There used to be a little Chinese restaurant down the road from here. It was in a rather unfortunate location, with bad access unless you were heading the right way on the street. The building sits back a bit from the main road, is not very large, and is there alone, with no supporting characters to help it along. Every time we would drive past the place, it was deserted.
Now, however, the parking lot is busy during the day and packed in the evening. The place is no longer serving up Chinese food, though. It has been converted to a Latin-inspired place called La Puerta Plata (The Silver Door). We decided to stop off there and pick up some food to see how it was – and if it justified the traffic the place seems to get.
The menu is not very large, but has enough of a selection that I wouldn’t walk out immediately were I there to eat. The menu is in Spanish with some English translations, although some of those translations leave a little room for improvement – simply translating something as “meat” for instance, is not helpful to someone who does not speak Spanish, like my mother. I walked my mother through the menu, from the stew (with chicken, beef, plantains, and potatoes) to bistec y cebolla (steak and onion). She wasn’t very interested in the stew made with goat or the seafood items, which consisted mostly of shrimp (or shrimps, as the menu said, translating literally from camarones). We settled on the steak and onions and an order of chuletas (pork chops), with an order of stew. The entrees come with a choice of white or yellow rice, red or black beans, and salad, or plantains and salad. We opted for the salads and one of each of the rice and beans.
The food is not spectacular, but is serviceable. The steak was a bit overdone, and the chops uninspiring, although my mom perked those up a bit with a little of one of the hot sauces that I have (Blind Betty’s Pineapple Pizzazz). Both the rice and beans was standard fare, not bad, but not great. Since I couldn’t actually taste the other food, I did have a small taste of the broth of the stew. It had a curious undertone to it, most likely the result of so many ingredients and seasonings in it. It didn’t help that it was more soup-like thatn stew-like – Rachael Ray would probably term it a “stoup”, halfway between a soup and a stew.
Overall? The place most likely will not be given another chance by the family, but I’ll probably try something when I can eat again, just to make sure they’re given a fair shot.