Within a shopping center with a movie theater, a Dunkin Donuts, a bagel place and other assorted shops and eateries exists Elwood’s Baja Grill.
Tables line a wall adorned with ornamental water spigots and a colorful lizard that could use a casual dusting. A chalkboard on the opposite wall announces “new Mexican specialty beer” and 2-for-1 Bud Lites. Tween-aged boys with their families take turns at tables, each accompanied by their own Nintendo DS to play with.
Both the menu and atmosphere are colorful and family-friendly – a fact that juxtaposes the existence of the margarita-filled drink menu.
The “starter” section of the menu includes such favorites as fried calamari – available buffalo-style – and fried plantains.
The plantains ($8.60), not-so-sweet relatives of the banana, are made sweeter when fried and dressed in cinnamon. A serving of lime sour cream tones down the sweetness.
The calamari ($9.99) keeps the balance between crunchy and chewy in absolute perfection. With plenty of calamari to go around, the appetizer serves as one of several ways to whet an appetite while main courses storm the kitchen.
The entrée selection includes the “traditional” options available at the typical Mexican restaurant in America.
The chicken and cheese quesadilla ($10.55) with BBQ sauce is simple and non-threatening. Tortilla, chicken, cheese, BBQ sauce.
Topped with melted cheese and neighbored by yellow rice and browner refried beans underneath their own sheath of cheese, the grilled steak enchilada ($15.99) may seem intimidating at first, but those who venture forth will discover a tasty entrée aiming to stimulate just about all of the senses. The colorful plate is covered with the delicate texture of cheese and sour cream, burying the sweet, savory smell and taste of steak, salsa and warm tortillas.
For dessert, the fried ice cream is a snowball-like object made of vanilla ice cream and covered in crispy, golden flakes. Caramel and chocolate drizzles create extra lines and add color.
Head to Baja Grill when you have that Mexican craving and need it pronto.
1920 Jericho Tpke, East Northport