Review: Temazcal Tequila Cantina

Terrific Mexican with a waterfront view
By ROBERT NADEAU  |  November 7, 2011
3.0 3.0 Stars

Tamales verdes de pollo ($13) look Yucatecan, wrapped in banana leaf, and there is some heat in the green salsa, but the tamales use fresh corn for texture with the corn meal, and don't have the leaden stodginess tamale enthusiasts might expect. The dish comes festively decorated with squash and pumpkin seeds and bits of Mexican cheese.

main2_Temazcal_480

My favorite entrée was carne asada tampiquena ($22), a rolled marinated skirt steak (cooked medium rare as ordered) with a lot of excellent black beans, a little bit of over-saffronated rice, a cheese enchilada, and a fresh salsa. The assembly reminds me more of the big platters at Colombian restaurants than the giant samplers of Tex-Mex restaurants.

The "whole suckling pig carved at table" ($32) — and there always seems to be one traveling through the dining areas — looks spectacular and has been well reviewed, but we weren't in the mood. (I think some of the leftovers get into the black beans.) Dorado mojo de ajo ($22) is a fine chunk of mahi-mahi, in a serious garlic sauce, mounted on a pile of shredded and mashed plantain, like a Puerto Rican mofongo but lighter. I've never seen this in Mexico, but I'd order it as a side dish if I did.

Temazcal opened with an fun list of big, sweet nuevo Latino desserts, many with ice cream for summer, but as we go to press the restaurant was transitioning to a full-time pastry chef and a different approach.

Temazcal, like some seaside restaurants in Latin America, is open to the ocean in warm weather, and the view here, as at other places on the row, is the old view from Jimmy's Harborside, across the water to the new towers of Charlestown and East Boston and the planes landing at Logan. It's blocked to the left by Fish Pier, essentially the last working part of the seaport until you get down to the South Boston container dock. But that's all morning action. Temazcal is pushing the envelope by opening seven days for lunch, and it might recapture the midday power brokers who once vied for tables at Jimmy's and Anthony's.

Robert Nadeau can be reached at robtnadeau@aol.com.

< prev  1  |  2  | 
  Topics: Restaurant Reviews , dining, Waterfront, Mexican food,  More more >
| More


Most Popular
ARTICLES BY ROBERT NADEAU
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   REVIEW: BONCHON  |  August 10, 2012
    What am I doing in this basement in Harvard Square, reviewing the second location of a multi-national franchise chain?
  •   REVIEW: CARMELINA'S  |  July 25, 2012
    After a good run with "Italian tapas" under the name Damiano (a play on the given name of chef-owner Damien "Domenic" DiPaola), this space has been rechristened as Carmelina's — after the chef's mother and his first restaurant, opened when he was an undergraduate in Western Mass — and the menu reconfigured to feature more entrées.
  •   REVIEW: TONIC  |  July 06, 2012
    Bad restaurant idea number 16: let's do a neighborhood bar-bistro where there already is one.
  •   REVIEW: HAPPY’S BAR AND KITCHEN  |  June 20, 2012
    In a year of bad restaurant ideas, one of the better bets is to have a successful fancy-food chef try a downscale restaurant.
  •   REVIEW: GENNARO'S 5 NORTH SQUARE  |  June 18, 2012
    In year of bad restaurant ideas (often done well), this the worst idea — and best meal — yet.

 See all articles by: ROBERT NADEAU