Thursday, July 29, 2010

El Potro (Winter Park): All Hail the Mighty Flan!

El Potro is a weird name for a restaurant. You have wrestlers, matadors, and even vain men that claim to be "El Potro" (in English "The Colt") but a restaurant?

Look, I'll be the first one to admit it- I'm not a big fan of Americanized Mexican cuisine. Refried beans? Not unless I'm drunk. Tacos? Pass. Enchiladas? Baby food. Not my favorite cuisine unless we are talking REALLY authentic stuff from Oaxaca...

So I was surprised that I was coerced into going to El Potro. I guess it was because it was a lunchtime buffet and rather than being whiny, my logic dictated that I would find *something* that I would deem digestion-worthy if not delicious.

On the buffet line, there were the usual contenders- chimichangas, tacos, salad, some mole here, and some guacamole there. But what was labeled as "Carnitas" definitely caught my eye. Sizeable chunks of pork in a savory sauce was the first entree that landed on my plate. Of course, I was curious about the mole so I put a tad bit of it also besides the carnitas as well.

The pork was very sublime. I could already envision that the cook in backline had been making this recipe for many, many moons. It was subtly spicy and just moist enough for the tender pieces to work their magic on my taste buds.

The mole on the other hand didn't fare as great. The sauce was diplomatically neutral- not too sweet, salty, or savory. Which was fine, however, the pieces of chicken in them were overcooked and so dry. It is my assumption that the chicken was a casualty of being out on the buffet for a little too long.

I just kept going over to the carnitas. They were that good. But another jewel awaited me when I finally wanted a little bit of dessert. In the midst of fruits, ricotta, yogurt, and other quickly forgotten items was a very humble looking flan. I thought it was worth a shot, as I have never come across a bad flan in a Latin establishment.

What I didn't expect was a beautiful flan. Yes, beautiful. She was a vision. A creamy white maiden that just danced in my mouth. Flans usually taste of sugar and caramel as soon as they hit your tongue. However, she was different- first the cream, then the whole milk, and finally an underlining sweetness rounds off the palate. This flan was superb. I especially like when a dish reveals itself in layers and this is exactly what she did. A flan apart from all others. This place is misnomered. "LA POTRA" would be befitting for such a prized item.

IN A NUT SHELL: The lunch buffet should always showcase this flan. The emphasis is not on caramel, but milk. Delicious. The carnitas were good too. Mondays and Tuesdays are 2-for-1 margaritas all day long (they were perfect). A moderately cheap bite, even after alcohol.
El Potro Mexican Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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