A Frontera Grill of Our Own? Talavera Channels the Corazon of Mexico in the Heart of Coral Gables
|A sea-salty, tangy punch of solid libation: Here's looking at you, Classic Margarita.|
A great way to start your journey is lunch. Baked and without a touch of oil, cracker-like fresh corn masa tortillas arrive to the table with smooth and creamy salsas, one mild red and one hot green. It's no surprise they are killer, since Jaguar excels in this area, and the green one was our favorite. If you're not a fan of the piquant, be sure to have a tall glass handy of the restaurant's special filtered water if you go green; it's also free of charge and comes in an environmentally-conscious glass carafe -- nice touch.
Talavera does not take its location for granted and has fashioned office crowd-appealing $12 lunch specials from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., including 14 items off of its regular menu and four "Mix & Match" options where a cup of soup comes with either a half salad, torta, chicken tacos, or quesadilla. Try any of these five dishes for an introduction:
Grilled Chicken Huarache ($12 special; $18 dinner portion): Huarache is a special of the Mexican countryside. Hand-made fresh corn masa is shaped like a sandal (where it gets its name) and piled high with grilled chicken that gets a rub down "a la talla" (a mild guajillo chile powder), black bean puree, lettuce, salsa verde, and goat cheese.
|Counterclockwise from left: Tacos de Chilorio, Grilled Chicken Huarache, and Quesadilla La Marquesa -- all conveniently and economically offered as a lunch special for $12.|
Quesadilla La Marquesa ($12 special; $14 dinner portion): With a side of guacamole, large corn torillas are stuffed with poblano chile, fresh corn, zucchini and epazote, and melting Oaxaca cheese.
Torta de Atun ($12 special; $16 dinner portion): Yum, this seared tuna "torta", made rare per request, isn't what we'd call genuine Mexican fare, but it hits the spot for a flavorful, satisfying sandwich. Inside pressed Cuban bread, a nod to Miami's reigning Latino culture, the fish receives pats of achiote from Yacatan and gets cozy with pickeled red onion, tomato, avocado, and black bean puree. Superbly thin home-fried potato chips and spicy pickled vegetables, like a giardiniera, accompany.
We will definitely be back, this time for dinner, to sample other parts of the menu, like "La Marisqueria" (seafood including ceviches and tostadas), "Los Moles" (three varieties), and "Fresh Fish & Seafood" (daily catches).
2299 Ponce de Leon
Coral Gables, FL 33134