Thursday, July 24, 2014

Thursday Sips & Nibbles

I am back again with a new edition of Thursday Sips & Nibbles, my regular column where I highlight some interesting wine and food items that are upcoming. **********************************************************
1) Owner & Chef Brian Poe, alongside Executive Chef Douglas Rodrigues, are infusing more bountiful summer flavors in the brunch, lunch and dinner menus at The Tip Tap Room in Beacon Hill. Chefs Poe & Rodrigues’ menus incorporate the peak flavors of summer along with new twists to the signature “tips” and “taps” concept.

New offerings from the Sunday brunch menu include “Without Eggs” options like the Grilled Avocado (lobster, black pepper, lavender crème fraiche - $16) and Corn Porridge (butter poached crab & escargot, agave, black truffle vinaigrette - $17).

For lunch and dinner, new soup and salad options are catered toward those with savory yet robust appetites: Corn Soup (fermented hibiscus, pearl onion, charcoal crisp, koji rice - $13); Hamakua Farm Hearts of Palm Gazpacho (roasted artichokes, lump crab, pickled spruce, plum - $15); and, Iceberg & Chicken Salad (crunchy vegetables, currants, sumac-honey ricotta, buttermilk-kosho dressing and chicken skin - $12). Other side newcomers will be as follows: Grilled Corn (Korean pepper aioli, ricotta salata, lime - $7); Potato Salad (fines herbs, white anchovy, yogurt, crispy duck skin - $7); and, Asian Greens (roasted, garlic oil, crunchy garlic - $7).

One particularly delicious new cocktail offering served and poured at both lunch and dinner will be the Monroe Doctrine (mescal, cynar, grapefruit liqueur, fresh lemon, agave - $12). Other staples which remain on the menu are The WestEnder (Mezcal, Cynar, grapefruit liqueur, fresh lemon, agave - $12); PGH (London No. 3 Gin, Green Chartreuse, cucumber, grapefruit, fresh lemon, pink peppercorn - $12); Hemingway Daiquiri (Maraschino, rum grapefruit, fresh lime - $10) and, the Crimson Punch (crimson herbal tea infused vodka, Applejack, house grenadine, fresh lime and Peychaud’s - $11).

2) From July 31 to August 24, Rosa Mexicano will keep things cool with their annual Ice Cream Festival, featuring Flavors of Mexico a la Mode, desserts inspired by classic savory dishes such as guacamole, tamales and empanadas; paired with handmade ice creams infused with Mexican flavors ranging from sweet corn-caramel to chili-spiced chocolate.

Rosa Mexicano will unveil a dedicated menu of Mexican classics gone sweet, served with authentically flavored ice creams, including:

Flavors of Mexico a la Mode
--Postre de Guacamole: Avocado ice cream served in a frozen molcajete with raspberries, white chocolate shavings, coconut crunch and mint. Served with piloncillo-chocolate sauce and cinnamon sugar buñuelos.
--Empanadas de Manzana: Warm apple empanadas with spiced Mexican chocolate sauce. Topped with vanilla-chocolate mole swirl ice cream.
--Tamal de Chocolate: Warm molten chocolate tamale and cajeta sauce. Topped with sweet corn-caramel ice cream.
--Buñuelos Rellenos: Deep fried sweet corn-caramel and Mexican chocolate ice cream coated in cinnamon buñuelo crust. Served with churros and dipping sauce
--Crepas de Cajeta: Crepes folded and served with a rich caramel sauce. Topped with sea-salted cajeta ice cream.
--Abuelita Sundae: Mexican chocolate ice cream, warm Mexican chocolate sauce, caramelized bananas, strawberries, and cinnamon whipped cream.

Helados (choice of one or three scoops)
--Aguacate: Avocado
--Vainilla con Mole:  Vanilla with Chocolate Mole Swirl
--Abuelita:  Cinnamon-Chile Spiced Chocolate
--Maiz Dulce y Cajeta:  Sweet Corn and Caramel
--Cajeta y Sal Marina:  Sea-Salted Cajeta

3) Boasting a bar stacked with 101 tequila and mezcal selections, it’s no wonder that Davis Square’s casual Mexican spot,The Painted Burro, is psyched to kick off National Tequila Day on July 24 (today!) with special one-day and ongoing programming. Happenings include:

Make-Your-Own Tequila Flight, Thursday, July 24, 5pm-1am
Choosing from three price points ($18, $21, $24) guests can mix and match three tequilas from a selection of The Painted Burro’s list to create a customized flight. For some spiked sustenance, a special tequila ceviche will be available throughout the night in addition to the regular dinner menu.

