Grace: 3 1/2 Stars
Josh: 3 1/4 Stars
Why did we choose Malo?
Grace: We were (well, I was) craving Mexican one night. Josh had never been to Malo; I’d been a couple times with so-so experience, so we decided to check it out.
Josh: I honestly don’t remember why we went here. I’m pretty sure Grace just suggested it and I was like “sure”. Plus she had a gift card which means I didn’t have to pay! What a day!
Grace: Start from the top! We were delivered chips and salsa upon arrival. Malo’s chips are so delicious. They’re pretty salty, which I love! Their salsa…I don’t know what it is. I love it and also hate it? You can tell it’s fresh, it’s just got a weird flavor (to me). Maybe it’s the Latin side of Malo in the spices that I don’t like. I ordered a raspberry margarita to drink, and I loved that they used real fruit…and that it was served in a pint glass. We split the corn queso, which was so good! It came out warm, and had corn, prosciutto and tomatoes mixed in. This lactose-intolerant lady couldn’t eat much of it (probably shouldn’t have had any) but man, was it good.
For my dinner, I ordered two tacos: one Crispy Onion & Avocado (vegan!) and one Chile Relleno (vegetarian – contained cheese). Side note: my best friend is vegan and has turned me into a sucker for good vegan food. You should try it. You’d be surprised. The Crispy Onion & Avocado taco had a chipotle crema that I’m thinking was made from cashews. It was spicy and delicious, and the avocado cut the spice nicely. The Chile Relleno was equally yummy; the chile was crispy and the salsa (a different kind than was with the chips) was fresh and mild. Malo’s flour tortillas are the bomb, and I wish I could have taken home a bag of them.
Josh: When we arrived, they said it would be about an hour wait. We walked around the Des Moines Social Club and our table was ready in less than 20 minutes. We received chips and salsa as soon as we sat down and I started to devour. Complimentary chips and salsa should be offered with every meal at every restaurant. Period. The chips were pretty good. They tasted like tortilla chips so that was a plus. I’m not a salsa-guy but more of a queso-guy so we ordered some queso. This queso was different. It had stuff in it that wasn’t cheese. I was perplexed but I still ate it. I honestly prefer the queso you get at a hometown Mexican restaurant (El Rodeo to be exact) but this queso wasn’t bad.
I ordered a margarita! It was their “middle margarita” (not bottom shelf but not quite Patron. Right in the middle). The rim was rimmed with salt. Oh God I hate salt. I also hate tequila. I think I like crappy margaritas over the “good ones”. You know, the ones you get out of a blender and taste like a slushy. Those are the bomb! Anyway, I drank my margarita like a big boy even though I tasted the dreaded tequila that brought back bad, bad memories.
The main meal was bini. It was so good! I got the chicken enchilada and it was great! It was covered in queso! Regular Queso! The chicken was so tasty and the enchilada was crispy. Plus the portion was huge and that’s the most important part. It also came with a little dish of sour cream and I covered that baby with the delicious dairy (sorry, Grace). The main dish was the best part of the meal.
Atmosphere, Service, Price
Grace: I love the atmosphere – very laid-back and casual. Our waitress was wonderful, I wish I would have gotten her name! We should have made a reservation; when we got there we were told it would be an hour before we could be seated. It’s nice that they’ll take your phone number so you don’t have to stay there and wait. Lucky for us, the hour wait turned into about 18 minutes! The prices are reasonable for the amount and quality of food you get. Great date night, would return!
Josh: It was in an old fire station! That’s pretty rad honestly. The atmosphere was neat and it felt like an inviting place. The fact that it’s attached to the Des Moines Social Club made it even cooler-er. They have a comic book store/coffee shop! Who the hell does that? Our waitress was also very nice and she helped with the experience. I would go again!
NOTE: Now that we know we’re writing a blog, we’ll include pictures next time 🙂