Middle Main

A neighborhood just a little off center

My friend and I went out in search for an affordable authentic Mexican meal, and that is exactly what we got. The Spicy Mexican Grill is located on the left side of Main Street if coming from the bridge. BE AWARE; it is very easy to pass if you are not paying attention. Before we arrived at the location my friend and I who were on our way accidentally over shot the restaurant by about five minutes of driving time. Let it behold that we stumbled upon a part of Poughkeepsie that neither of us knew existed. If you take Main Street up and up and up. Further then you would typically go, we found a second sort of Main Street with more restaurants and local shops. But that’s an adventure for another day. I just though I would throw it out there for anyone curious enough to drive on up.

Back to The Spicy Mexican Grill. Let me begin with how happy I was to find plenty of street parking. Once we walked up the front of the restaurant. The sign is of loud colors with a green background. Upon entering there was nice Spanish music playing softly in the background. We had come on the perfect day to see a true authentic Mexican restaurant. The restaurant was full to our surprise (seating is around 40) with a large crowded table all put together in the middle and the surrounding tables also filled with customers. It seems we came during a young Mexican boy’s birthday party. It was great.

The ambiance was fun, happy and joyful. Even the tables who were seated around the party seemed to be joining in on the celebration. The children were laughing and stumbling around while the slightly stressed waitress was trying to manage the whole front of the house. Once we were in the building a few minutes went by and a bus boy said it would just be a few minutes to be seated. So we stood inside and watched how they ran their restaurant.

On this particular night, there was only one waitress who was doing a great job serving and keeping up with all the guests, while she also had two other men that worked as runners and busers. The kitchen is set back from the restaurant so you can not see much going on back there, but it really did smell great. It only took the smiles coming from the customers, the great smell and the low playing music in the background that let us know we were in for a treat.

Once we were seated, the waitress came over and promptly asked what we wanted to drink. I highly recommend you to try "Mexican Coke" if you never have before. And make sure you specify or else you will be brought the traditional American coke. The difference is that Mexican coke is made with real sugar as opposed to American coke that is made with high fructose corn syrup (not good for you). AND.... Mexican coke comes in the authentic glass bottles.

Be advised... This is a restaurant where very little English is spoken. We had a slightly hard time figuring out what everything was and ended up ordering off of her recommendations. So be ready and willing to try something new that you may know much about. My friend and I decided to order and share everything. We got and order of the guacamole, one steak filled empanada, one chicken "torta", a water and a soda. The total was $27 dollars and it was worth every penny. The portion sizes were much larger than expected.

The guacamole was made table side in a large mortar. It was really cool. The waitress came to the table with the bowl, two avocados and a side dish of pre-chopped tomatoes and ingredients. Once she made the guacamole she left and returned with chips, additional marinated tomatoes and two salsas. My friend and I both agreed the presentation was a great addition to the meal.

Our entrees came out shortly after. The empanada was different than I expected. It was served similar to a quesadilla, but it was folded in half. With the addition of the sauces severed at the beginning of the meal, it was quite tasty. The "torta" was a surprise as well. She tried to explain it to us but neither of us knows any Spanish. It was actually a sandwich. It had chicken, jalapeños, sweet peppers, avocado, lettuce and a tasty spread. And then there were the fajitas. They came out on a sizzling platter with steam pouring off of the plate. Be sure you know the word for HOT! The typical sides came too. Cheese, sour cream, lettuce, tomato, more guacamole and of course the tortillas which came in a cool wooden cask.

The meal was simply too much to finish. We tried and we wanted to eat all of it but we simply could not. We had to wrap up half of the empanada and half of the torta. For $27 dollars (without a tip), it was worth the money. If filled both of us to the brim and had us leaving with left overs for a late night snack and a smile on both of our faces.

To whoever is looking to get good food at an authentic restaurant. Or is simply looking for a good time, I highly recommend eating here. The Spicy Mexican Grill is a great place for friend to eat as well as families. Also one last thing to note, this restaurant DOES take credit card, but you must tip by cash. And make sure not to dine here without trying the Mexican Coke!

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