Agave Club, Ongoing
Starting July 24, The Painted Burro invites guests to take on the ultimate tequila challenge by joining the Agave Club, which tasks brave drinkers with tasting their way through the restaurant’s entire impressive lineup of tequilas and mezcals. Sweetening the deal are some prizes for each milestone reached:
· 25 tequilas or mezcals – make your own margarita kit including hand juicer, shaker, salt rimmer and margarita glasses
· 50 tequilas or mezcals – four-course dinner for two at The Painted Burro with tequila and mezcal pairings
· 100 tequilas or mezcals – roundtrip airfare for one to Cancun, Mexico

The Painted Burro’s Single-Barrel Tequila, Ongoing
Launching on July 24, in celebration of National Tequila Day, is The Painted Burro’s own privately selected single barrel of Corazón Reposado. Aged for eight months in Canadian Oak, made with 100% estate-grown agave from Casa San Matías in Jalisco and distilled with pure spring water, the house tequila offers a sweeter, more floral tasting experience. The spirit can be enjoyed by sipping or used in one of the restaurant’s signature margaritas.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

2011 Kuentz-Bas Pinot Blanc: Alsatian For The Win

Tonight, I'll be sipping a variety of Alsatian wines during dinner at Puritan & Co. As I've said before, Alsatian wines are underappreciated by the average wine consumer and deserve more press, to alert wine consumers to the pleasures of these wines. This summer, many people will drink more white wines and they should check out some Alsatian whites, including the 2011 Kuentz-Bas Pinot Blanc Tradition ($16).

The Maison Kuentz-Bas has a lengthy history, having been first established by the Kuentz family in 1795. One hundred years later, a marriage joined the Kuentz family to the Bas. The winery is located in Husseren-les Châteaux, a town situated at one of the highest points in Alsace. In 2004, the Kuentz-Bas family decided to sell the winery, and it went to Jean-Baptiste Adam, whose own family history with wine extends back to 1614.

Change came to the winery, as Jean-Baptiste lowered yields, and moved to organic and biodynamic viticulture. A new winemaker, Samuel Tottoli, came to the winery in 2004 and their wines are now divided into two groups: Tradition and Trois Chateaux. The Tradition series are the fresh wines, fermented in oak foudre, and focusing on the fruit. The Trois Chateaux are fermented in stainless steel and the grapes come from the best vineyards.  

The 2011 Kuentz-Bas Pinot Blanc Tradition, with an alcohol content of 12.5%, is produced from Pinot Blanc, though it may not be actually 100%. Through a quirk in Alsatian wine law, a wine that is labeled Pinot Blanc may also include Pinot Auxerrois, though that does not have to be mentioned on the label. In fact, a 100% Pinot Auxerrois wine could be labeled as Pinot Blanc. In the end, it doesn't really matter and the wine is simply meant to be enjoyed.

With a fruity aroma, this crisp, dry wine is delicious and refreshing, with a nice blend of flavors, including apple, pear, a little lemon, and some mineral notes. It has a pleasing finish, with a bit of roundness to the mouthfeel. Tasty on its own, this wine is also food friendly, from seafood to cheese, chicken to salads. It is an excellent summer wine, though should be enjoyed year round. It is also a good value at the price, with more complexity than many other wines at this price point.  

(Disclaimer: I received this wine as a media sample.)

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The 3 Rules Of Eating Seafood

Summertime in New England brings lobster rolls, fried clams, grilled shrimp and more seafood treats. One of my favorite, local seafood restaurants is the Clam Box in Ipswich, which has superb fried clams and also some decadent fried lobster. Whether you drive to Cape Cod or Maine, Gloucester or Rhode Island, you'll find plenty of excellent seafood options. Whether a local or tourist, there is seafood which will tempt your palate and please your belly.

However, at its most basic, what do consumers need to know about seafood?

Seafood issues can be complicated, requiring extensive research and study as well as lots of questions. It can be a daunting matter to the average consumer who lacks the time or inclination to dig so deep into these issues. They would prefer easy guidelines to follow, basic rules which will lead them through the morass of intricacies of seafood issues. I'm here to offer these consumers some basic advice, three rules to follow for seafood consumption. If you follow these rules, you'll help yourself, you'll help seafood species, and you'll help local communities.

