Monday, April 28, 2008

Treasure on 28th

You know how it is. I didn't want to get my hopes up because I'd been disappointed before. I'd read a few things, heard a little more and even had friends say it was worth a shot.

Crab tacos.

So when the opportunity arose last Friday to meet friends for dinner, the chosen rendezvous point was Fonda Rosa, a new Mexican place on NE 28th. Owned by Teresa Brooks-Hernandez and her husband, Hugo Hernandez, it supersedes Teresa's resale clothing shop that was a placeholder until they could save enough to open their restaurant.

Spinach and goat cheese cakes.

And their persistence has definitely paid off. From the appetizer of a startlingly fresh and tasty ceviche to the freshly made tortillas to the entrees, this place has it going on. Originally from Colima, Hugo grew up around his family's restaurant where everything was made from scratch. The menu reflects the cuisine of Mexico's left coast, and he shows a deft touch with seafood.

Crab enchiladas.

We started with their great house margaritas made just the way Dave does here at home with lots of lime juice and no stinkin' mixes. Those came with an appetizer of the aforementioned ceviche (top) and crab tacos in crispy tortillas with pico de gallo and a wonderfully savory chile sauce that didn't overwhelm the delicate flavor of the plentiful chunks of crab.

Fish tacos.

For my entree I had to have the crab enchiladas, two corn tortillas filled with big chunks of crab and topped with a salsa verde, pico de gallo and a squiggle of crema. These were totally amazing, a creamy, lovely ode to my favorite crustacean. I have to say the rice that came with it was underwhelming with little flavor and a clumpy texture, an anomaly compared to the rest of the offerings.

And the fish tacos, as I said before, show Hernandez's knowing hand with seafood. Perfectly cooked chunks of white fish, still tender and sprinkled with the merest amount of pico de gallo, red cabbage and lime, were served with the traditional accompaniment of guacamole, salsa and beans. The flavors and preparations are so right and, having just come back from Mexico, were just what we needed to feel like we never left.

Details: Fonda Rosa, 108 NE 28th Ave. at the corner of Couch. Phone 503-235-3828.


christa said...

i happened into this place yesterday for lunch, and agree wholeheartedly... yum! i had the fish tacos and was incredibly impressed.

Kathleen Bauer said...

Glad to know it wasn't just a dream. And lunch here would be a very good idea!