Plate--which had four different corn apps, a sope(veg), tamale(pork), huarache(veg), and a chicken soft taco. We also asked for some chips and salsa(they charge you $3.25, instead of just bringing them out, which i know was a recent subject on the board) The Chips were greasy and hard, the salsa was tasty, a pretty standard pico de gallo, but fresh and crunchy. In any case, we ordered these things and also the huitlacoche quesadilla as appetizers. However, all the food was brought at once. Just one marker of the spotty service. We'd asked that the chips be brought out right away, to have with the drinks, but they didn't surface til ALL the food was brought. Like we wanted them at that point...we said that, but the server neither took them away nor did he take it off our tab. The quesadilla was so-so, b/c of an over abundance of black beans, you really couldn't taste the great earthiness that huitlacoche usually presents.
As main courses, we ordered the veggie enchiladas(for our vegetarian friend) and split an order of the grilled skirt steak, which was about 12in long and came with a side of creamed green chiles, an odd combo, but it somehow worked. The steak was on the leanish side, but the rub wasn't strong enough to taste over the charring. The enchiladas, with a mole sauce, were good, the mole leaned more toward the chile-side flavor-wise, but that's good--too much chocolateyness isn't OK. But it lacked the mouth feel of a mole made with ground up fried corn tortillas. An indispensible ingredient IMO and I make my own mole.
Oh, I forgot about the taco al pastor, which really was the best thing we ordered. Each soft taco is $4, and we just wanted the one to try them. Too bad we didn't get four of those and skipped the quesadilla or the lousy 4 Corn things platter. I have never had such a dry and underfilled tamale ever! There was literally half a tsp of filling, which was also dry. The chicken soft taco was the tastiest of the four.
We skipped dessert b/c we caught sight of an enormous and dry-looking Tres Leches and didn't want the fried bananas.
One of my friend's biggest complaint was that the server kept touching her, and only her, on the arm, shoulder whenever she'd ask for something, or he'd fill up our waterglasses. Plus, when it became apparent that one of the water glasses was slowly leaking all over the table, he decided to gaze in wonder at the glass and hold it above one of our heads while declaring that it must be just the condensation, as it dripped all over my friend's hair...
This place could be good if they sharpened up the service. You really shouldn't bring all the food at once, especially when the diners specifically say: to start, we'll have X, and then Y as the main course.
The ambience is good--big open windows to the street, music is fine, the decor is just dark enough to be attractive and the place is lively.
Anyone else been? I'm curious to hear other experiences.

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