Company: Reservation for 6 (but actually we had 8)
+Stanley was back in town once again and planned a group dinner to catch up with everyone. I suggested El Catrin in the Distillery District and a lot of people seemed to also been wanting to check out this spot. El Catrin opened last summer and I've been hearing some mixed reviews of all different aspects of the restaurant. Apparently, you can only make a reservation online for 4 people here and we had about 8 confirmed attending. Stanley called in closer to our date and changed our reservation to 6 which we were allowed to do... we had 2 were coming later into the night. I was the 6th person to arrive on the Friday night, and found the entrance a bit confusing...I had no idea the entrance was behind the infamous heated patio. Nonetheless, I searched the area which actually wasn't that huge and found my friends in a half booth/half chairs table. We were luckily able to squeeze another on the booth and fine another chair for our extra 2 people who came later, our waitress was very accommodating even though it was very busy.
For my first order, I got the Vegetarian Mini Burritos with Sautéed Corn, Zucchini, Tomato, Mushroom, Tofu, and Black Bean Puree. The Burritos were so small and cute, they almost looked like Taquitos, the 4 pieces were quite a bit of food though and good for sharing and sampling. There was nothing really special about them, just a bunch of cooked vegetables stuffed in a tortilla and grilled. The salsa is what really gave it some life as the vegetables were bland otherwise. I tasted a lot of mushroom and corn but it was interesting as unlike a real burrito, there was no rice or even much bean puree to hold it all together.
+Laura, +Brian, and I all got different kinds so it worked out perfectly that we could each try one of the Baja, Gobernador, and Pollo Con Mole Tacos. The first one I tried was the Baja Taco with Crispy Fried Cod and Chipotle Lime Coleslaw, the fish was very tender and light, not too greasy. The coleslaw paired nicely with the fried fish and added all the flavour it needed. It was a pretty decent sized filet, I wasn't very hungry after finishing it. Next, I went for the Gobernador with Sauteed Shrimp, Lobster, Chipotle Aioli, and Black Bean Puree which was my original order. I found the texture interesting, very creamy but with the bean puree, it wasn't all smooth. I was impressed on how much filling you were given in the taco because shrimps were dropping everywhere. The seafood was fresh and cooked perfectly. Lastly was the Pollo Con Mole Taco with Pulled Chicken, Crema Fresca, Cotija Cheese, Xni-Pec, on a Corn Tortilla unlike Flour like the rest. I didn't really enjoy this one, the chicken was a bit dry and dull, and I didn't like the Corn Tortilla either. I was also very full at this point and not sure it I just needed to stop eating...
Lastly, I'll talk about the lovely drinks I ordered. They have an an awesome assortment of tequilas and I couldn't resist trying some of their cocktails. In the beginning of the night I started off with a Watermelon Fire which was very tasty and the name speaks for itself. It was very refreshing and a great choice for the watermelon lover. Later in the evening, I went for the Cucumber Devil. I love cucumber drinks so I couldn't resist ordering this one. It had the flavour I was expecting but also a lot of kick! There's peppers in there so not suited for those who can't handle spice, none of my friends enjoyed it. Also, the drinks all price around $10 so not the cheapest of dinners.
Food: 3.5/5 - Better than I was expecting, I don't think it's as overpriced if you know what to order and have people to share with.
Decor: 4/5 - Loved staring at that colourful mural all night long, felt like I was in old town Mexico
Service: 3.5/5 - Surprisingly good, very accommodating to our large group and good wait-time between each course.
Willingness to go back: 4/5 - Definitely left with a good impression and would like to return.