The chicken tinga fries came to the table on a sizzling hot plate, their appearance, at first glance, resembling a plate of sizzling chicken fajitas. On closer inspection, however, they looked more like the Canadian comfort food poutine -- french fries with gravy and cheese curds. Only this one came with a Southwestern twist.
"It comes with queso instead of gravy, spicy chipotle chicken tinga, and poblano white queso" said chef David Cordúa, Cordúa Restaurants' corporate executive chef. He and Steve Morice, the chef who will be opening the Churrascos Gateway in Memorial City, recently introduced a fun, family-friendly menu at the casual, counter-service concept Amazon Grill.
"We wanted to expand the menu and introduce some Cordúa favorites as well," Cordúa said as he explained items such as the new "guacumami," a twist on the traditional guacamole, made with roasted garlic, sundried tomatoes, Parmesan and toasted pepitas.
The result is an affordable, family-friendly menu of South American dishes, including old favorites and what are sure to be new ones. Fans of Américas and Churrascos will be happy to see the section of "Cordúa Signature Entrées," which includes the popular Lomo Latino, a chimichurri grilled steak with spicy black bean sauce and pico de gallo, for $14.95.
An impressively decked Mixed Grill is definitely a promising new item. You get a generous portion of sliced chimichurri grilled steak and chicken, achiote-grilled shrimp and chorizo, served with a side of tortillas, black beans and sweet plantains. Enough for two, the Mixed Grill is a value at $16.95.
For hamburger fans, there's a new section of burgers and sandwiches, with five meat-burger choices, a vegetarian quinoa falafel burger, a chicken sandwich and a few cubanos, essentially pressed panini sandwiches with cheese and a choice of filling, including the Cubana de Puerco, which comes with Coca-Cola braised pork, country ham, provolone, smoked mustard and pickle. All of the selections are priced at or below $10.
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Taco fans will also be pleased to see the many taco plate offerings, but it's the kid in all of us that will enjoy the desserts. In addition to a cotton candy machine, Amazon Grill offers Mexican paletas (popsicles) in a variety of flavors, including horchata and tamarindo; a funnel cake served with chocolate; and the famous tres leches, served in a mason jar, all the milky creaminess trapped in the bottom so you can scoop up every last drop.
Also on offer are fantastic cocktails, such as the Paloma and the Mojito, served in mason jars. In celebration of the group's 25th anniversary, Cordúa restaurants is offering an $88-for-two dinner special at Américas and Churrascos. Also available are 88 cent mojitos
in all Cordúa Restaurants during lunchtime only at Américas and Churrascos during September. The famous tres leches is also only 88 cents this month at Américas and Churrascos, though, sadly, not at Amazon Grill. No matter -- the promise of paletas and funnel cake with chocolate is reason enough for me to venture back, and soon.