Chris’s Short Take: Oaxaquena Triqui
Mexican food has been a real favorite of mine for as long as I can remember. No small feat for a guy raised in the Adirondacks, but between early trips to NYC and points south, and my musical career bringing me to So Cal later in life, it really took root. When I finally got to Mexico itself, I began to realize and appreciate the complexity of the cuisine. That’s why when friends in the restaurant business started to get excited about Oaxaquena Triqui, it didn’t take much to get me fired up too.
The concept is not new, a Boqueria with a kitchen putting out a family’s best offerings in the back. Not new in so many locations, but not well established in Albany, so folks seem a little removed from the idea. Please take my advice… get past it!
You’ll drive right by it if you’re not careful, a nondescript storefront on Lake Avenue. So you say you like “Real Mexican”…well here you go!
Although “Real Mexican” can be a rallying cry, it can also be a bone of contention for the warring factions on both sides of the “Tex Mex vs. Real Mex” question. To be clear, this is “Real Mex”.
You should scrutinize the “Specials” board like a hawk, fresh ingredients, and seasonal specials rule the roost here. The menu covers a fair number of Mexican favorites, but with a homegrown touch that elevates the familiar.
Now there has been no shortage of attention paid to the more exotic items on the menu, like Chipulines (crickets) and Lingua (tongue) to name a couple. (I tried them both and thought they were great.) But don’t let a couple of more adventurous entrees scare off you more laid back eaters, the better-known offerings will not disappoint! But keep in mind if you ask for “Hot” salsa, you’re going to get just that.