Once again, Laura is out of town, and it’s time for me to try some place new. Rosalinda’s Cafe is located North Pleasantburg, behind BJU. It’s set back from the road, and can easily be missed. This was actually the third time I had visited, but the other two times were far enough in the past that I had forgotten the actual experience. By the end of the evening, I was beginning to wonder if I had just repressed it.
It looks like some effort has been made to make this place look more than just utilitarian. Matching pink and blue pastel tablecloths cover the generic table and chairs, more of a decorator touch than your standard Mexican place. A side dining area also apparently doubles as a dance/karaoke bar for later in the evening. However, at this time, once again I find myself in a restaurant with only one other table occupied. This reinforces my belief that with as many good restaurants as there are in Greenville, one should never have to wait more than 30 minutes for a table.
A varied menu includes the usual suspects – beef, chicken, pork, and shrimp – but you won’t find combo number 8 here. There seem to be several dishes with mango. Much more exotic menu than the typical Mexican joint around here, with entre’s running around $12.
Warning – don’t start the green (tomatillo?) salsa with chips until you get something to drink! While not killer, the salsa sneaks up on you. Along with the chips, I was brought a bowl of soup – some kind of vegetable/cabbage thing – quite good. Apparently margaritas are their specialties, but I really wasn’t in the mood for one, so I just settled for water.
I’m a sucker for mango dishes, so I ordered the chicken with mango. The dish soon arrived, and while gourmet Mexican is the goal, it’s apparent that fancy presentation is not. The main dish, with a side of Spanish rice and a dollop of black beans were placed on a standard cafeteria white plate, along with a small salad. Portions were not large, but were adequate.
The chicken was grilled, then buried in mango sauce with chunks of mango on top. The first couple of bites were fine, but the more I ate the more the mango sweetness overpowered everything else. As far as I could tell the chicken had just been grilled plainly, counting on the sauce to provide flavoring. The rice and beans tasted pre-packaged and pre-made. This was not what I would expect from a place that touts gourmet dishes, and certainly not what I would expect at these prices.
At some point, Rosalinda herself came out and tried to peddle fake ice cubes with multicolored LEDs that would light up a glass and your drink. It could be had for a mere $10.
The dessert was cheese cake with mango sauce. I decided I’d had enough mango to last me, at least for this week.
There were some interesting-sounding dishes, but the realization of those dishes doesn’t quite live up to expectations. Prices seem very steep for something I could have gotten around the corner at BiLo.