Ever since it opened nearly a decade ago, Bolivian-born Gonzalo Pozo’s restaurant at Pershing and Broadway has been a favorite for tasty, reasonably priced regional Mexican food. You could count on wonderful pibil, chicken mole, and other specialities prepared by Gonzalo’s Mexican wife. Tortillas were always hot, chips fresh, and service friendly. The margaritas were generous pours.
For whatever reason, there has been a decline in food and service, and Gonzalo’s presence is missed. During a recent spur-of-the moment dinner, with only four or five tables occupied, we expected no delays. After we ordered our entrees, chicken flautas and a poblano casserole, we patiently waited, and waited, for the chips and salsa. They arrived just as the meals were set in front of us. The casserole was rich, but the accompanying borracho beans were only lukewarm, and my companion’s flautas had obviously been reheated until they were flaky dry. The guacamole had also outlived its sell-by date; it was black and tasted stale. The corn tortillas were too light, more like crepes, and four requests for butter went unheeded.
With no dearth of restaurants on Broadway between Hildebrand and Mulberry, it will be a shame if Picante Grill doesn’t re-establish itself as una favorita.