Wednesday, December 11, 2013
George and Linda Smith
It was a great combination: an excellent feast at our favorite Mexican restaurant, Buen Apetito, followed by a play at the Aqua City Actor's Theater.
IF YOU GO
4 Chaplin St., Waterville
Open Sunday and Monday from 5-8 p.m,.; Tuesday through Thursday 4-8 p.m; Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Takeout is available.
Waterville Opera House
"Buen Apetito" is often something I say to my first graders as they head to lunch. It means enjoy your lunch (or at least that's my translation of this phrase). Well, when you head to the restaurant Buen Apetito, it's a given that you will enjoy your lunch or dinner. Consistently delicious Mexican food can be counted on here. Many are in agreement with me judging by the number of people on a weekend evening.
Don't be daunted by the number of people waiting. It looked like a long wait as we arrived, but food comes out pretty quickly and tables were turning over by 5:30 p.m. when we got there. We only had to wait 20 minutes and were able to be at the Waterville Opera House by 6:45 p.m. Their kitchen must be a well-oiled machine.
I admit to being addicted to their green sauce, which is served with tortilla chips that they cut and cook at the restaurant. I was under the impression that it was a tomatillo sauce. In hopes that I could recreate that sauce I actually planted tomatillos in my garden this season.
Our server, Kim, explained that it's actually an avocado based sauce. No wonder I love it so much! Cilantro and chilies also shine in this sauce and I could eat it on everything. So I guess I'll have to find another use for those tomatillos. I am able to buy this sauce at Barrels Community Market on Main Street in Waterville.
I remembered that the appetizer we tried when we were here last year was extra special, so we ordered a serving of Chicken Flautas. Tortilla-wrapped chicken is fried and served with lettuce, tomato, guacamole and sour cream. Three flautas came in the serving and though flautas are usually tiny, these were big and stuffed with what looked like a whole chicken tender (which was perfectly seasoned). It was plenty to share and we still brought one home. This was hearty and could be a meal, priced at $5.95. They were great!
Buen Apetito's guacamole outshines any other due to the chunky pieces of avocado, chopped onion and tomato. They brighten it with the addition of lime juice. Definitely order it if you like guacamole!
I'm afraid I can't get out of my rut as far as an entree is concerned. For me, the cheese Chile Rellenos cannot be beat. I love the sauce it is cooked in, as well as the melted-cheese topping. Surrounded by rice and beans (even these are perfect), it comes served on an oval plate and was enough for two more helpings that we took home. Poblano chilies are one of the milder ones, but the heat varies and these certainly packed a punch. I enjoyed every bite and I noticed George's fork often headed my way, too.
The prices are very reasonable here and the portions are large. This is Mexican food at its finest, and I am so happy they are only a short drive away. George asked why we don't come here more often. Great question! We intend to do just that.
Chef and owner Gary LaPlant has come out with a line of Deer Camp sauces. I serve the Buckshot Blueberry at home with pork tenderloin or grilled meats. His XXX Hot Sauce sounds intimidating, but a splash of this in chili, taco meat or a stir fry really enhances the flavor without taking over the dish.
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