We gave Elote a try last Friday evening as two girlfriends from Iowa made their arrival to one's timeshare in Sedona. I'm glad I read Art's post about the wait, but even knowing that it was still a bit startling to see two lines going down the entrance ramp at 7pm. One was to put your name on the waiting list to dine and the other was the line for the ‘bar’. We quickly divided and conquered, requesting the first available (as the community table looked like fun). The line for the drinks was slowed down quite a bit by the lack of clean glasses, but lucky for me the glasses they did have were for the margarita trio also described above. It looked like fun, and it was…especially maneuvering through the crowd with these glasses dangling off of the holder as we made our way to the patio area. It was a fun (and successful – didn’t spill a drop) little adventure. I’m no expert on margaritas, but they were tasty. My only quibble is that the glasses were small enough that the salt that fell in from the rims resulting in a very salty last few sips. I should remember to ask for no salt. And the bar, as mentioned above, is limited to margaritas, beer and wine, and is really just a small counter from which they distribute drinks. By the time the people ahead of us were situated with their drinks and my margaritas were prepared, the supply of other clean glasses arrived and my friends were able to enjoy a couple of local brews.
They projected a wait of 1.25 hours, but I think we ended up at our own table within 40 / 50 minutes or so. The place was very busy and service was relaxed, yet professional. On to the good stuff….the signature Elote dish was superb. So much so that I found the recipe on the internet and sent it to my friends. They already had it covered when they went back a few nights later for another great dinner and bought the cookbook themselves. Guacamole was also excellent, and a tad on the spicy side. The salsa was downright fiery. One friend doesn’t eat much meat, so she had the corn and tomato soup and the beet salad. She proclaimed the beet salad the best she’d ever had, and really loved the soup. I had a spoonful of the soup (carefully dipped so I could try both sides) and I can’t wait to go back to have a bowl for myself. My other friend and I both had enchiladas, smoked chicken for her and crab for me. Both were excellent. I really liked how the salsas / marinated red onions / crema / cheese were distributed for a nice balance on both dishes. With seafood dishes, I’m often concerned that the strong flavors of the salsa, onions, or vinegar might overpower (see: Barrio Queen), but this was done right and the crab came through loud and clear. During their visit later in the week my friend sent me a phone pic of the red snapper that she had and highly recommended it. We were too full for dessert, but I ordered the corn cake to go. They put the ice cream in a separate container, so it travelled well. We didn’t try it until morning, so I can only imagine how good it is when still warm and fresh. The cream with raspberry sauce on the side was fantastic, and I loved everything about the layers of corn in the actual cake. We nearly forgot about the ice cream in the freezer, but it was fabulous as well…lots of fresh corn flavor. Great recommendation!