Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Road Trip. Day 2. Jalapeno Grill In Marion, NC.

On Monday, we left Asheboro and headed to Marion for the night. I wanted to try out a restaurant recommended to me by one of my readers, Deb in WPB. Very casual. Very unpretentious. Very inviting. It's the Jalapeno Fresh Grill. I believe Deb told me Ernesto, the proprietor, was the former chef at the Mexican Embassy. Please correct me if I'm wrong.
And I just happened to be in the mood for Mexican. Believe it or not, I'm Chinesed out.
This place is filling up fast. Funny "small world" story about this: The next day I got an email from Deb informing me her sister had been at the Jalapeno Grill that very same night. Now, Deb, if you tell me that's your sister over there, then just cue the Twilight Zone music. I like the lights going around. Green cacti and red cowboy boots.
Upon being seated, we were immediately served delicious warm fried tortilla chips and a perfect salsa. These chips are nothing like what you buy in the big bags of air. These are wonderfully flavorful.
I went through two bowls of salsa.
Now for the extensive menu:
Appetizers Soups Salads
Combos. Fajitas. Tacos.
Mucho Burritos Enchiladas Chimichangas Flautas
Seafood Traditional fare I probably took 10 minutes going over the menu. What to order? What to order? Somebody decide for me!
And we both finally settled on the Jalapeno Specials. Mr. Hawthorne ordered the Sizzling Parrillada - grilled pork loin, steak, and chicken with a chili relleno, rice, beans, grilled veggies, and a sweet corn cake. I decided on the Traditional Fajita with grilled steak, sauteed onions and peppers, with rice, beans, guacamole, and cactus relish.
We were served within minutes.
This plate is mine. This picture is hazy because of the steam rising off the sizzling hot iron platter. Here's my other plate of rice, guac, sour cream, refried beans with cheese, a tomato and onion accompaniment, and a wonderful sweet corn cake. I was looking forward to the cactus relish since I've never had that, but the corn cake did not disappoint at all. Let me just say, I have never liked refried beans. Until tonight.
Here's my platter cooled off a bit.
Here's Mr. Hawthorne's entree. Three different grilled meats with veggies and dices of pineapple. Once again, I have entree envy.
And Mr. H.'s other plate of rice, guac, sour cream, tomato and onion, sweet corn cake, and a cup of black beans that was more than black beans but not a soup. I don't know what it was. Except really good.
Bottom line? I have Deb to thank for RUINING any other Mexican restaurant I may EVER go to. Thanks, Deb. ; /
I always try to check out sanitation scores and I've never seen one at 100%. (And I hate to think what my kitchen score would be.)
On the way out, I took a quick peak into the kitchen.
The food and service are both excellent. Only one thing I didn't like: It's too FAR AWAY!
Bellies full, we headed back to our hotel ...
... and Mr. Hawthorne was kind enough to point out the Fifth Third Bank. Say wha?


Marilyn said...

Glad to hear that you liked another restaurant.

And Rosie, Fifth Third Bank is out of Cincinnati, Ohio. No, I've never understood the name either.

Kathy said...

Okay, let me count the number of times that I have heard you say only good things about a restaurant: one.... two..... umm.... I think that's it.

Congratulations on #2 (heh)

Phyllis said...

Cinco de Mayo and dinner at the you live to torture your readers, or what?! Happy Trails for the rest of the way...

Mr. P said...

Rosie, Around here that bank is know by a number of names, like Fifth Fee, or 1 and 2 thirds bank. It was the merger of the Third State Bank and Fifth State Bank (or something like that). One of the former CEOs said that using the name Third Fifth wouldn't work.