Thursday, October 29, 2015

Back To Our List in Catalina

Maggie's Blue Rose
417 Crescent Ave. 
Avalon, CA 90704

Okay, so if you have been following along with this blog, you know that our last restaurant review was also from Catalina Island. We were on the island for a mini vacation with Katie's family. They had me write out a bunch of places to dine at, then as soon as we got off the boat, they threw away my list and ate at one of their favorite spots, Mi Casita. You can see how that visit was by clicking here.

Not wanting to rehash an old wound, Katie and I set out on our own for lunch after spending some good quality family time at the beach. I was looking forward to getting out of the sun for awhile, and we headed towards town. There were six places on my restaurant wish list, but we decided to have Mexican food again, hoping that Maggie's Blue Rose was going to be better than our last visit to a Mexican restaurant in Avalon. 

Maggie's Blue Rose is located directly across from the beach, directly below their sister restaurant, Steve's Steakhouse. There was plenty of foot traffic passing by this place, but we got right in at just before 1pm on a Saturday. Opened for just about a year and a half, Maggie's is one of the highest rated restaurant on the island, receiving four stars on Yelp, and they also won an award at the Taste of Avalon in their first year in business. 

The menu here could definitely best be described as modern Mexican. Not heavy on combination plates, instead they offer Mexican favorites with a twist. Mole and duck seem to be a big draw at Maggie's, and maybe coming from the same kitchen as the restaurant above, their lunch menu has three different steaks on it, along with crab, lobster, and something that you always see in a Mexican restaurant, pasta alfredo. After lounging around in the sun all morning, I was definitely ready for some food, let's see what came out for us. 

First things first, I want to apologize in advance for these not so great pictures that I took at Maggie's. I had left my usual camera back at the beach house, and shot these with my phone, which I hate doing, but I had to make due with what I had. Again, I'm sorry. Anyways, let's take a look at the Chips and Salsa that they brought out after we had ordered. These chips were pretty solid. They were thicker than most, and had a great crunch to them. They tasted freshly made. I liked that they offered two salsas. The chunkier of the two was good, with a very good texture to it. It was mild, and was definitely Katie's favorite. The habanero salsa had a great kick to it, and is one of the spicier that I have had in a restaurant recently. 

No big table side mixing of the guacamole here at Maggie's, but it did not matter, because this Guacamole ($6) went very well with the chips and salsas. Not overly seasoned, it had a good texture to it, with just the right amount of chunk. It could have used some jalapenos to spice things up, but otherwise a much better version than what we had at our first Mexican restaurant on Catalina.

Entrees made their way out of the kitchen rather fast at Maggie's, and within 5 minutes we were eating. Katie selected the Chicken Verde Tacos ($11), which contained shredded chicken, pickled onion, a little jicama slaw, and cilantro crema, all wrapped in a homemade tortilla. She threw out adjectives like delicious, tender, and flavorful to describe these tacos. She really enjoyed whatever the chicken was sauteed with. The tacos come with your choice of rice and beans, Katie got the cilantro rice with the vegetarian black beans, which she said rounded out the meal nicely. She'd definitely get this again.

Visually appealing for sure, I was pretty excited to try these Mole Braised Duck Enchiladas ($16). I really enjoy duck, but it kind of got overwhelmed by the mole. This mole was a good version, with plenty of complexity to it. Maybe if there was a little more of the duck meat in these enchiladas, it would have stood out more. The refried beans and Mexican rice were lighter than expected, but also could have used a little more seasoning. Still a very good lunch though.

Maggie's Blue Rose blew away our first restaurant experience on Catalina. Not really much of a contest though. The food at Maggie's at least tasted like something, which is sometimes a challenge in touristy areas. I really liked their take on modern Mexican food, and I did not think the prices were too crazy out of whack, as they can be in Avalon. Our server was right on top of things during our stay, and like I said, the food came out rather quick. We'd definitely eat here again on future visits to Catalina. It's easy to see how this place made it on our list of restaurants to eat at this weekend.

Out of five crowns, (because in some cultures the blue rose symbolizes royalty), five being best to zero being worst, Maggie's Blue Rose gets 3 crowns.

For more information about Maggie's Blue Rose, check out their website here:

Maggie's Blue Rose Mexican Fare Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 

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