Sunday, October 14, 2007
On Saturday night, the Clan gathered to celebrate Rod, Christian and Emma's birthdays at Ceviche in Silver Spring, Maryland. As always, it was good to see and hang with old friends. I just wish we would choose better restaurants.
This is not to say that my friends don't know how to choose a restaurant, it means to say that I wish more restaurants served better quality food. Overall, the food was okay. It wasn't bad. But it wasn't good either. Just average, uninspired fare. But I'll give Ceviche the benefit of a doubt since it was a Saturday night, it was extremely busy, we were a group of sixteen and the fifty seat dining room was being served by one waiter and one runner.
Ceviche is a "Latin restaurant" - one of those catchwords that's similar to "pan-Asian" and anything trying to encompass everything is going to stumble. And Ceviche stumbles.
First off, where was the pork? If this is comida Latina where did it go? There was no pork on the menu. At all. No pork in a pan-Latin restaurant. Unbelievable. The Virgin of Guadalupe is furious.
Otherwise, it was a little bit of this and a little bit of that. Some Peruvian, El Salvadorean, Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, Argentinian, Spanish - there was something for everyone and nothing that stood out as a powerhouse. Actually, the most flavorful thing was the fried stuffed corn masa. That was pretty tasty.
I could go on, but I won't. It might not be nice. Suffice to say that Ceviche is designed to cater to the benign masses working at Discovery Channel across the street. Those denizens who want a Latin twist from the hoardes of national chain restaurants downstairs. It's great if your experience with Latin food is Chili's, but perhaps not so great if you regularly eat at the various Peruvian, Mexican or other ethnic joints.
I'll let the pictures speak for themselves, but the highlights were the stuffing in the beef empanadas which, if they had peas, would have been almost exactly like the classic Filipino Empanada stuffing I grew up on. The tamal wrapped in banana leaf had a pleasant flavor that's reminisent of the Puerto Rican pasteles or the tamales from southern Mexico.
921 Ellsworth Drive
Silver Spring, MD 20910