Saturday, January 16, 2010

Kaliente Mexican Grill - Princeton, NJ

It was a gorgeous January day in in New Jersey today, and nice to see the hustle an bustle of people taking advantage of the gorgeous weather in Princeton. It was a beautiful day for a drive, so Zelda and I decided to check out Kaliente Mexican Grill, located in the what used to be a sushi inspired restaurant on Nassau Street.
Upon first walking in, you'll notice the still Asian inspired decor on the ceiling, with what looks like an Asian sort of canopy on one wall, and the Asian inspired grid like structure hanging from the ceiling. To the back left is a counter, and forward of that are abut 8 or so small tables. To say that the place is a little tight is an understatement, but if it works for them, then so be it.
We were a little confused as to how the ordering works. There is a big menu hanging on the wall in the back. It gives you a choice of burritos, ensalata de burrito, taco's, quesadillas, and Enchiladas. In the column next to that, you then pick your protein, and the column next to hat you pick your salsa. It took a few minutes, but we figured it out.
We placed our order with the gentleman behind the counter, who definitely could have been friendlier. Service with a smile really isn't that hard. Zelda opted for a chicken burrito, and I opted for a steak burrito. We also got a side of chips and salsa.
From here, I figured that we would tell them what we wanted from their burrito bar that is behind the counter. It has a wide array of two different types off beans, two kinds of rice, chicken, steak, beef, lettuce, tomato an onion, cheese, guacamole, salsa, etc.
After a few minutes, Zelda grabbed us a table, and I waited to pay. After waiting a few minutes with no instruction, I too went and sat down, and we enjoyed the chips and salsa, along with some bottles Coke's from their cooler.
A few minutes later a Spanish woman called out "Burrito," and Zelda and I went up to the counter. She picked out here rice, beans, chicken, and other items to go into her burrito. The woman shoveled everything in, rolled it up, and that was all she wrote. I did the same thing, and opted for steak, orange rice, cheese, tomato and onion, cilantro, sour cream, and a medium salsa.
As we sat down to eat, these burritos are absolutely massive, and for under $7, the prices really are not bad at all. Unfortunately, there really was nothing to differentiate this burrito from a typical chain. The steak was OK, but it didn't wow. The items seemed fresh, but it was just your typical burrito. No wow factor whatsoever, but also not offensive in the least. It was very palatable, but there really was nothing to make it special.
One thing that the place could truly use is a bit of decor, and a good scrub. There was a table st up with silverware, water pitches, napkins, etc, to the left of the counter on the way to the bathroom. It had cheap vinyl table clothes on it, and it definitely did not help with the ambiance. The tables could use some updating, and the napkins tucked under the legs of the tables to keep them level could use some changing. They look as though they have been there for weeks. Other than that, a good sweep, mop, and scrub and the place would look better. Finally, add a bit of friendliness to the service, and it would make for a more enjoyable experience.
Note that they also have some specialty items that seem to have some Indian influences to them as well. These items included Samosas, Khatti Rolls, Somosa Chatt, Bhel Puri, and Aloo Chatt.
I went back to the counter to pay, and the bill came to $21 and change for the two burritos, chips and salsa, guacamole, and the two soda's. All in all an average meal, and I wouldn't go out of my way to go back. As Zelda said, and to which I agree, I would rather go to A Little Taste of Mexico in the Princeton Shopping Center off of Harrison Street.
Katiente Mexican Grill
235B Nassau Street
Princeton, NJ 08540
Phone: (609)688-8916
Mon-Sat 11AM-3PM and 5PM-10PM
Sun 12AM-3PM and 5PM-9PM
They also have a website listed as however, the link is not active.

No comments: