“Conversation is Food for the Soul”
I don’t eat Mexican food very often, mostly because of how my stomach feels afterward not because I don’t enjoy it. A friend of mine was moving to North Carolina so I figured a “good-bye dinner,” if you will, would be a good idea but imagine trying to find a place to eat that accommodates a vegetarian to the point where they don’t just have to eat a salad or pasta and even still have to worry. I talked to some of my friends for a dinner location with a vegetarian friendly menu and we came up with El Loco Mexican Cafe (465 Madison Avenue, Albany).
I’d never been here before and I really enjoy Mexican food, plus, after dinner we figured we could go out on Lark St since it was just a quick walk away. You walk in and the place is rather small but still really nice. To start, my friend and I ordered a jarafe of Sangria which was about 3 glasses for each of us. Each of us decided on one of their Loco Combos because you get 2-3 different types of food to try along with one side of your choosing.
I decided on the Chimichanga/Taco combo with a side of blue corn muffins ($11.00). Between the combinations you can choose chimichanga, enchilada, taco or burrito. With each of those you have the choice between turkey, beef, just cheese, etc which all are found on their menu. For my chimichanga, I decided on the Turkey and Pinto bean and in the taco I decided on just turkey. I’m not used to having Mexican food with turkey but I figured it was a healthier option and maybe my stomach would recover faster. I really enjoyed both of them, my favorite was the chimichanga with turkey and beans. I feel like having that filled with just turkey would have left it rather dry whereas with the mixture, it made it a little messier and with my logic means it’ll taste better. The taco was very good too but it was just what you would expect from a taco, crispy shell filled with turkey and normal taco fillings like lettuce and tomato. I think next time I’d get something else to try instead of just a taco. As for the blue corn muffins, they were pretty good. They definitely needed butter and 1 of the three of mine (the last one, of course) was stale so if you really want to get these, I recommend buying the side and sharing them with others and getting something else for your free side. They were good but I wasn’t too impressed.
For dessert we ordered the BananaChanga and no matter how full you are, I recommend ordering this and sharing it, it’s definitely worth it. It’s a hot banana and melted chocolate deep fried in a flour tortilla. This was one of the best desserts I’ve had in a long time. We asked for the whipped cream on the side because I can’t eat it ($5). You can get it served with ice cream ($7) or whipped cream and ice cream (7.50) which after that meal I wasn’t able to eat but I know where to stop for a great dessert and a drink.
Overall this is great little place that I’m glad I experienced. The service was some of the quickest and most attentive that I’ve had in a long time. The location was great to grab a bite and then go out in Albany and stay parked the whole time. The inside of the restaurant was intimate but enough room where I didn’t feel like I was sitting on any of the tables around me. If you’re looking for Mexican food but want a change from Bombers (as I did- I’m there once a week) this is a great place to go!