Monday, November 14, 2011

Restaurant Review: Sombra

I decided I wanted to write a review on the new restaurant, Sombra. I love food and I love talking about food, so I decided to go ahead and combine those together! I am not getting paid or doing this in any type of "official" capacity. This is just my opinion on the new place in town!

When you walk into Sombra, you are embraced by old world Mexico. The restaurant has a certain charm that is easy going and makes you feel comfortable. I love the way they have embroidered dresses hanging on the walls, and I love the low wood beams throughout the place. The warm colors they chose portray a Mexico that is untouched by the Mexico that we know- vacation spots and drug cartels.

They have a full service bar which serves wine and liquor that is primarily made in Mexico and South America. Their Margarita is one of the best I have ever had, hands down. I have only had the pleasure of drinking the House Margarita, but they offer several other choices as well. The tequila they offer goes down smooth and has no bad aftertaste or "bite". The bartenders seem to know their business, but they come off a bit high and mighty. I have not had the chance to try any of their wines, but a friend of mine enjoyed the Cono Sur Pinot Noir from Chile.

They offer a full menu of many different options from traditional Mexican to more contemporary Mexican. Off of the appetizer menu, I have tried the cheese dip, guacamole, and quesadillas. The cheese dip was delicious! It is very rich and different from any other cheese dip you will find in town. The guacamole is good, but honestly can't compete with the guacamole at Babalu in Jackson. The quesadilla is delicious only because of the seasoned meat. The grilled chicken and steak are grilled to perfection and have so much flavor. The quesadilla is very plain, which I like although I know some people like theirs filled with vegetables. The quesadilla is under the appetizer menu therefore it is not very big and does not come with any sides. To me the portion and the price don't add up for the quesadilla.

My favorite entree I have eaten has been the Chimichanga with shredded chicken. They offer it with ground beef, but the shredded chicken is the way to go in my book. This entree is served with beans and rice which are good, but they aren't outstanding. I do like the fact that they use farmers cheese in the beans, because it adds a different and unique flavor. The Chimicanga is huge and can easily fill you up. I have also tried the Steak Fajitas, Tacos al Carbon, and Tortilla Soup. The fajitas are delicious, but they do not come with shredded cheese, which I found a little odd. The marinated skirt steak melts in your mouth while your taste buds will burst with flavor! I just wish they included a little more meat with the entree. I ate the Tacos al Carbon with grilled steak, and again, the steak was melt in your mouth good. However, on my plate there were only two tiny tacos and then a ton of rice and beans. To me it is more important to have a good portion of the main dish verses the sides. I have also eaten the Tortilla Soup. I will be honest with you, it was the worst soup I have ever eaten. I actually had to send it back. On the menu it says "prepared table side", so I was very interested in seeing how exactly they prepared it at my table. I was sadly disappointed. They brought me a bowl filled with tortilla strips, chopped avocado, chopped chicken, cheese, and some type of chewy item that looked like dried olives (but tasted nothing like olives). My waiter then poured a lukewarm, salty, brown broth on top of the mixture in the bowl. I was not impressed by the dish and was a little hesitant to taste. The soup was too salty and did not have much taste. The menu seems to have several good items, but several not so good items as well. It really just depends on what you get. My hope is that the owners and chefs realize that they are a new restaurant, so they might have to change up their menu a bit to better serve the community. The portion sizes are not so great, but the prices are not terrible. When my friends and I go, we feel like we have definitely eaten enough and have spent an O.K amount of money. However, when my family goes and my dad and brothers get food and are still hungry when they leave, they don't feel like they have received their moneys worth. Overall, they have great potential with their menu, and I hope to see them expand on that potential!

My biggest complaint with Sombra right now is the service. It seems every time I go there is always a wait, but there are plenty of tables open. I guess they do not enough staff working right now to keep up with the influx of customers. The first time I went to Sombra, I had a question about an item they placed on my table with my appetizer. The waiter had no idea what is was and told us his "guess." The waiter was very friendly about it, but to me if you own a restaurant you need to train your staff on what you are serving your guests! The staff seems to be running around and they don't seem to focus on their tables very well. The servers I have had did not check on our table regularly and have even short changed my friends and me. I am hoping this issue will resolve itself over time, but I sure hope it changes quickly!

This might be a funny thing to comment on, but one thing that really bothers me is the size of the tables and the size of the menus. They decided to go with oversized menus, but they have smaller tables. Therefore the menus take up so much room. They are cumbersome and are hard to use!

Overall, Sombra is a really fun place to go to. It has a fun atmosphere that can lighten your spirits. They seem to have a few chinks to work out, but they have great potential. We have needed this type of restaurant for so long, and it is exciting to see all of the new changes around town! Sombra would be a great place to meet someone for drinks, have dinner with friends, etc. I do not think my family will be going together any more just because of the portion sizes.

I hope you have enjoyed reading my review! Like I said earlier, this was written strictly as an opinion. I hope you get the chance to go so you can experience Sombra for yourself!

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