Calli Restaurante Mexicano

by KimHo on December 14, 2009 · 11 comments under: British Columbia,Food,Restaurant

Calli Restaurante Mexicano
1102 Davie Street
Vancouver, BC
CALLI Restaurante Mexicano on Urbanspoon

Sometimes I have to wonder myself… If I have a bias against a “cuisine”, why do I choose to go to such restaurant type over and over? I guess I do have a hope that I will hit jackpot and find something I would like and change my mind. But, in the case of Mexican, given that most of the restaurants here offer basically the same dishes, my expectation for that has been really low. With that in mind, I went to Calli Restaurante Mexicano, a new restaurant in Davie Street.

While the location is prime in terms of Davie Street, somehow, a lot of restaurants have opened – and closed – something that does not bode that well, if you ask me. But, still, I was there for the food and was about to find out what these new place had to offer.

The restaurant itself isn’t that big; at least they were able to accommodate about 10 tables. Provided there was a fast turnaround or a lot of take out customers, that shouldn’t be a problem. Since I arrived first, I could choose any table. Since it was a sunny day (as a reminder, the time between my restaurant visit and blog post is about a week or so; this week the weather will be… crappy), I obviously chose the window one.

After getting the menu, the first couple of dishes were… Stereotypical at best. However, going through the list, I noticed one that would have worked. So, I made my order and waited…

I received things a little out of order. In this case, here is the drink I ordered, “Jamaica” or “agua de Jamaica”. If you recall my post on El Centro, Jamaica does not refer to the country, it refers to the drink made with Hibiscus/Roselle/sorrel. Not much to comment in this case. As for the basket with the blue cloth, it had flour tortillas. Not much to mention; it was pretty much the same flour tortillas you can find anywhere.

Here is what I ordered, pollo con mole. As mentioned above, most of the dishes were the stereotypical ones, here is the one that you usually won’t find/order. True, I did have it in La Taqueria but it was in a taco. I was ordering this in a dish. Along with the pollo con mole, the same order had some rice and beans.

The rice was almost your basic rice; except it wasn’t the parboiled rice you usually see in Greek restaurants. The beans wasn’t that much different from the beans you can find in other Mexican restaurants, with one minor exception: See the cheese on top? It looks like mozzarella but isn’t; instead, it is Oaxaca cheese, which is quite similar but different at the same time. It didn’t add much in terms of taste but texture. Still, I found it was interesting to eat.

Because I haven’t had mole that many times in the past, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I have heard it contains chili peppers and chocolate, among other ingredients. While that would have indicated something bitter and spicy, the end result didn’t really tasted like that. Instead, it was a thick slightly sweet sauce. This might sound like the teriyaki sauce found in Japanese restaurants but it wasn’t. Along with the shredded chicken, which gave some savouriness, it was a different experience to the usual Mexican fare. I know this does not really explain what mole is. It is a you must try it by yourself type dish so you can find out. Even then, depending on where you get it, it might still be different as everybody has their own recipe (based on the chili used).

Now, the meal wasn’t a perfect one. As you can see, the portion size leans towards the small size. Granted, though, the meal was ~$9. Also, service was somewhat slow despite there were only that many customers in the restaurant. I will give it some allowance as it was manned by an elder couple during lunch. Would I come back? For the mole only, I might. However, I might end up ordering two servings rather than one.

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