Somewhere between the Institute of Contemporary Art and the Boston Harbor, we find Rosa Mexicano, a high-end yet fairly reasonably-priced Mexican restaurant in the Seaport District. The eatery has a location in almost every major American city and even has a few sites in Dubai and Puerto Rico. The chain was started in 1984 and is famous for its authentic Mexican food and its tableside guacamole. Upon arriving, we immediately order the Guacamole en Molcajete to see what all the hype is about.
We are seated in the main dining area in a comfortable red booth. Behind us is a blue mosaic wall with water cascading down. The restaurant consists of a dining room and a bar area, both of which are well lit, lively and packed with people. We hardly have time to ponder our dining options before a woman pushes a guacamole trolley alongside our table and begins to prepare our appetizer. The trolley is overflowing with all the essentials: avocados, jalapeños, tomatoes, onions and cilantro. We are practically salivating by the time she places the freshly prepared dish between us along with warm tortilla chips and salsa. I pause before digging in and contemplate my main issue with overeating at Mexican restaurants. It is almost a fact that I will eat an entire bowl of chips, salsa and guacamole, and be unable to finish my food later in the evening. However, I push the thought aside and surrender to the inevitable.
The guacamole does not disappoint, and we lick the hearty bowl clean in an almost embarrassingly short amount of time. Though less hungry than when we arrived, we then turn to the menu which is filled with tacos, enchiladas and “especiales de la casa.” Beside each option in italics is the location within Mexico where the dish originated. I opt for the Enchiladas Rancheras from Jalisco which are tortillas loaded with Chihuahua cheese, roasted tomato ranchero sauce, onion, cilantro, queso, kale and crema. My roommate Ana chooses two appetizers for her meal, the Queso Fundido, which is a melted cheese dish, and the Flautas de Pollo from Puebla, which consists of corn tortillas with chicken, salsa pasilla, salsa verde, queso fresco and crema.
Ana ate her queso appetizer with the chips and guacamole and said that the dish also went well with her meal but was only good when fresh and melted because it eventually got cold and firm. She described the Flautas de Pollo as spicy and crispy, and she particularly liked the crema that topped the dish. My enchilada dish is delicious but consists of a slightly overbearing amount of cheese.
Ultimately, our night at Rosa Mexicano provided us a nice opportunity to walk throughout the Seaport District with the added bonus of some mind-blowing guacamole. It would take tremendous willpower to not fill up on the appetizers, but, if you can manage, the food is authentic and is accompanied by terrific service.