Sep 22, 2010, 9:09 PM
Post #63 of 72
Also, I certainly can't/won't speak for esperanza, but part of what may fuel the extraordinary praise is the complete incongruity of the experience. It really is surprising to find food of this caliber anywhere in the Lake Chapala area, much less at a Driving Range snack bar where they fling burgers and other grub food when Eric isn't cooking.
That level of praise is worthy of a star, but it is apparent we are not using the Michelin restaurant star rating system where the majority of recommended restaurants have no star at all. As this restaurant, on certain given nights, has a number of recommendations it seems this driving range snackbar fully earns its first Star by virtue of being "a very good restaurant in its category." Hearing a number of people praising it and suggest to the Lakeside locals it has "excellent cooking, worth taking a detour" out of their normal habits to visit this restaurant makes it worthy of Two Stars.
However, as I am the first in this part of the thread to "snark" the original glowing review, and that most of the others commenting here know I am only an occasional visitor to Lakeside and indulge myself of the local offerings when I visit only the Dawg has suggested we get together and partake of this amazing chef's fare, and as he has not indicated a personal knowledge and experience of having sampled of this chef's talents but merely the curiosity to give it a try with no one else suggesting it is "exceptional cuisine, worth making a special journey" on my part, it thus far falls short of an actual Three Star rating which it may well deserve.
No one who wishes to promote this chef should feel any disservice has been done, to the contrary, much lip service has already been given and even the most discriminative of critics among those visiting these pages have stated their resolve to give it a go and invite their friends to do the same. There is certainly nothing wrong with legitimately earning Two Stars for a young chef. After myself or others from out of the area have made the trip and give our endorsements he should feel he truly has earned Three Stars, a remarkable achievement.
I never meant the discredit Eric or deny him his due, I just stated in a roundabout fashion I am a tad skeptical of this self-proclaimed food expert's flowery endorsement based on my previous experience with their other such endorsements. Others earlier in this thread have as well stated they may have spoken hastily in bestowing their accolades on said critic.
I am not alone in finding some incongruities in the review. Other has commented to the effect that the statement "these are preparations based on purely traditional Mexican food" may not be entirely accurate, but perhaps we should allow for that slight innaccuracy. I am left still wondering what "a flan-like creme brulee" might be, and how to know which end of it is up since flan is in effect an upside-down creme brulée. Isn't a creme brulée essentially a dessert custard that is topped with a brittle layer of carmelized sugar, and flan a dessert custard that is made over the top of a layer of carmelized sugar?
(This post was edited by Peter on Sep 22, 2010, 10:20 PM)