Saturday, October 16, 2010

Family hour at Rosa Mexicano Restaurant

Guy Makes Guacamole at Rosa Mexicano Union SquareImage by ChrisGoldNY via Flickr
Making guacamole at Rosa Mexicano Restaurant on Union Square in  Manhattan.

If you've never thought of having a family meal during happy hour, you might want to reconsider and go to Rosa Mexicano in Hackensack, where some drinks and appetizers are half price from 4 to 7 p.m. on weekdays.

I've attended cooking demonstrations at this shopping center restaurant, and in the early days, enjoyed the free breakfasts that were served first. I soon learned the cooks make just about everything from scratch, resulting in the best Mexican food in North Jersey, if not the entire state, with prices to match. And it's one of the most beautiful restaurants around.

I've eaten lunch there -- try the fish tacos with a couple of sparkling salsas -- but never dinner. Happy hour gives me a chance to sample more of the food at terrific prices, and my 13-year-old son can participate as long as we sit at one of the tables in the bar area.

Friday night, we got there around 5. My son insisted we order the made-to-order guacamole, which is he addicted to, and I relented, despite it not being one of the discounted appetizers. I love it, too, but at $12 for two avocados ..... We asked for it spicy, and they delivered, along with wonderful, small, warm corn tortillas made in the dining room and red and green salsas.

We also ordered a delicious quesadilla oozing with melted cheese and mushroom-like huitlacoche or corn fungus ($4.40) and an order of two pork street tacos ($3.50) -- both bargains. Each of these appetizers came with its own salsa or salsas, different from the two served with the chunky guacamole.

My wife drank a traditional margarita ($4), I had two bottles of dark Negra Modelo beer ($2.75 each) and our son had two Mango Boing soft drinks ($4 each).

So that's how we turned happy hour into a satisfying family meal.

Rosa Mexicano Restaurant, 390 Hackensack Ave.,
Hackensack (The Shops at Riverside); 201-489-9100.

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