Wednesday, November 6, 2013

#22 Xochitl

Everyone  keeps asking me "Ryan, how many gift cards do you have left?!" After I sigh and complain about how much work they are I usually respond with "like 30-ish". So to clear that up, as of today, I officially have 30 gift cards left to use. Crap.

I love Mexican restaurants. I love gauc and margs and the atmosphere that comes with an authentic Mexican restaurant. I've actually eaten Mexican one night a week for the past 3 weeks (overkill?). Unfortunately, I only have 4 on my list, which is just not enough. So I have been strategically trying to space them out. Good thing Lolita is closed for renovation until January, so that buys me some time to use my last Mexican gift card.

Xochitl, pronounced " So-Cheet" (I was pronouncing it like Zoc-a-til- not even close) is a cozy bar/restaurant located at 2nd and Pine. Beautiful part of the city that I definitely want to venture back to. Every time one of these gift cards brings me to a new neighborhood of Philadelphia I immediately picture my life there and decide that I want to move. Not only have these gift cards expanded my palate, but they have also enhanced my love of the city. Okay- I'll stop!

The seating area in Xochitl was pretty small, but there was a large bar. There was a good amount of people sitting at the bar watching a game on TV. I could definitely see myself going back there to enjoy the bar room instead of the formal dining area.

The first great thing I noticed about Xochitl was their "Make your Own Guacamole" option. Like, yes. My dream.

The second thing I noticed was that their margs were strong. Holy cow. I think its funny how every Mexican restaurant "specializes in tequila". The waiters always go into so much detail about "their favorite margarita" and rave about the specialty tequila. I also know that the waiter's "favorite margarita" is going to be the most expensive drink on the menu. I've been around the block enough times to know their trick and I never buy in. After their long winded, detailed spiel about the $15 special margarita, I always go with the basic $9 margarita. Better luck next time, guys.

The third thing that I noticed about Xochitl was that the wait staff was on the pushy side. It was a Friday night at 8:30 and I was out with my roommates, Regan and Mal. I was in absolutely no rush to scarf my food down. We ordered the margaritas and guacamole and were enjoying the night. The waitress asked if we were ready to order and we told her we wanted a few more minutes. Then about 5 minutes later, the head chef comes to our table and asks us if had any questions about the menu and if we were ready to order. The waitress sent out the big guns. I felt slightly intimidated, so we started to order. We all got tacos, Regan got the chicken and Mal and I got the fish. The chef asked if wanted sides, well maybe I shouldn't say asked, he basically told us we needed sides. "The tacos don't come with side dishes and they aren't very big so we would definitely need something else." We weren't even that hungry, but he bullied us into ordering two sides for the table. The tacos came out and they were huge. We definitely did not need the sides. I'll say it again, we got bullied.

Lucky for us, the sides were hands down the best part of the meal. We got the Rice & Manchego (cheesy rice goodness) & the Esquites (Mexican street corn). If you ever go to Xochitl, please get these. Mal & I weren't fans of our tacos. The fish tacos were surprisingly spicy and had more slaw then fish. Mal said hers had an overly fishy taste. Regan said her tacos were "amaze". Guess I will go with the chicken tacos next time.

I was pleasantly surprised that with tip and my $50 gift card we each only paid $34. For 2 margaritas each, guacamole, an entrée, and sides, this isn't too shabby. One of my very, very few posts that I don't complain about the check!


I am excited to go back to Xochitl to sit at the bar and avoid any pushy wait staff. On Sundays- Thursdays they have a $28 Molajete Dinner for 2, which is right up my alley!

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