In the near future, I will expand upon these issues in greater detail, and provide additional seafood advice for consumers. These three rules though are an excellent starting point, leading consumers toward the right direction.

1. Eat More Seafood
Most Americans need to eat more seafood, especially because of its significant health benefits. In 2013, seafood consumption decreased by 4%, down to about 14.4 pounds a year, making it seven consecutive years of decreasing consumption. The USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that people should consume about 26 pounds of seafood each year, meaning most people should be eating about 11 pounds of seafood more than they currently consume. You should be consuming at least 4 ounces of seafood, twice a week.

Research has shown growing evidence of the significant health benefits of fish, for the heart, brain, and bones as well as against cancers and inflammatory diseases. But some of the strongest evidence is for its significant benefits to preventing heart disease. According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) the leading cause of death in the U.S. is heart disease, killing nearly 600,000 people each year. Since the 1970s, over 20,000 research studies have been conducted on the health benefits of seafood and they have concluded that eating seafood twice a week can reduce your chance of dying from heart disease by 36%. You probably won't find another single food that has been scientifically proven to reduce heart disease so significantly.

You owe it to yourself, and your family, to eat more seafood and benefit your health. In addition, seafood is delicious. Because of the great diversity of seafood, I'm sure there is seafood that nearly anyone will enjoy. It can be prepared in a myriad of methods, to fit any desire. Don't just enjoy it in the summer, but partake of seafood year round.

2. Eat Sustainable Seafood
Despite the vast size of the oceans, and all the freshwater lakes, rivers, and streams, they do not contain an endless supply of seafood. And throughout history, man has overfished some of these waters, driving some species to the brink of extinction. That is unacceptable. We need to protect these endangered seafood species, as well as to protect the health and welfare of the oceans and other waters. Don't you want your children to be able to enjoy the same types of fish that you have enjoyed? Do you want to be responsible for killing off an entire species?

Fortunately, sustainable fisheries, which protect seafood species as well as the oceans, are becoming more and more prevalent. Consumers need to do their part by eating sustainable seafood, choosing not to eat any seafood which isn't sustainable. Yes, it is not always easy to determine what seafood is sustainable, though I will be offering advice in the future. What you should take away from this rule though, is that you should seek out sustainable seafood. When you buy seafood at your local market or restaurant, ask whether it is sustainable or not. Look for third party certifications, stating that the seafood is sustainable. We need to do our part to ensure the security of our seafood for future generations.

3. Eat More Domestic Seafood
A Maine lobster roll and a plate of New England fried clams are absolutely delicious, and they are even better because they are locally sourced. New England is not the only area in the U.S. with excellent local seafood. Think of the bounty of Gulf Shrimp, Alaskan Salmon, East Coast Oysters and so much more. With all of this excellent seafood available, then why does the U.S. currently import about 91% of our seafood? That is a disgrace. We need to support our own local fishermen and eat more of our own seafood, rather than primarily eat seafood from the rest of the world.

With imported seafood, there are greater issues with seafood misidentification and potential food safety issues. Wouldn't you rather buy some fish that came off the boat a few hours before, or a piece of frozen fish from China that has traveled thousands of miles after being processed in a different country? The FDA only checks about 2% of the seafood that gets imported into the U.S., so food safety is a major concern. Your best solution is to eat more domestic seafood, to support our own fishermen and communities.

(For more Seafood info, please check out my Sustainable Seafood Bloggers Association homepage).

Monday, July 21, 2014

Rant: Dog Fighting

What do President Barack Obama and Inspector Harry Callahan aka "Dirty Harry" have in common?

Though they might seem to be very disparate individuals, they hold a similar opinion on a controversial topic. It's a topic that divides many people, one which garners much emotion. And during this summer season, the topic is particularly relevant and may lead to heated arguments in backyards, beaches and elsewhere. I have my own stance in this controversy, counter to both the President and Dirty Harry, and I'm sure it'll anger some. However, I firmly stand by my opinion.

I like ketchup on my hot dogs. 

That opinion isn't popular. President Obama has stated that “You shouldn’t put ketchup on your hot dog" while Dirty Harry in "Sudden Impact" agrees, having said, "Nobody, I mean nobody puts ketchup on a hot dog."  Even the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council has posted, "Don't...Use ketchup on your hot dog after the age of 18. Mustard, relish, onions, cheese and chili are acceptable." Chicago seems to take the lead in its opposition to ketchup on hot dogs, but people all over the country have embraced a similar sentiment.

