Mad Mex – Mount Lebanon Suburb
Originally we intended to just grab some take-out and have a nice Friday evening relaxing on the couch while catching up on The Mentalist. However the day went off course when I had to leave work early and make an unplanned trip to the veterinarian for our cat Oscar. He started uncomfortably leaking puddles of urine on the floor Thursday evening which isn’t a normal thing for him. Through examination the vet determined that Oscar had a urethra blockage due to the formation of crystals in his bladder. The best immediate course of action was to perform a catheterization to clean out his passageway.
The vet said the procedure would take about an hour so I left Oscar at the clinic and I headed to the Starbucks in Virginia Manor for a Pumpkin Spice Latte to pass the time. Upon my return, the doctor informed me that everything went as-planned, but they had a really hard time inserting the catheter. He then proclaimed that this was due to the fact that Oscar had “a very small penis, much smaller than normal.” Having a scorned ex-girlfriend say that you have a small wang is one thing, but the opinion of a trained medical professional is much harder to refute. Luckily Oscar was in the other room and still a bit loopy from the sedatives so I don’t think he heard the doctor’s proclamation. He was having a bad enough day as it was and this would have literally added insult to injury.
After dealing with the above ordeal all afternoon, coupled with the fact that I was out of beer at home, I figured it would be much better to scrap the take-out plan and head out to Mad Mex for some alcohol and burritos. My wife and I arrived around 6:45 and the place was already packed. We put our name on the waitlist and worked hard to get the bartenders attention despite being two rows of people back from the bar. For my first beer I decided on the Coronado Orange Wit. I’ve had quite a few this summer and it’s now my number two favorite wheat beer behind a Southampton Double White Ale. My wife got a strawberry margarita, which is a drink Mad Mex does very well. Unfortunately I haven’t been able to order one ever since I drank too many a couple Cinco de Mayo’s ago and ended up with a horrendous hangover the next day. That particular night I believed that since I’m a quarter Mexican, my system would be able to deal with copious amounts of tequila. I found out the hard way that this is not true.
Even though the hostess said our wait would be forty-five minutes it actually only took about twenty until we were seated along the wall across from the bar. The décor of Mad Mex is kinda Sante Fe mixed with a Día de los Muertos motif. Although it’s not a sports bar per se, they always have seasonally relevant sports playing above the bar and this evening was no exception with them tuned into the baseball playoffs. Though crowded, the decibel level never approached anything detrimentally noticeable. I got seasonally adventurous with my second beer and chose the Tommyknocker Small Patch Pumpkin Harvest Ale (5% ABV - Pumpkin Ale). Boy was it bad. It had an uninviting, dark brown color and whatever hint of pumpkin existed was just overwhelmed by its sourness. I drank the whole thing of course, but I’ll never order one again.
I was thinking about the somewhat “lighter” option of the grilled fish tacos but I ultimately decided to totally forget about eating healthy and went with the chimichanga, which is basically a big fried burrito. It didn’t take long at all for the food to arrive and my dish came complete with sides of black beans and Mexican rice. The beans were ok but I didn’t particularly care for the rice because it was a little too al dente for my tastes. The chimi itself was delicious, a great mixture of chicken, portabella mushrooms and cheesy goodness. I usually eat half and save the other half for the next day’s lunch, but this night I went all in and ate the whole thing. Between that and the two servings of salsa and chips my wife and I split, I definitely left much heavier than I arrived. But I also left happier and that’s the most important thing to take-out from a restaurant.
Final Call: Mad Mex doesn’t necessarily serve authentic Mexican food, but they do serve simple and scrumptious food in an unpretentious and fun atmosphere. Mad Mex is the perfect place to head Friday night with friends after a stressful work week to kick back, have a drink, devour some tacos and start the weekend off with a guaranteed fun time*.
* I have been to Mad Mex probably a hundred times in my life and I have only had one unpleasant experience totally unrelated to the establishment. I once went there on a blind date with a girl that a buddy from work set me up with. I was out late the night before and showed up somewhat hung-over and when we met I was not really attracted to her. I tried to overcome both of these obstacles by pounding a couple quick margaritas. Below is the email I received from my friend that following Monday morning in which he conveyed the feedback his wife received from the girl I went out with. I had no interest in this girl whatsoever so I wasn’t heartbroken and actually found the email to be an interesting, honest assessment of how I came across. I’m totally fine with the “full of himself” comment, but I still take exception to the “weird” observation. I blame any odd behavior on the margaritas.
From:H******, Tim M.
Sent: Monday, February 11, 2008 9:27 AM
To: F*****, Alex J.
Subject: FW: date
My wife talked to Nicole this morning. She said date was no good. Thought you were really full of yourself and weird. I don’t think she wants to go out with you again. If you have time, call me today and I’ll tell you the rest.