A new month is now here, but it still feels like autumn, even with the cooling breezes. Thanks to the Manhattan-bound 7 train, which until 3 pm runs express right past my stop, I will have to walk all the way back to work, in the cooling air, after lunch.
No matter; I have a mission to fulfill, thanks to several of my co-workers. Zoe and Peter (via Thea, and Zoe), kept raving about this Mexican place in Woodside. Last week, Zoe told me its name: de Mole. Let’s see if their reviews matches up with mine.
The place is on 48th Ave., nearby Greenpoint Ave., a lovely neighborhood in Sunnyside. (Wait, the address said Woodside. Why doesn’t it say Sunnyside?) Anyway, the interior is cozy and intimate, with the Food Network on television. One of the decals for American Express found on the door states: “We celebrate diversity”, featuring a rainbow flag. Very cool.
My very nice waitress Guillermina brought over my lunch order of guacamole, shrimp fajitas (des camerones) and some iced tea. The guacamole was fine; it reminded me of dips that one buys at the grocery, pre-made. It did have fresh, chopped tomatoes and onions as a garnish, which was a nice touch. The chips were also not fresh and store-bought.
The fajita platter was, well…it wasn’t what I was expecting. (I wondered, is it due to the fact that I never did get to visit Mexico, like most of my classmates did during Spring Break in high school and/or college? (I worked at my part-time jobs, people) Or, am I so spoiled, that I assumed there would be a steaming, hot griddle platter? There’s wasn’t one, just a basic, heated plate.)
The shrimps were tiny, hidden deep under the sautéed onions and peppers. They were paired with black beans (good), rice (good), some pico de gallo (nice), guacamole (ok) and sour cream (don’t need). The meat was slightly vinegary and adobe seasoning that were way, too subtle. You will need some hot sauce.
I just wasn’t getting into the real flavor de Mole. Did I come at the right moment? Was it too cold outside? Should I tried their brunch menu on a Sunday morning?
Then, I tried their Mexican hot chocolate, and that’s when all the gods smiled upon me. It took a full 15 minutes to make. This nectar of the gods is not from a powder mix; it’s the real deal article: a lush, creamy, chocolaty concoction flavored with cinnamon and a dash of sweet red pepper, served in a beautifully enameled earthenware cup.
It was SO excellent, I wanted to cry. This drink is not meant to be chugged (it was hot, how could you) nor merely sipped. It have to be savored, slowly, serenely.
During my long walk back on 47th Ave., my acid reflux became a cruel, cold mistress. No matter; it was worth it. The cocoa still kept me warm as I walked through Sunnyside.