El Mexicali 2: A sure bet

By | May 30, 2012 at 8:17 pm | 1,599 comments | Columns, The Pampered Palate

El Mexicali 2: A sure bet
Last weekend my husband and I invited my daughter and her husband to have dinner with us at one of our favorite Mexican restaurants in the desert- El Mexicali Café 2 in Indio. It’s always fun to take guests to one of your favorite places that they have never been to, that you know will not disappoint.
We were immediately seated and our drink orders were taken. We all chose Cadillac margaritas and they were awesome. I get a bit pernickety if my margarita isn’t to my satisfaction and that’s never a problem at El Mexicali Cafe 2.
We ordered a side of guacamole and the Chiles Gueritos Rellenos de Camaron, for an appetizer, which are their famous yellow peppers stuffed with shrimp. Six of these little pieces of heaven came on the plate and with four of us dining, there was much discussion on who would get the remaining two. I guarantee that once you have had these, you will be craving them like a bad habit. As for the guacamole, I couldn’t have been more pleased when our amazing waiter, Armando showed up to prepare it for us tableside. I have eaten at many Mexican Restaurants in the desert and not once has my waiter done this. He had separate dishes of cilantro, onions, jalapenos, tomatoes and cojita cheese and was willing to put in just the right amount of each to our liking. We opted for all of everything and it was delicious, creamy goodness.
Just when I thought Armando couldn’t win me over anymore, he came back to take our order and remembered each one of us by name, which I’m still telling everyone about. My son-in-law ordered the Chicken Chile Relleno which he insisted was the best he had ever had. My daughter opted for the Campechana, which is a seafood cocktail in a tasty blend of shrimp, abalone & octopus with onions, cucumbers, tomatoes, cilantro and avocado chunks. We all shared a bite and I must say it was fabulous and is a meal in itself. You can’t find abalone very many places and it was tender and worth going back for more. My husband decided on the Carne Asada con Camarones al Mojo de Ajo o Rancheros, which is steak and shrimp prepared however you choose, with rice and beans. There was not a bite left on his plate. I, being the seafood aficionado, chose the Combinacion de Mariscos, which was one fish fillet, two grilled shrimp, two fried shrimp , two shrimp stuffed peppers, ceviche tostada, rice and a salad, all for only 17.99. This is hands down the best shrimp meal I have had in the desert. The fried shrimp was lightly battered and butterflied and the grilled shrimp was still in the shell, also butterflied and both were fresh, tender and succulent. We barely had room at this point for dessert, but we split the fried ice cream- yummy, and the flan- divine.
I give El Mexicali Cafe 2, a 5 star rating based on the impeccable service, clean, friendly atmosphere and amazing food. For more info go to www.elmexicalicafe2.com or call 760- 342-2333.

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