Well, there is no winner, at least not yet. I had mentioned in a previous post that I had a favorite Mexican restaurant - Rattlesnake Ranch Cafe. But, realizing there is always room for improvement, my husband and I tried a new Mexican restaurant on Friday, Chili Willie's in Boonton. I had heard some good things about their food and their friendly service, so we decided to give it a try. We were actually concerned that we might have to wait for a table, since it was a Friday night, but maybe the rain kept people away, because there were only a few folks in the place. The decor was very cute and homey, with serapes on the tables and some kitschy photos and artwork on the walls. We were greeted warmly and within moments had a bowl of fresh tortilla chips and some tasty salsa on the table.
I ordered one of the specials, a shrimp and chorizo sausage dish with peppers, onions and mushrooms. My husband had the "Queso Flameado con Chorizos", which was sort of similar, but without the shrimp. Both were very good! They both came with beans and rice, and some wonderful Pico de Gallo. We ate heartily (as usual) and still had enough left over for lunch the next day. We decided that we would have to go back at least one more time to crown them our new favorite Mexican restaurant, but it's definitely a good sign that we want to go back. Maybe next time we'll remember to bring the cerveza (or the wine), since Chili Willie's is BYO.
And I can't forget to mention the dessert! Also on the specials menu, the banana empanada. I'm not a huge fan of bananas, so I was a bit dubious, but my husband was pretty gung ho. Boy, am I glad he was! This was a beautiful, tasty, and somewhat decadant dish of bananas wrapped in pastry, deep fried, and dusted with cinnamon and sugar. It was served with a huge pile of whipped cream, caramel sauce, and some kind of banana cream. Wow. Don't miss this one.
Since we've eaten there twice in two weeks, it has come to our attention that Boonton is quite the hotbed of mom & pop restaurants. In addition to Chili Willie's, we noticed a Thai restaurant, many Italian/pizza places, the Boonton Street Grill (where we ate dinner last week), and someplace that is definitely on our radar, the Cafe SoupHerb. Looks like further investigation may be required! It's a dirty job, but someone has got to do it.