As I posted earlier, the large population of Mexican-Americans in eastern Washington naturally leads to the startup of quite a few Mexican restaurants. Driving through the main drag of small towns, such as Quincy, you can’t help but notice how many there are. All that competition should raise the overall quality. For dinner tonight, we asked the receptionist at our hotel (Baymont Inn & Suites in Kennewick) for dinner recommendations. One of them was Fiesta just a short distance away. We went there, even if we had Mexican food last night.
This is a large Mexican restaurant, well illuminated and less colorful than most, by which I mean the walls and ceilings are not painted in bright or earth tones, though the interior is not lacking in character. Toward the back is the salsa bar, with five separate kinds in large bowls, and behind it was an employee making tortillas on a large griddle. All of this, our waitress explained, was complimentary with meals. Other than “free” salsas which we you can get at many restaurants, this really means you can eat all the tortillas you want.
I’ll start with the beer. I was thirsting for a cold beer after another day of driving and warm, dry weather. The Modelo Especial really hit the spot, with its clean, refreshing taste, served in a frosty mug. I can’t remember a time when my beer was any colder, possibly a perception heightened by thirst. It was so satisfying that I ordered another one. The waitress was good enough to fetch a new frosty mug. Great service!
The tortilla chips were quite good. Even though the salsa was excellent, I wound up dipping chips in the hot salsa I got from the bar instead.
The tomatillo salsa was excellent, but an avocado one seemed more like a thin mayonnaise with no discernible avocado taste.
We split a Camarones a la Plancha y Carne Asada. The shrimp was butterflied, then grilled. Quite tasty, though there was a bit of a struggle to shell them. After a while, I ate the whole thing, shell and all. The carne asada was also very good with great beefy flavor, but a bit chewy. The rice, like last night, was perfectly cooked. The refried beans, also like last night, were good but weren’t cooked in lard.
Yelpers seemed divided about this restaurant, though most of the negative comments seemed to have been written a couple of years ago. Perhaps things have changed for the better. I know we enjoyed it.