The statements made on this website are the personal opinions of Laura and Diane. If we feel that a restaurant visit is not up to par, please remember it is our opinion. If you disagree with us, feel free to write us at info@newenglandbites.com.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Sam Diego's Mexican Cookery

950 Iyanough Road
Route 132
Hyannis, MA 02601
(508) 771-8816
51 Main St.
Plymouth, MA 02360
(508) 747-0048

This is my favorite restaurant. Although I love Italian food, I adore Mexican and there is something about this place that makes me all giddy inside. It's right up there on Mom's list as well, and we always enjoy our trips here. We have visited both locations, but today we were in Hyannis and decided to stop in for a bite at about 3 p.m.

We walked up the large entrance ramp under the awning and went inside. The friendly hostess greeted us and took us to the main area and up two stairs to a table overlooking the sunken dining room. She left two pleather-covered menus on the table, along with a laminated list of Sam Diego's lunch specials. Since Mom and I had been here several times before, and had gazed at the on-line menu before we left the house, we already knew what we wanted.

A waitress, Kayleen, came over and asked what we wanted to drink. Mom and I have had several alcoholic delicacies here, but today we just wanted two Diet Pepsis. She quickly returned with the two drinks in plastics glasses and an order of their signature tortilla chips and salsa. She then asked us if we had decided on our order, and we had. Mom ordered the Chicken Caesar Se-Wrappe' ($6.99) which is sliced marinated grilled chicken breast tossed with Sam's Caesar salad, then rolled into a large spinach flavored tortilla. It is served with Sam's fries. I ordered the Pollo Pineapple Quesadilla ($7.50), which is sliced marinated grilled chicken breast, golden pineapple, and diced sweet red pepper baked together in a folded flour tortilla with pepper jack cheese and served with sour cream. As Kayleen took our menus away, I stuffed my face with chips and started checking out the interior.

There is color EVERYWHERE. From the plastic tablecloths to the chandeliers, everything here is in a Southwestern theme. There is an outside dining area in the back, and several different dining rooms housed inside. Large sculptures of a sun, a lizard, and a fish overlook the main dining area and are found hanging against terra cotta colored walls. Mexican movie posters and strings of white lights hang over the tables, which are oddly too low for the chairs they have. Mom and I often feel like we've grown several inches when we eat here. It's not uncomfortable, it just feels ... off. We've never sat in a booth before, but there is a large mix of both booths and tables. I also like how the waitresses are allowed to wear tank-tops and shorts as their uniforms. It probably gets pretty warm for them with all the running around, and it must be a nice change for them to wear something a little cooler, all bearing the Sam Diego's logo. There are a few huge Tiki Bars toward the back of the restaurant which are probably packed on weekends. I was disappointed that my picture came out as blurry as it did.

We did not wait long for our food to arrive. Kayleen brought the dishes over on ceramic plates with wicker chargers underneath so that we could easily move the plates around the table. I was so focused on chowing down that I almost forgot to take pictures!

Just imagine this picture with all the sour cream, tomatoes, and lettuce pushed over to the side. Then you'll know how my plate really looked before I started digging in. The quesadilla was just a little bit crispy and housed the juicy chicken, pineapples, and cheese. The pineapples were extremely hot, but the sour cream that I topped it with cooled them right down. I think I literally ate this in about ten minutes. It was that delicious.

Mom had never had a spinach wrap before, and she was pleasantly surprised at how good it was. The wrap was fresh and soft, the chicken was very well done, and the greens were fresh and crisp. Mom mentioned that the fries were very good, and I can also vouch for this because I stole a few. Getting something like this was a big step for Mom because she is generally not a very adventurous eater. She loved every bit and said that she would definitely get it again.

We usually get an appetizer, but we wanted to keep it light today so we did without. However, if you're looking for a delicious beginner, we highly recommend the Poppin In Buffalo Combo ($7.85) which features two of my favorites - boneless buffalo chicken tenders and red jalapeno poppers served with bleu cheese dressing and chipotle sour cream. For entrees, Mom has had just about every version of the barbecued pulled pork there is on the menu (quesadilla - $10.89; burrito - $11.25; sandwich - $7.79). I love the Spinach and Mushroom Quesadilla ($9.65) with fresh mushrooms, spinach, tomatoes, mild green chilies, monterey jack and cheddar cheeses. I always add the jalapeno cream cheese which makes it $9.99. Everything here is so delicious, you really can't go wrong.

The waitress brought our bill and cleared our plates. Not bad at all!

2 sodas - $3.98

1 Caesar wrap - 6.99

1 Chx pine quesadilla - $7.50

Food - $14.49

Non-alcoholic beverage total - 3.98

Tax - .92

TOTAL = $19.39

We left $24 (including 20% tip) and Kayleen wished us well. We stopped by the ladies' room on our way out, which has always been very clean and did not let us down this time around. Even the bathroom is adorably decorated. I just love this place!

As we left (and passed a huge parrot statue), I noticed that the sign outside mentioned the Sam Diego's taco bar. They have a buffet-style setup where you can make your tacos, have some chili and soup, and the best part is - it's all-you-can-eat. I didn't catch the price, but I did notice that the buffet is only served on weekdays before dinnertime. This place just keeps getting better. Also, we were in and out in just under an hour (we left around 3:55 p.m.). I'm highly looking forward to my next visit, and so is Mom. I think she's going to walk on the wild side and order some chicken fajitas. Stay tuned!