I have to be honest about something: I don't really like Mexican food-- well, as a foodie, at least. Sure, a burrito once in a blue moon (or with a Blue Moon) tastes pretty good, but I just don't understand "upscale" Mexican cuisine.
Sebastian on the other hand is a Mexican food lover. So when his birthday rolled around, we headed with his family to one restaurant that I had enjoyed previously with Z-- Casa Romero on Gloucester St off of Newbury. Like Dali in Somerville (which I NEED to re-visit since it's one of my faves), this restaurant has a magical feeling to it, as you step off Gloucester down a small alley and into a tiny, wooden doorway. It's as if you're headed to some secret lair that no one knows about.
Once inside, it has pretty typical Mexican restaurant decor, with tiles, artifacts, and wooden chairs. They do have a beautiful patio though-- atypical of neighboring Newbury St patios, where motorcycles zoom by and cars loudly rev their engines. This one is small and secluded, and feels like you're dining in someone's private garden.
I started with some sangria, which while good, lacked any of the signature floating pieces of fresh fruit in it. We shared some chips with zingy salsa (complimentary) which I think turned out to be my favorite part of the meal. Sebastian's mom ordered a cactus and tomato salad, which due to the salmonella scare did not have tomatoes. This would've been fine had the waiter informed her previously-- it just showed up with only cactus. Hmm.
We also shared some guacamole which at nearly $8 should have been in my opinion a trough of it. Instead, a small scoop arrived on a bread plate. I got as my meal the chicken fajitas. I had expected your standard chicken accompanied by sour cream, guacamole, etc. but instead it came with refried beans and rice, and two tiny tortillas. Hmm. I understand that Chili's isn't authentic, but what's the deal with two tiny tortillas? The chicken was cooked in a red sauce, which seemed to mimic a sofrito but lacked its tanginess. The chicken was kind of dry. All in all, a disappointment.
Ah, Mexican food. Perhaps someday I'll understand you...