January Restaurant Review: Border Cafe

So at the beginning of the year, I set some goals for myself.  One of which is trying a different restaurant every month and writing a review for it.  Welcome to my newest series here at Chocolate & Wine, my monthly Restaurant Review!

On Saturday night, Stephen and I had every intention on going to a new place on Rt. 1 in Saugus called Jalapeños.  Since I’ve seen the sign for months, I assumed it was up and running.  I was mistaken.  Damn.  I hate being wrong.

Hungry, and still in the mood for Mexican, Stephen quickly suggested a place I had only been to once or twice pre-blog.. aka, a long time ago.  Our new destination? The Border Cafe, located on Rt. 1 North in Saugus, Massachusetts.

The Border Cafe... perhaps you have one near you?

I could tell from the parking lot that we were in for a wait.  When we got inside, the hostess handed us one of those remote control-looking things that buzz and light up when your table is ready.  Stephen suggested a drink and we headed over to the bar.  I noticed a couple about halfway through their drinks with the same buzzy control thing in hand.  I knew that if I hovered long enough, I’d have a prime seat at the bar while we waited for our table.  5 minutes later, the couple’s buzzer went off, they left, and I got a front row seat to salsa heaven for our 50 minute wait.

2 drinks, chips and salsa and our buzzy remote. I like the way this dinner is turning out.

For our wait, I ordered a spicy glass of Cabernet and Stephen got a Tradition Margarita.  Both were delicious but I will almost always choose wine over tequila.

Sooner rather than later, we were seated at our table, ordered ice waters (with lemon) and perused the menu.  After debating between things like tacos, grilled fish and a burrito that was a bit too big for my liking, I noticed the vegetarian options on the last page of the menu.  Now, I’m not vegetarian but I can always go for a dish loaded with veggies.  One thing stood out to me instantly: Vegetarian Jambalaya.

A little rice, a lot of veggies. Nice and spicy, just how I like it!

It was pretty much a no-brainer and for $6.97, this huge plate of food could not have been any better.  Stephen got steak tacos that were also yummy but my heart was set on devouring the veggie dish in front of me.  It has sauteed tomatoes, broccoli, onions, carrots (that I picked out because I don’t like cooked carrots… go figure), summer squash, mushrooms, zucchini, black beans, corn and cilantro with other herbs and spices, drizzled with a spicy ranchero sauce and served over seasoned rice with a slice of cornbread.  I got a side of sour cream just in case the sauce had a little too much heat but I didn’t end up needing much of it and Stephen ate the cornbread.  He’s such a good dinner buddy.

Overall Rating?  9 out of 10.

The service was excellent, the food and drinks were delicious and our final bill was a steal.  For two more drinks (I got the sangria and Stephen, a Corona) and 2 huge plates of food, plus another basket of chips with salsa that we didn’t touch, came to $28.00 even.  Not bad for a Friday night dinner with leftovers for lunch the next day.

We’ll definitely go back, but next month, it’s off to a different place and another review.

I want to know: Have you been to the Border Cafe?  What did you order?  Did you have an enjoyable experience?  What restaurants should I review in upcoming months? (I’ll credit you in my post if I try it out!) 

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