Why so much hate for ketchup on hot dogs? That seems more difficult to determine, with various theories that seem to lack much logical support. It might be something that at its most basic is more psychological than anything else. The most common criticisms seem to be is that ketchup covers up the taste of the meat or that there is too much sugar in the ketchup. However, when you look at everything else that often is placed onto a hot dog, that rationale easily falls apart.

Let's look at the basic Chicago-style hot dog, which is topped by a mound of ingredients, including yellow mustard, chopped white onions, green sweet pickle relish, dill pickle spear; tomatoes, pickled sport peppers, and celery salt. All those toppings are going to cover up the taste of the meat far more than just a slather of ketchup. And if sugar is a worry, then why add sweet pickle relish? It makes no sense to oppose ketchup cause of its sugar content, but add a different sweet condiment.

A number of people like chili atop their hot dog, and people don't complain about that, yet a common ingredient in chili is ketchup. We also should realize that there are various types of ketchup out there too, and you can even create your own ketchup recipe at home. Some of these different ketchup sauces can be spicier than sweet. You shouldn't generalize about ketchup due to all its possible varieties.

We also have to remember that this is just a hot dog. It isn't haute cuisine. It commonly includes meat trimmings and fat, spices and preservatives. So what's the big deal about what some people choose to put on it? Why be a snob about putting ketchup on such a plebian food? People generally don;t complain about ketchup on burgers, and that is far closer to a steak than a beef hot dog will ever be. Get off your high horse about what you think is an acceptable condiment for a hot dog.

If you don't want ketchup on your hot dog, that is fine as that is your preference. Just don't tell everyone that no one should put ketchup on their hot dogs. Don't make some grand pronouncement that ketchup doesn't belong on any hot dogs. I'll bet that your rationale doesn't stand up to careful scrutiny and reasoning.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Besito Mexican: A Little Kiss of Deliciousness

New restaurants continue to open on a regular basis in Burlington, making it an interesting, suburban culinary destination. There have been a few new steakhouses, a BBQ joint, a noodle shop and more. One of the latest openings is Besito Mexican Restaurant, located at the Burlington Mall between Legal Sea Foods and Bobby's Burger Palace. The concept of Besito, which means "little kiss," was conceived by restaurateur John J. Tunney III and he opened the first location in New York in 2006. A second location was later added in New York, then a third in Connecticut and Burlington is now their fourth site with a fifth planned for Chestnut Hill.

Though Besito has only been open for about a month, I've dined at Besito three times (once as a media comp and twice on my own) and found it to be consistently good on all three visits, especially considering its newness. I'm impressed with its cuisine, service, and decor and look forward to dining there again soon. Besito is a welcome addition to the Burlington area, and it earns a hearty recommendation.

The decor in the dining room is rustic and elegant, with an intriguing wall of candles, over 150, on the back wall. There are numerous Mexican artifacts and works of art scattered around the restaurant, and they avoid the tackiness you find in some Mexican spots. You feel comfortable here, and that can be very important to the enjoyment of a relaxing meal.

As you first enter the restaurant, you'll see the mahogany bar, pictured above during the evening. At Besito, Tequila is King, and they stock over 75 tequilas, mostly priced at $9-$15, except for a few rarities. If you order tequila, you will also got a chaser of homemade Sangrita. Tequilas can be ordered in four different Flights, a serving of 3 shots such as Blanco Silver, Reposado, Anejo or a Vertical (priced $17-$23). There are plenty of Margarita options ($11-$13), including the House “Besito Patron” Margarita, featuring Patron reposado, Cointreau, pomegranate-tangerine juice and fresh squeezed lime juice.

They also carry 6 different Mezcals, though currently they do not have any Mezcal cocktails as they don't feel there is much of a market for them. As I've said before,Mezcal is under-appreciated and Tequila seems to get most of the publicity. It is time that changed and more consumers understood the delights of smoky Mezcal.

The bar also stocks nine different Beers ($6 each), nearly all from Mexico, and about fifteen Wines, most available by the glass ($8-$12). The wine list is ok, with plenty of familiar names (though nothing from Mexico), but the bottle prices generally seems to be marked up 3X retail. However, you probably aren't coming here for the wine. You can also opt for Sangria, white or red, for $9/glass or $30/pitcher.

