February 13, 2012

Pancho's Tex-Mex

Anyone who knows me knows I love some good Tex-Mex (and the requisite 'rita). ABF & I stopped at a Long Island institution this weekend: Pancho's in Island Park.

Our server was very easy-going and friendly, without being too bubbly. She asked if she could make a margarita recommendation, and I said fire away! She suggested I try the Sauza-rita, which consisted of Sauza Tres Generaciones tequila and Cointreau. On the rocks with salt, of course, and it was delicious! Not syrupy-sweet, just right.

ABF ordered an unsweetened iced tea--very strong and pretty delicious. I'm a sucker for anything in a mason jar, FYI.

Chips & salsa keep you company while you make up your mind over the large menu
options: the salsa is not really spicy, but flavorful with lots of chunks of onions.

This meal was sort of a late lunch/early dinner, so I was extra-hungry and talked ABF into sharing a bowl of hot queso with me. The cheese dip was a bit thin, , though, just a little too watery for me. The chilies in it were a tasty touch, and when we mixed in some of the salsa it was even better, but honestly, I'd pass on this next time.

ABF ordered the Enchiladas Garcia, which came with one portobello mushroom enchilada and one chicken, both smothered (and I do mean smothered) in Monterey Jack cheese and green chili salsa. I think we both expected a tomatillo type salsa for this, but it was more of a New Mexico-type green chili salsa. Still good, just not exactly what we normally crave.

For the sides, ABF ordered waffle fries (good) and a side salad, which was way better than I expected! A nice, light vinaigrette made your everyday shredded iceberg salad into something quick crave-able.

I went for the shredded chicken chimichanga--which was at LEAST twice the size I expected (I took home at least half of this for later, even after sharing several bites with ABF. It was good--tender chicken, delicious and spicy. My sides were the mashed potatoes with green chili gravy (so-so) and the black beans with a light layer of melted cheese (very good!)--this will make for great leftovers!

The dessert menu at Pancho's consists of shot-glass sized mini-desserts--basically parfaits in all kinds of flavors.

We chose red velvet, caramel apple pie, and key lime pie. These were just right--a few bites of some different flavors..enough to sate a sweet tooth without overdoing it. Three for $7.50 is not a bad deal!

My favorite was the key lime pie--it had lime zest, a graham cracker crust layer, and tasted just like the real thing. ABF's favorite was the apple pie, even though it didn't have any crust-type ingredients. We both could live without the red velvet, which had an oddly tasty toasted coconut layer (even though I submit that red velvet shouldn't have coconut!).

Next time around, I'm probably going to get two of the key lime! Three or four spoonfuls of deliciousness and you're done!

Truly welcoming service, spot-on margaritas, delicious food, and pint-sized desserts--there are plenty of reasons for us to go back to Pancho's...and we will!

4245 Austin Boulevard
Island Park, NY 11558
(516) 897-8300

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