Saturday, December 8, 2012

A Little Bit of Spain and Mexico - La Malinche

As a follow up on my previous blog post, I finally had a chance to pop into La Malinche. They have a nice set up with appropriate art decor to their theme featuring the hybrid of the two cultures - Mexican and Spanish and they did a good job of portraying that. They have a nice bar set up on the left as you walk in.  On this fine Friday night in particular there were a few people watching soccer at the bar. It had a nice vibe to it and I was happy to see the restaurant pretty full.

I don't know that I would call the food Mexican and Spanish fusion, since in reality, the foods aren't "fused" together. For example, you won't find tacos de pulpo (octopus tacos), chorrizo al vino fajitas, or horchata sangria, however, you will find plates individually from each culture on one menu.

Service was great, food was good and consistent, and everything tasted fresh. The ham came out first and then 5 minutes later the rest came out all at once, which was a little too fast for tapas. My Portuguese father-in-law uses an expression for this style of food: "estas aqui a fazer sala," meaning one should take their time and dine as if hanging out in someone's living room. Of course we weren't looking to take up a table for hours and hours, but tapas are meant to be shared and enjoyed and are usually brought out a couple at a time. So in other words, slow your roll.

We started with the jamon serrano (ham) followed by the rest: albondigas a La Malinche (meatballs), patatas bravas (potatoes with spicy tomato and aioli sauce), fritura de bacalao (codfish croquette with potatoes and garlic aioli), and gambas a la cazuela (sauteed shrimp with wine and garlic). To drink: Traditional Sangria Tinta and a glass of the Malbec, recommended by our waiter. Both were great, although the sangria was a a little sweet for me but the boo enjoyed it just fine.
My only qualms were: the tacos served (we didn't get these but we saw others) were the larger hard taco shells. I would expect the smaller more authentic soft corn tortillas for this type of restaurant. Also, the boo pointed out that if they left the heads still on the shrimp, it would kick them up two levels, but that's the Iberian in him talking. Although I definitely agree with him and he makes a great point, as one would then be able to suck out the delicious goodness out of the heads. 

The restaurant makes for a great addition to Downtown Silver Spring for a much needed tapas spot.  One will notice right away that the waiters and staff take pride in their product. I hope that our neighbors go out and continue to support this venue so it can be around for many years to come.
La Malinche

8622 Colesville Rd
Silver Spring, MD 20910
Easily accessible via the red line metro (just a few blocks). Also there are two parking garages within walking distance that offer free parking on evenings, weekends, and holidays. The Spring Cameron Garage and Town Square Garage are the most convenient.