The Food Menu, which is the same at all locations, was developed by Executive Chef Carlos Arellano, who began learning about cooking when he was a teenager working at his family’s cevicheria in Mexico City, and Executive Chef Scott Wojcik. The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner, and though the full menu is available all day, there is an additional lunch menu with some extra options. Both menus note which dishes contain organic ingredients.   

On the lunch menu, you will find Taquitos (soft corn tortillas, 3 choices, $11.95), Ensaladas (4 choices, $13.95-$14.95), Tacos Dorados (hard tacos, 5 choices, $11.95-$13.95), and Quesadillas (3 choices, $8.94-$10.95). All of these dishes are served with organic black beans and their house rice (essentially white rice with scallions). At the start of your lunch, you will also receive a basket of chips with a side of mild salsa. In addition, you have the option of getting their Tableside Guacamole ($11.95).

For dinner, you also receive chips and salsa and can order the Tableside Guacamole. The menu is broken into Appetizers (11 choices, $6.95-$14.95), Tacos al Besito (5 choices, $17.95-$20.95), Enchiladas Y Budin (5 choices, $17.95-$21.95), Platos Fuertes (12 choices, $17.95-$27.95) and Sides (6 choices at $4.95 each). Again, all of the main dishes are served with organic black beans and house rice. With most of the dishes costing $20 or less, it is an affordable location for many. And once you consider the quality of the dishes, then you realize it is a good value.

I was very pleased when I inquired about the sourcing of their seafood as much of it comes from domestic waters. For example, they sometimes get Striped Bass from Massachusetts or Long Island, as well as Red Snapper from the Gulf. In addition, they source their Shrimp from the Gulf, which makes me feel good.

Their red Sangria contains red wine, Cointreau, peach liquor, fresh fruit and juices and is very dark in color. I'm picky about my Sangria and this made the cut, as it was fruity but not too sweet, with some nice pieces of peach and apple. It is refreshing and makes an excellent summer drink.

The La Sandia Margarita ($12) is made from Organic Casa Noble blanco tequila, Cointreau, fresh watermelon, agave nectar, and fresh squeezed lime. With a prominent watermelon flavor, it also wasn't too sweet and the taste of the tequila was evident, enhancing the cocktail. A nice balance of flavors.

The Market Margarita ($13) didn't impress me as much. Made from Corzo reposado tequila, triple sec, agave nectar, pineapple juice, cilantro, jalapeño, and fresh squeezed lime, it had a prominent taste of pineapple with lots of cilantro bits. However, the tequila taste was nearly disguised and there wasn't sufficient spice from the jalapeño. It is a cocktail with potential, but needs a little tweaking.

I tasted a flight of Mezcal, including the Los Amantes Joven, Los Amantes Reposado, Ilegal Joven and Ilegal Reposado. All four are good, with that smokiness I love in Mezcal, but my favorite of the four was the Los Amantes Reposado. Two years ago, I reviewed this Mezcal, and highly recommended it, finding that it tasted just as excellent now as it did then. It would be a great choice if you are new to Mezcal. In the rear of the photo above, you can also see the cup of homemade Sangrita that came with the flight, which helps to cleanse your palate.

On the lunch menu, some of the soft and hard tacos are the same, while a couple others are only made one way. For example, Carne Asada only comes in a hard taco and they use Adobo Chicken in their soft tacos while they use Tinga Chicken in their hard tacos. For the hard tacos too, you can get a mix of three different types, but that option is not available for the soft tacos. I'm unsure why these differences exist.

Above is a photo of the Mixtos Hard Tacos ($12.95), which include Carne Asada, Pollo and Camarones. The Carne Asada includes grilled marinated skirt steak, shredded organic romaine lettuce, pico de gallo, chile de arbol salsa, and queso fresco. The Pollo has shredded tinga chicken, shredded organic romaine lettuce, queso Chihuahua, crema, and pico de gallo, while the Camarones has crispy shrimp, shredded organic romaine lettuce, pico de gallo, chipotle cream salsa, and queso fresco. The fillings overflow the tacos, though you can then use the chips to scoop it up.

The hard tacos had a fresh, crunchy corn taste. Of the three types, I probably liked the Camarones the best, enjoying the crunchy batter of the shrimp and the spicy kick probably due to the chipotle cream salsa. The Pollo though had plenty of moist and flavorful chicken, with a nice blend of spices, and was quite tasty. The Carne Asada was very good too, with delicious tender beef. The hard tacos are an excellent choice for lunch.

