Thursday, October 30, 2008

El Vez: Get Ready for a Good Time


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Click photo to visit the official website of El Vez

Even from a few blocks away, El Vez grabs your attention. A glowing pink neon sign spells out the name of Stephen Starr’s Mexican restaurant high above the surrounding Center City storefronts. Upon entering, the dazzling décor, including a rotating hot pink convertible above the bar, draws your eyes in countless directions, while the din from the bar and the delicious smells of dishes passing by contribute to a total sensory overload.

You should come, however, for the food, if nothing else. The Cesar Chavez guacamole ($14), with oaxaca cheese, fresh tomatoes, and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar, is perfect for three or four, especially when paired with the queso fundido con carne ($11): a blend of chihuahua and oaxaca cheeses and tender chorizo. Served with flour tortillas, it's surprisingly light on the grease and has just enough bite. And if you aren’t already full, the pollo annatto ($19) will definitely satisfy. The dish features a slice of poblano cornbread topped with a tender sliced chicken breast as well as a chile relleno, stuffed with a blend of shredded chicken and tomatoes. 

El Vez is definitely not cheap, but, if you order intelligently and plan on sharing, it isn’t too expensive either. Try to make reservations, especially on weekend nights, because the restaurant, although large, fills up almost instantaneously. Before you graduate, make sure you try El Vez at least one time.

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