Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Painted Burro: Brunch & Mexican Wine

Mas meatloaf, por favor! 

This past Sunday, I returned to The Painted Burro, in Somerville, with the Boston Brunchers to check out the Burro's Brunch menu. I reviewed the Burro last week, after dining there on two nights, and now can provide an update after my brunch experience. In short, brunch was delicious and very reasonably priced, well worth checking out on Sundays.

In the photo above, you can see panels on the walls and this is the soundproofing I discussed in my prior review. During brunch, the sound levels were very manageable and there was no difficulty in talking to anyone at our table. The sound proofing seems to be doing its job. In time, some of those panels will be painted with murals. They already blend in very well, but will look very cool once painted.

The Brunch Menu includes the same Appetizers and Tacos as on the Dinner menu. The Entrees are mostly different, with about ten options, and includes the Yucatan Meatloaf and the Mexican Loco Dog from the dinner menu. Nearly all the Brunch Entrees are priced $8-$10, and considering the quantity and quality of the dishes, they present an excellent value. You'll find dishes such as Chipotle Chocolate Chip Pancakes and Thick Cut French Toast, as well as items such as the Sunshine Burrito and Huevos Rancheros.

The Goat Empanadas. Again, a delicious choice with a compelling roasted red pepper & tomato-chipotle salsa.

The Fundido with Chorizo. Who wouldn't like all that cheesy goodness with plenty of spicy chorizo? This is one of my favorite appetizers.

Despite all of the other choices, I had to order the Yucatan Meatloaf again, to ensure the first time wasn't a fluke. And it was as amazing as the last time, with that great spicy red mole sauce and the flavorful meatloaf, with its intriguing blend of tastes and textures. It is a hearty dish, great for brunch or dinner, and gets my highest recommendation once again. Kudos to Chef Bua!

I think this was the Huevos Rancheros ($9), with 2 fried eggs, roasted corn, queso anejo, charro beans, salsa ranchero de la casa, and crispy tortillas. A variety of different entrees were on the table, and everyone was very happy with all the food they sampled. Plus, everyone was quite pleased with the large portion sizes.

The Vaquero Hash ($10) comes with 2 fried eggs, braised pork, roast potato, kale, nopales, poblano rajas, and chipotle mayo. Another dish that pleased everyone. You won't go wrong with any brunch entree. All of the brunchers I spoke to seemed very delighted with all of the food.

One of my objectives at brunch was to try the two Mexican wines on their wine list. As far as I am aware, they are the only Boston area restaurant that carries Mexican wines. (If anyone knows of another, I would love to hear about it.) Both of the wines are from the L.A. Cetto winery in the Valle de Guadalupe in the state of Baja California in Mexico. In the 19th century, there was a Catholic mission here which produced wine but the Mexican government eventually stripped the Church of all its lands. About 30 years later, a private company bought the land and established the first large scale winery in Mexico.

In 1928, Don Angelo Cetto began trying to establish a wine industry in the region, and eventually, the L.A. Cetto winery was founded in 1975. They now produce a wide variety of wines, including sparkling and fortified wines. At the Burro, they carry the 2006 L.A. Cetto Reserva Privada Nebbiolo and the 2009 L.A. Cetto Chenin Blanc and I highly recommend both of them.

The 2006 Nebbiolo is made from 100% Nebbiolo, the Italian grape which is well known for producing Barolo and Barbaresco. It spends about 14 months in French oak, and then two years in the bottle. This wine is a deep, dark red (almost purple) in color with a compelling nose of black fruits with hints of cherry. On the palate, the dark fruit flavors are prominent with a backbone of cherry and mild spice. The tannins are well integrated and it has a moderately long finish. It certainly reminded me of an Italian wine and I never would have guessed it was from Mexico. At retail, it would run around $20 and I think it is well worth the price. It would pair best with a hearty dish, such as pasta or a meatloaf.

The 2009 Chenin Blanc is made from 100% Chenin Blanc, sees no oak and only has an alcohol content of 12%. This was crisp and fresh, with delicious fruit flavors of melon, pear and peach and hints of herbs on the finish. I had a second glass of this wine as I enjoyed it so much. A great summer wine, or something with lighter dishes, such as chicken or seafood. It was easy drinking and pleasant, and at a retail price of $8-$12, it would also be a good value wine. Once again, you would not think it was from Mexico.

These two wines make me want to check out far more Mexican wines, and I strongly urge all of my readers to taste Mexican wines if you get the opportunity.

For dessert, I tasted the Chipotle Chocolate Ice Cream, a creamy and tasty treat with a spicy finish from the Chipotle, and a flavor that reminded me of cinnamon. I also tried another savory Popsicle, this time the flavor being Corn. Yes, it had a strong corn flavor and it was much more savory than sweet. A very unique dessert.

Once again, The Painted Burro satisfied and I strongly recommend you visit for dinner or brunch. From Fundido to Meatloaf, Tequila to Mexican wine, there is plenty to please all palates and tastes. Muchas Gracias to Chef Cassinelli and Chef Bua!


Anna said...

The food looks absolutely delicious, those photos made me want Mexican cuisine right now. I have never tried Mexican wine and am on a mission to do it now.

Liz from EatingPlaces said...

It was so nice to enjoy this meal with you and to learn more about the Painted Burro's wine offerings. Delicious meal!

Anonymous said...

We just came back from Ensenada wine country so I was happy to see it being offered in Somerville via your post, but alas its no longer being offered or any other Mexican wine. The food was above average, but over-priced. 9 dollars for ONE fish taco?