As for the soft tacos, the Camarones ($11.95) were also a winner, with plenty of crispy shrimp, shredded organic romaine lettuce, pico de gallo, chipotle cream salsa, and queso fresco. Each taco had two, soft tortillas and it was difficult to fit everything inside them. I really like the addition of the queso fresco to these tacos.

As for Appetizers, I love Queso Fundido ($8.95) so had to order it, and Besito makes a tasty dish, with baked queso Chihuahua, rajas, chorizo, cilantro, and white onion. They give you some small, warm tortillas with this dish. Melted cheese and chorizo is such a great combo, and this is an addictive appetizer.

The Ceviche del Dia (market price) changes dependent on what is available that day, and included Shrimp when I had it. It is accompanied by plantain and corn tortilla chips, and I really enjoyed the plantain chips, especially topped by some of the ceviche, which had a nice blend of citrus and spice. The shrimp was plump and plentiful, and the well-balanced flavors impressed. A highly recommended dish.

As for entrees, there are plenty of interesting choices so you might have some difficulty deciding on what to choose. The Salmon Manchamanteles ($22.95) has roasted salmon, crispy bananas, pineapple pico de gallo, and mole manchamanteles. With a nice presentation, the dish was absolutely delicious with a perfectly cooked piece of salmon, and a compelling sauce enhanced by the fruit flavors. Everything worked well, a harmonious plenty of excellent tastes. Another highly recommended dish.

The Enchilada Mixtas ($19.95) are filled with skirt steak, grilled chicken, chorizo, guajillo cream salsa, sweet plantains, cilantro, and queso fresco. There was plenty of tender meat in the filling, and the flavorful sauce added a creamy texture to the enchiladas. Once again, the flavors were nicely balanced and everything seemed fresh.

You might want a Side with your entree, and my top recommendation would be the Tamale de Elote, a fresh corn tamale with chipotle chile cream, onion, cilantro, and queso fresco. A creamy, rich corn flavor, with hints of spice, made this a compelling dish, which will have you scraping the corn husk to ensure you get every tasty bit.

Another Side is the Elotes de la Calle, roasted corn with queso fresco & chile molido. With a smoky taste, enhanced by the queso fresco, this is another good choice.

For a little sweeter Side, try the Platanos con Crema, fried sweet plantains with crema and queso fresco. The plantains were cooked just right, with a bit of a crispy coating and a soft, moist interior, and their mild sweetness went well with the creaminess of the cream and queso. I've previously had too many overcooked plantains so these were a pleasant surprise.

You better make sure you save some room for Dessert, as this is another area where they excel. There are about five Dessert options, each for $7, and I enjoyed three of them, each enticing my palate. The Pastel de Chocolate is a devils food cake, layered with homemade whipped cream and strawberries, and topped with tres leches and a pomegranate cabernet syrup. A rich and moist chocolate cake, it was enhanced by the sweet homemade cream, fruit and mild but flavorful syrup. A great way to end your lunch or dinner.

The Tres Leches is a vanilla sponge cake marinated in citrus tres leches, with homemade whipped cream and fresh berries. Again, the cake was moist and the homemade whipped cream was rich and creamy, enhancing the cake. Sometimes Tre Leches can be too heavy, but this was not the case here. One of the better versions of this cake I have enjoyed.

The Pudin de Chocolate is a Mexican chocolate pudding topped with homemade whipped cream and served with buñuelos. Such a rich and creamy chocolate flavor, this will satisfy any chocolate lover. And the cinnamon/sugar covered "cookies" made dipping delicious. I would come to Besito just to enjoy their desserts.

At the end of your meal, your server will drop off a bag containing a warm churro, which I haven't been able to resist eating before I left the restaurant. You also receive a tiny worry doll, which you are supposed to place under pillow at night and it will take away all your worries.

Service is excellent, and it often is a team effort, with a primary main server. When you arrive, your server will greet you in Spanish, and they generally have a very pleasant attitude, being attentive without being obtrusive. My only minor complaint is that they have been trained to always ask if you want one of their house margaritas or the tableside guacamole. After multiple visits, that might start to be a little annoying.

Overall, Besito is doing great for a restaurant that has only been open for a month. The food is delicious, fairly priced and there is plenty of diversity so there should be something for everyone. Service is professional and attentive. There are limited options for Mexican cuisine in the Burlington area so Besito is a welcome addition. I'll definitely be returning and Besito earns a hearty recommendation.