Monday, August 31, 2009

Adobo Grill - Revisit

Ok, ever since I wrote my last review of Adobo, I have wanted to go back simply because there was so much dispute over that post. I have to say, I haven’t been rushing back based on my last food experience though. But people told me I ordered the wrong things (which I still don’t think should be possible—if it is on the menu, it should be good) or that the classic stuff wasn’t any good (which I didn’t order the first time by the way) or whatever. But on the whole, it seemed like people really are defensive about it, so I figured at some point, I needed to go back.

Well, I chose devour downtown as that time for a couple of reasons. I figured they would put some of their specialties on the menu, and I figured I could try several things this way as well. I also liked that according to the online menu, you get 4 courses, because they include the guacamole as well as your choice of appetizer, and you get a margarita (well, you are supposed to—they charged me for mine until I reminded them it was supposed to be part of the deal).

The first thing I noticed how enthusiastic our server was. Maybe a little too enthusiastic for my taste, but maybe I’m just jaded. But when someone says “I’ll be back to see how great everything is!,” I find it annoying. Hubby and I joked all night, is it “crappy great,” “medium great” or “actually great?” While I also think the interior of the restaurant is pretty nice and feels modern, both times I have gone, I have been seated a little table right by the bar—and if you have a bunch of 4 tops available (or even better 2-tops), don’t seat people at those teeny tiny 2-tops right next to the bus station. The overall experience was not my idea of a nice night out.

I also started off slightly annoyed food-wise when I found out they technically aren’t including the guac as part of devour downtown unless 2 people order the menu. Hubby was going to order off the regular menu, so our server acted as though they wouldn’t include it. I went ahead and ordered it anyway, fearing that based on my last experience, that it might be the only good thing on the table. I wasn’t willing to take that chance. It turned out, what they ended up doing was charging us half price for it (I found out when I got the bill) which was fine, but if you are going to put it on the devour menu, you should be prepared to deliver it. Or make a half order. As usual, the guac was great—they do a really good job with that.

Based on comments from my last post, I also ordered my margarita on the rocks instead of “up” because I like mine to last a bit longer. However, it seemed like they just added more lime juice, making for a really tart drink. Which wouldn’t have been as bad, had it not been for the fact that for my next course I ordered the ceviche of the day. The ceviche was pretty good, a classic preparation with tilapia marinated in lime, avocado, tomato and onion (slightly different from how it was listed on the menu I think). Well, when I say “avocado” I think there was one piece of avocado in the whole dish. But luckily I still had my chunky guac and I just ate some of that with it. However, my very tart margarita was not really adding much to my lime-marinated fish. It was serious lime overload. At that point, I switched to wine.

As for my main, I could have ordered any of them. They all sounded good. I let the server guide me since apparently, I ordered all wrong last time, and he directed me to the pollo al Tamarindo. It was described as a grilled half chicken in a tamarind-chipotle glaze with salsa, tomatillo guacamole and charro beans. Now, this was one of the items that had been added specially for the devour menu, and was not one of their regular dishes. Probably a good thing, because it wasn’t very good. The chicken was really dry (see, this is why I don't usually order chicken out) and the sauce just too sticky sweet. I love tamarind, because it isn’t usually just pure sweet, but this dish just did not come together even with all the other sides. And I have to say, looking around at some other tables, and the amount of this dish that remained on plates in my vicinity, I wasn’t the only one who thought so.

Hubby, based on reader recommendations, ordered the fish tacos and they were infinitely better than my chicken. I liked the tenderness and crunch of the fish combined with all the flavors of the pickled cabbage and chipotle cream sauce. These were a far better choice and hubby really liked them as well.

For dessert I ordered the chocolate tamal, which is a gooey kind of chocolate cake that seemed to made with corn meal (hence the tamal aspect)—which made for an interesting, slightly gritty, texture. I couldn’t decide if I loved it, or it sort of freaked me out. The flavor of the chocolate was really good anyway, and it was served with vanilla ice cream.

So all in all, my experience was slightly better than the last, but I don’t know if there will be a third review here. And I still think the guacamole is the best thing going at this place. But c’mon, Adobo lovers, I know you have something to say, so let’s hear it!

Adobo Grill
110 East Washington Street
Indy, 46204

Adobo Grill on Urbanspoon


  1. C'mon, everyone knows that you should order the cheeseburger soup - it's amazing!

  2. Don't forget the bacon cheeseburger tacos!


  3. I agree with your original review. We went to Adobo Grill once (when it was off of 82nd and Allisonville) and were thoroughly underwhelmed. There was no second visit. La Piedad is acceptable, given the location, and went to Cancun when we first got to Indy. But we really only go to Pancho's Tacqueria, either on Michigan or at 96th and Allisonville.