Archive for Tortilla Press

TORTILLA PRESS – BYOB

Posted in BYOB Restaurant Reviews, South Jersey BYOB Reviews, Tortilla Press with tags , , , , , , on July 24, 2010 by ballymote

This was a spur of the moment Friday night venture to another of the many SJ restaurants taking part in Farm to Fork Week. It had been a couple of years since I was here and I was excited about the prospect of a return visit. Tortilla Press was offering a four course prix fix menu at $30 per person and the eight Friday night regulars were all hungry. Hunger and food are always a good combination.

The interior of Tortilla Press is bright and cheery with colorful Mexican themed paintings adorning bright orange walls. We had the table at the window and some of our group were able to watch the stream of wine-toting diners advancing to and from the many excellent restaurants in the Collingswood neighborhood.  Our server brought out some chips and salza, both spicy and mild, and we munched away while trying to make decisions from the special four course menu. There were three appetizer choices and our group ended up with all three.

On the left we had my selection, Dressed Classic Ceviche “Taco Tostada”
Springdale Farms pico de gallo, extra virgin olive oil, avocado & our classic ceviche
tossed together & served over greens in a crispy mini corn tortilla bowl. In the center is Joe B.’s Fried Masa Planks
with roasted tomato, zucchini & local peppers salsa
zucchini & peppers from Flaim Farms and on the right is Jerry C.’s Flaim Farm’s Squash Blossom Soup
With zucchini, potatoes, poblano peppers & corn in a lightly creamed vegetable broth. All of these starters were well received by everyone with the lime dressed ceviche having a nice tangy flavor.

I ordered the Mexican Cobb Salad
With mixed lettuces, corn, cucumbers, yellow grape tomatoes, black beans, bacon & queso fresco cubes tossed with roasted jersey tomato vinaigrette. Tomatoes & corn from Springdale Farms. It didn’t look like much but the flavors blended together nicely to make this an enjoyable salad.

My entree choice was the Grilled Pork Loin with Schober Orchard Peach~Serrano Chile Salsa
Served with peach cider~ancho chile glaze, coconut rice & sautéed garlic jersey green beans. Jerry C. also had the pork and when I mentioned that mine was little tough he had me try his which clearly was a better example of the same dish. It wasn’t enough to send back but it certainly was a flaw in the meal.

Joe B. went with the Pan Seared Scallop and Shrimp
Served in a Flaim Farm cilantro pesto sauce garnished with toasted pumpkin seeds & pine nuts
Served with a Mexican style roasted eggplant & zucchini ragout. He was happy with his choice. The blend of unique flavors adding a certain charm to the dish.

Sue C. went with the third of the prix fix entrees the 

Chile Rellenos & Cheese Enchiladas Verde Platter
served with red rice & black beans… poblanos & tomatillos from Flaim Farms. This offering looked more like the typical “Mexican food” entree one would expect and she thought it was very good. My wife, Kathy and Tom T. both ordered off of the regular menu and Kathy had the Salmon with peach flavored barbecue sauce with chipotle potatoes. She finished what she could and the remainder is currently resting comfortable in our refrigerator.

 Tom T. can’t eat a lot of spicy foods so bringing him here to Tortilla Press was a little bit like bringing an alcoholic to a keg party. After lengthy negotiations with our server they signed a treaty forever to be known as the Tortilla Press July Accord and worked out a dish that featured steak and grilled shrimp with some veggies and a baked potato. Tom was at peace with his meal.

Most of the crew had opted for margaritas with Carol and Joe bringing a bottle of tequila and Tortilla Press providing pitchers of margarita mix, one lime and one mango (we were only charged for the lime).

I brought a bottle of the 2007 Susana Balbo, Signature Malbec, Mendoza, Argentina. This wine was a cut above her regular Malbec offering and the bright cherry flavors were a good match for the south of the border spices in our dinner. I wish I had picked up a couple more bottles of this one. I should have offered Joe some but I didn’t think he would get the true flavors of the wine to cut thru the margarita.

Dessert was part of our four course meal and we couldn’t refuse that part of the meal. Most of us opted for the Peach & Blueberry Bread Pudding with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream
while the remainder of our party went with the Flan with Jersey Blueberry Compote. Both desserts were good and overall it was a pretty good experience. As nice as the prix fix deals are, there is still something to be said for being able to order from the full menu. My dinner was good but I’m not sure it’s what I would have had the same meal if there had been more selections.

COLLINGSWOOD – THE BYOB CAPITAL OF NEW JERSEY

Posted in BYOB Restaurant Reviews, Wine Dinners with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on September 18, 2009 by ballymote

classic-townsFor a town with a population of 15,000 and only 1.8 square miles of land, Collingswood, NJ has distinguished itself as the uncrowned Capital of BYOBs in South Jersey. Within the tiny radius of the town there are more than 20 excellent dining spots where you can bring a nice bottle of wine to enjoy with your meal. There are 16 BYOBs on Haddon Avenue alone and that’s not even mentioning Collings Avenue, home to Blackbird, which is listed among the Top 25 restaurants in ALL of New Jersey.

How do I love thee, Collingswood? Let me just name a few ways, Bistro di Marino, Casona, Il Fiore, Joe Pesce, Nunzio’s, Thai Basil, Tortilla Press, Villa Barone, Word of Mouth, well, you get the idea. We never tire of our visits to the BYOBs of Collingswood. Cherry Hill and Haddonfield may consider themselves the class towns of South Jersey, and they do have their share of fine BYOBs, and my own town of Washington Township may have a huge population (over 50,000 and growing), and a few BYOBs which do a nice job of turning out consistently good food, but for sheer choice and quality of those choices, it’s not even close.  Collingswood reigns supreme!

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