Saturday, May 06, 2006

Cinco de Mayo Celebrations

Planning Cinco de Mayo celebrations earlier than the evening of seemed like it might have been a very sensible idea at 7 pm last night as we frantically called round every Mexican Restaurant to see if we could possibly get a reservation. After quite a search we found that Ranchos Cocina had only a 10 minute wait for walk ins and headed over there. It is our local neighborhood Mexican restaurant after all. When it came to it the wait was probably more like 30 mins (for a party of 5), but we sat outside and it was a fun sort of atmosphere so no harm done.
Inside, Ranchos Cocina (which specializes in Vegetarian Mexican Cuisine), was buzzing with Cinco de Mayo revelers. We were seated at something that looked more like a narrow piece of wood than anything else- and certainly served to pack the restaurant to the max. We squeezed in well enough however and settled down to a pitcher of margaritas, chips, salsa, and guacamole which seemed to be nothing more than a squished up avocado. We ordered our food and a good half hour later it arrived. Opinions were mixed as to its quality- the Lobster Burrito got a big thumbs up, as did the fish tacos and cheese and bean enchiladas. Less positive response were alluded from the tofu and ole sauce enchilada and the whole-wheat chicken burrito. Perhaps Mexican food just isn't made to be healthy. Everything was fine and jolly until the check arrived, we were about to pay what seemed like a rather extensive sum, when we realized we had been charged for 3 entrees we had not eaten. I will take a positive stance and assume that this wasn't purposefully done, although my dinner companions were less convinced.
About half way through the meal one of our party had declared a craving for chocolate, I lost track of what ensued but all of sudden we had a reservation at the Melting Pot for later that evening. It seems that planning Cinco de Mayo early is sensible but random on the spot decisions much more fun.
We arrived at the Melting Pot around 9.30. The ladies got started on some chocolate Martinis (complete with a Hershey's Kiss), whilst the men opted for port and coffee. Still distinctly stuffed from the Mexican food we start around the fun circular table for a couple of hours, drinking, chatting and enjoying each other's company. After letter our dinner digest we ordered two of the melting pot's small fondues- Smores and the Flaming Turtle. Each fondue came with strawberries, pineapple, banana cheesecake, brownies, and marshmallows for dipping. They were both absolutely exquisite; my favorite was dipping the fresh banana pieces into the Flaming Turtle, a wonderful velvety chocolate sauce.
So a very successful evening out- arriving home 5 hours after heading out! A massive thumbs up to the Melting Point- which is somewhere all San Diegans should pay a visit. I will reserve judgment on Ranchos Cocina and perhaps pay them a visit on a slightly less busy occasion. Perhaps Mexican Restaurants are NOT the place to be on this holiday!

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