Friday, June 29, 2007

Andalé – Arriba Arriba Arriba!!!

Restaurant: Andalé
Address: 845 Market Street, Suite FE7, Westfield SF Center, Food Emporium
Cuisine: Mexican
Date Last Visited: May 18, 2007

Yes, I have truly conquered Westfield’s Food Emporium. It’s official. There are only a couple places left to go to and then I can honestly say I have eaten out this place. Ha. Dirty.

Get your minds out of the gutters, people!! On to the food. Andalé has tempting dishes displayed for your eyes to gawk at. That’s what got me to eat here. I was reluctant to eat here because I knew of taquerias where I could get some bomb burritos. However, I wanted to try something new. I usually do not order whole plates that include rice and beans. I usually get burritos or quesadillas and then get a side of rice. So this was going to be something new.

So I didn’t want to get a burrito or a quesadillas. But then I saw a display plate with enchiladas. Oh dear. They looked so yummy with that red sauce, cheese, sour cream and guacamole poured on top. True that it is artery clogging, but it was a Friday and I had just gotten paid that day, so there was a reason to celebrate.

As I was ordering I saw that they had a frequent diner card. You have to buy 9 entrees to get one free. Hmm, estimating that I would have to spend 10 bucks each visit, I would have to spend around 90 dollars to get my free meal. Eh, I took one anyway even though I barely go to the same place twice, unless I really really really really like it.

I ordered the two-item combo with the enchilada and taco. I had the choice of either a cheese or chicken enchilada. I chose chicken. The cashier asked me for my second item and I said, “Taco.” She asked, “Crunchy or soft?” “Crunchy, please.” “Chicken or steak?” STEAK? Whoa! On the menu, it didn’t offer steak tacos. They just mentioned chicken. I actually thought I was getting chicken in everything, so of course I jumped at the opportunity to get steak tacos. YUM! The cost including a bottle of Coke was a little over 14 dollars. A little steep for my budget, so I was nervous if it was going to be worth it.

She gave me a little pager to signal me when my food was ready. I found a seat and waited. What I like about Andalé is that they have a server-type person to set up your tray for you. Charming. =) My pager went off in about 3-4 minutes and I brought this BEATIFUL plate of food to my table. Doesn’t that look awesome? The enchilada and taco come with a side of rice, beans, and a type of slaw.

The enchilada was perfect. When it comes to Mexican food, I tend to load my tacos and burritos with all the fixing’s, so seeing how much sour cream and guacamole on it made me jump for joy on the inside. The enchilada was cooked perfectly and was filled with seasoned shredded chicken. It was topped with a light red sauce and all that delectable stuff I mentioned before. I liked how everything was not overly spicy. I think it was a great thing to add the slaw with the plate because it cuts through all the carbs and starches you are ingesting. It’s refreshing and has a slight tang. It might be vinegar? I am not quite sure. It reminded me of atchara (Philippine version of kimchee, but is sweeter because it is made with papaya and carrots and it doesn’t have the spiciness). Yes, that’s what it was: it’s a cross between kimchee without all the chilies and fermentation and stuff, sweet Philippine atchara and regular Cole slaw. VERY good. It went well with the sauces and savoriness of the enchilada.

The taco was off the hook. Before this meal, the most gourmet taco I had was probably the Double-Decker Taco Supreme from Taco Bell. I’m usually not a taco person, so this was exciting. Let me tell you, that’s crunchy tortilla is what sold me. It’s not a paper-thin taco shell from your regular Rosarita taco assembly kits you can get from Safeway. These are thick, crunchy, and strong. Strong meaning that it can hold all that steak, pico de gallo, guacamole, and sour cream without falling apart in your hands. A little juice did get on the taco shell while it was sitting there, but even then it didn’t crumble to pieces.

I’m not a beany-type of person, especially whole beans. I usually get refried, so I didn’t finish all my beans. I mean, I was eating everything else and I was getting full. =)

The rice was good, too. For some reason, I always get rice. Even with quesadillas, I get rice. The rice is nice and mild and went well with everything. I actually like putting the rice, enchilada, and slaw in one bite. The difference in textures, temperatures and flavors was so great in my mouth. =)

So would I come back again? Yes, I think I will. The flavors were really good. It IS in the middle of a food court, but this is the supposedly the best food court in all of Downtown. And I actually haven’t seen any other food courts with Mexican food as good as this. The steak tacos are worth coming back for. However, like I said before I do know of taquerias that make great burritos, so I probably won’t be here for that. I saw a bunch of people throughout the weeks eating taco salads. It looked really healthy, but most importantly filling. Maybe that’s a reason to go back? We’ll see…

Andale Mexican on Urbanspoon