Restaurant Review: Pedro’s Kitchen

by Joanne on January 5, 2013

Saturday started with a pretty good run. The roads were clear. The temperature was mild with only gusty wind to worry about.  Shane and I covered 5 1/2 miles then Zoey and I finished off the run for a total of 8.15 miles.  Maybe Mexican food works well for me.

A new little Mexican restaurant in Vernon, New York boasting authentic Mexican cuisine.

Ted and I decided to give this little restaurant-bar a try.

The menu was extensive and offered all the typical choices found in a Mexican style eatery.

There were a few items that gave us cause to wonder:

1.  The dishes that offered Lobster were written as this:   Lobster*    What was the “*” for ? It was explained at the bottom of the menu that the lobster was imitation lobster meat AND the “*” was served with chorizo (Mexican style sausage). 

2.  The Margarita was served AND spilled on the table.  It must have been good though since it took Ted all of 4 minutes to drink.  He CLAIMED it was because the server spilled half of it on the table.

3.  Then there was the guacamole…

It was too creamy.  We like our guacamole chunky with tomatoes.  Ted thought it didn’t have much flavor.  I thought it tasted fresh but would have preferred the chunks and more flavor.

Here’s another shot since I like taking photos of green food

In the background, Ted’s soft beef taco appetizer.  He couldn’t say enough about those. Loved them.

But lets regress….

We entered the restaurant and were immediately seated at a large, comfortable booth.  A plentiful basket of tortilla chips with spicy salsa was placed in front of us.

Crisp.  Fresh. Spicy. Joanne ate too many.

We took our time going through the extensive menu, had a glass of very NON-Mexican Chardonnay and a scant (or so he claims) margarita, while deciding on what our evening enjoyment would include.

While Ted decided on an appetizer of guacamole (as I said, he didn’t like it) and soft beef tacos, I asked if they had a simple tossed salad. Nothing traditional as served in other area restaurants.  Ok.  Skip the salad and just get the entree.  We both had

Pescado Gato (this is a HUGE serving):  2 catfish fillets grilled (although they tasted fried), with grilled onions, peppers, tomatoes and served with fresh shredded lettuce, tomato, onions, avocado slices, a lime and plenty of jalapeno peppers. 

A HEAPING side of rice and refried beans

with warm flour tortillas (2 tortillas but you didn’t need any more since the entree and the side were so generous) on the side, neatly wrapped in foil.

We enjoyed most of our meal.  Everything tasted fresh, hot, and not overly seasoned.  It wasn’t fancy, it wasn’t the best Mexican we have ever had but it was pretty darned good.  Good enough so we most likely will return for a second showing.  The service was good. Although the conversation at the bar (our booth was right behind the bar) was questionable at times.  Let me share….

Apparently there was some kind of …”situation” at the state correctional facility which prompted the discontinuation of black garbage bags.  I absolutely refuse to go into detail because it was not dinner conversation.  In fact, I wondered how something so heinous (that’s a little “Law and Order” speak  Winking smile) could happen in our neck of the woods AND that we don’t remember reading anything about it, probably wouldn’t want to since what this woman told was pretty gross. Then again it could have been just bar talk and we shouldn’t have been listening anyway.  However and apart from THAT, we enjoyed ourselves. 

Pedro’s Kitchen is a nice break from traditional Utica food.  Nothing fancy, just plain and comfortable and well worth a lunch or dinner. There is plenty of seating on the other side of the bar which makes this restaurant a family friendly place to enjoy a meal.

Pedro’s Kitchen is on Route 5 as you approach Vernon, New York (site of the old Mason Jar restaurant).

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