First and foremost, if you live in Rosedale, tienes suerte (you are lucky). You have the option of avoiding all of the annoying traffic and tunnel tolls to eat superb and inexpensive Mexican food. If you do not live in Rosedale, this restaurant is worth maybe one visit. After that, you better have another reason to come to this part of the Baltimore area (and you probably will find that there is no other reason...).
I have eaten here twice now--the first time being a few weeks ago and the most recent time being yesterday. I initially decided to check it out after a friend whose recommendations I trust continued to pester me about checking out "an awesome BYOB Mexican place." Then, because I had another reason to come to Rosedale (I wanted to check out the only available copy of Boardwalk Empire from the Rosedale Branch of BCPL), I returned. The initial experience was definitely superior to the second, both due to the service and to the quality of the food.
With regard to service, the only common element (which I have been told is a permanent element) is the friendliness of the owner. He is a transplant from Mexico and displays a tremendous passion for his country's food and culture. He will ask you where you are from, what you do, and why you came to the restaurant. If you speak Spanish, major plus! Chances are you will receive a free menu item (for us, on the first visit at least, it was the flan) if you keep him chatting for a while. The difference in service related to the time it took to receive our food. Although we ordered more food on our first visit, my wife and I waited three times as long the second time to receive our order. During our visit yesterday, we waited half an hour before the owner even began to start preparing our order! Then, as we were eating, he accommodated another guest who needed a meal prepared in 10 minutes! Que es esto?
Food wise, the experiences were similar but not entirely the same. We were wowed the first time by the flavors, the options, the presentation, todo. The second time the food seemed way too deep-fried, way less flavorful. If you want to try a little bit of everything, go with the "Paquetes". The "Paquetellenes" is way too much food for two people, but you can bring it home, heat it up later, put on some Mariachi music and recreate the dining experience (sans the friendly Mexican man, I guess...). There is another combo, but it is missing one item. I cannot remember which. As for a breakdown of food choices, 1. the quesadillas are prepared like empanadas, 2. the guacamole is amazing, 3. there is no standard "chips & salsa" appetizer, but the chips that come with the guacamole are pretty delicious, 4. the green salsa that is placed on the table is spicy, 5. the pombazo sandwich is alright, 6. the tinga de pollo meat choice is super flavorful, but it is spicy, and 7. the tostadas, enchiladas, and flautas are solid choices. Everything comes with a drizzle of "crema" and lettuce.
Finally, a few things to keep in mind:
1. This place is BYOB. BYOB!
2. You are not able to tip on your credit card. You can pay, but there is a tip jar for any cash you wish to give.
3. Very limited seating, but since the place is never full, you will be fine.
4. Parking is tough. Park right in front (if there is space) or on the side of the building on the drive that leads to the mechanic.
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