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Saturday, June 24, 2006


Los Compadres: Excellent Mexican Food

Last week my wife and I tried the new location of Los Compadres on west College Avenue. It's the brightly colored building that used to be the less colorful Friar Tuck's. I was impressed with the food and the prices. First, they are one of the few places in the Fox Cities with authentic horchata, the rice drink with a little cinnamon in it that I'm crazy about. Other places make horchata from a ghastly powder with artificial ingredients, but Los Compadres starts with actual rice and makes the drink fresh - daily, I think. Second, the new chef is excellent and has some items on the menu that are hard to find elsewhere. The dish I had, for example, was a surprisingly good "Enchiladas Bananas" containing perfect plantains inside corn tortillas with a delightful dark mole sauce. My wife had a hearty burrito with great flavor also. Side dishes were also good. And the bean dip and salsa for the chips are among our favorites. Our entrees were both $10 each - surprisingly inexpensive for dinner.

Service was excellent. Our waiter spoke great English and was very outgoing and personable. We'll be back.

The original location on Appleton Road in Menasha is now Solea, another good choice for Mexican food. The three locations for Los Compadres in the Fox Cities are (1) just east of Wal-Mart in Darboy, next to Radio Shack, at 3825 E Calumet St, Appleton, (920) 733-3010 (my least favorite of the three); (2) on West College Avenue (the former Friar Tuck's building) at 2120 W College Ave, Appleton, (920) 882-9331 (my favorite of the three); and (3) in Neenah near Town of Menasha, just a couple blocks west of the intersection of Highway CB and American Drive, at 1575 Plaza Dr, Neenah, (920) 722-6572 (pretty good and very new). For the Neenah location, note that Google Maps shows the wrong location (as of Jan. 19, 2007).

Here are a couple photos from the West College Avenue location:

Of the three locations, the one by Wal-Mart is my least favorite. They have a different, pricier menu that lacks some of the best and most authentic foods of their original place. Their tacos were poorly cooked--the most disappointing food that I've ever had from a Mexican restaurant. The soft corn tortillas were not stale and not well cooked, in my opinion, maybe just lightly steamed, and thus were flavorless and unpalatable. I politely pointed out the problem, asking if they could be lightly fried. I was treated like I was from Mars. Three different employees came, each time asking why I was unhappy with the tacos and each time, instead of fixing them, explaining that this is they way they are supposed to be. (Hey, mis amigos, go to Huaraches in Glenview, Illinois to experience some real tacos with great freshly made corn tortillas! On Milwaukee Street just north of Lake Street.) I've had tacos cooked by Mexicans many times without ever running into something like this. Plus, the second place is more expensive--you're paying for the nicer location and decor. I've been disappointed there twice now and won't be going back. But the other two Los Compadres are awesome!
Hi, Jeff,

Feel free to delete this post as soon as you see it. I couldn't find an e-mail address for you and didn't want this to get lost in the clutter.

Anyway, I'd be interested in reading your comments on this speech (not on this blog, though):

Barack Obama

I haven't seen this speech discussed in the Bloggernacle, but I think it should be.
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