There are many good Mexican restaurants in Rhode Island. We discovered a great one.
From the moment we entered Agaves Mexican Grill we felt like we were back in Mexico. The friendly greeting by owner Roberto Leon, a first generation Mexican-American, the atmosphere and ambience of the surroundings, and then the attentiveness and knowledge of our waiter, Israel, all brought us back to some of the fine dining we had experienced in that wonderful country.
Roberto’s father, Juan, and his brother, Fernando Aguire, are the chefs…and do they know how to prepare and cook authentic Mexican cuisine. The menu items are high end at low end prices.
We began our dinner with salsa and chips. Joyce likes her salsa hot, while I lean toward medium. Israel brought three kinds to the table for us to try, and they were all good.
The restaurant has three tastefully decorated dining rooms and a large bar. A birthday party was going on in one of the rooms. The rooms are so intimate that you wouldn’t believe that there are 280 seats in the place.
I ordered a Mexican beer, while Joyce enjoyed a cucumber martini as we watched Manny wheel his cart to the table to prepare a fresh guacamole casero right before our eyes. He cut the fresh avocado, added a variety of spice, including jalapenos and cilantros, plus tomato and lime, and mashed it in a large earthen bowl. We smothered it on freshly baked, homemade tortillas and enjoyed. For $9.29 we got dinner and a show.
Another popular appetizer is the Agaves Sampler, which includes a ham quesadilla, papa wedges, lightly breaded jalapanos and a cheesy bean dip ($10.99). It is a meal in itself.
But that was only the beginning. Agaves has the usual menu of fajitas, enchiladas, quesadillas and burritos, all cooked fresh and in every possible combination. We chose to order from the more eclectic, traditional Mexican side of the menu, brought to Warwick by Juan. I enjoyed a traditional dish that I had never had before, even in Mexico: Mango Avocado Pina ($16.99). The colorful plate featured a half pineapple stuffed with tender marinated pork and topped with mango avocado salsa. The rice was perfect for dipping in the tasty gravy. The big surprise was the accompanying mashed potatoes with jalapenos. Joyce, who is not a mashed potato fan, stole half of mine.
Joyce enjoyed a Gorditas De Tinga, which is homemade corn gorditas stuffed with chipotle chicken and served with yucca fries ($9.99). Of course, we shared.
We topped off our delightful meal with a Mexican flan and Mexican coffee. Ah, that wonderful Kahlua! (Did I need to say this is a Mexican restaurant?)
The most expensive item on the menu ($17.50) is for the really hungry. It consists of two plates of a burrito, enchilada, taco, tostada, chile poblano, rice and beans. Isreal says, “Good Luck!”
Agaves is very accommodating and can prepare all kinds of combination plates. They also serve luncheons from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday, with prices ranging from $6.99 to $8.99. Vegetarian dishes average $8.99.
Agaves is located on Route 2 in Warwick at 444 Quaker Lane. It formerly housed a 99 restaurant and years ago the Weather Vane. It is open every day for lunch and breakfast. For reservations (suggested on weekends) call 615-7111.