Robin Garr opens his review of Taco Luchador by asserting luchadores make "the overweight, steroid-pumped thespians of the WWE look like a bunch of slow-moving sissies." Then he complains about cilantro. Before he gets to his food, Garr praises the power trio of Fernando, Cristina and Yaniel Martinez ("hit a string of home runs") and points out the tiny, six-table footprint of Taco Luchador ("I advise arriving early"). And he really seems to like his tacos, saying that while his carnitas taco "may have been best of all," Luchador's "veggie mix" made him question his own judgment:
The veggie taco is amazing, a symphonic flavor combo of refried black beans, guacamole, queso fresco, roasted corn and poblanos, crema and pico de gallo, plus a counter-intuitive addition that may trace to the Martinez's Cuban heritage: chunks of sweet, smoky fried plantain. The veggie mix was so awe-inspiring that I inquired as to its availability on a torta. No hay problemo, señor!
Garr's major complaint seems to be with cilantro, or rather the lack of it:
The chicken mole taco, menu item No. 5 ($2), is loaded with simple, tender shredded chicken cloaked in a sweet, pale-brown mole sauce with corn kernels, diced poblano peppers and bits of tangy cotija cheese mixed in; it's garnished with crema and a little fresh cilantro. "There could've been more cilantro," muttered Mary. "Cilantro isn't too expensive, guys! C'mon! Give your customers more cilantro!" You heard it here first.
Mole fries ($3), the Mexican equivalent of French-Canadian poutine, are addictive: A pile of standard-issue fries are elevated with a hefty dollop of sweet chocolate-spice mole sauce striped with snow-white crema and topped with, yes, Mary, a scant ration of cilantro.
A few bits of chopped herb were seemingly all it took to drop Mr. Garr's rating of Taco Luchador down to an almost-B 91 points. [LEO Weekly]
Marty Rosen says so many good things about Brasserie Provence, he has to reach out to friends for help. After letting readers know owner Guy Genoud has "created a space that's warm and welcoming," and informing them of various menu categories and daily specials ("on Fridays, the finest bouillabaisse"), Rosen gets down to some serous superlativing:
[O]n a recent visit with our friends Bob and Michelle, we found a string of flawless dishes. You could make a pretty good meal out of nothing but onion dishes at Brasserie Provence by starting with that onion tart and finishing with a bowl of deep, dark onion soup with a rich island of melting Gruyere floating on the surface ($8). And the lacy delicacy of the impeccably trimmed baby frisee lettuce in a Lyonnaise salad ($7) was stunning — especially when coupled with the faint prickle of a Dijon vinaigrette and the golden yolk of a poached egg. Another salad offers the lively energy of arugula, finely shaved fennel, orange slices and a walnut oil vinaigrette ($8).
Rosen gushes over both the quality and value of Brasserie Provence, finding a bone-in pork chop "looks like golden treasure" and a roasted half-chicken captures "the simple elegance of French cuisine." But he believes his roasted sea bass "best expresses" the Brasserie Provence style of Chef de Cuisine Edoardo Bacci. Just ask Bob.
[A]s Bob said, it's one of those transparent, high-stakes dishes where lots of things can go wrong if the technique isn't perfect. And here, the technique was perfect. It's roasted over a bed of sea salt until the surface of the fish develops a fine, taut finish, and the flesh expresses nothing but pure flavor and wonderfully concentrated texture. It's a rare dish indeed, especially when touched with a bit of Bacci's classic pistou, the pesto of Provence.
· We wrestle and win at El Taco Luchador [LEO Weekly]
· Taco Luchador [Facebook]
· Brasserie Provence provides expert service and an exquisite menu [Courier-Journal]
· Brasserie Provence [Official Site]
· All Eater Week In Reviews [~ELOU~]