Venue Review: Tres Pesos Bar & Grill
The Charlotte Observer
315 S. Polk St., Pineville. (Also at 100 W. Woodlawn Road.)
Tortilla chips so crisp and thin, they felt practically weightless. Salsa bursting with so much cilantro and tomato, I couldn't help but think of summer.
The chips and salsa at Tres Pesos were the prelude to the meal, but they were a good indicator of what was to come. The meal also didn't exceed my budget of $25 for two, although we also used a recession dining tip: When funds are tight, don't always eat out at night. We went to the Pineville-area restaurant for lunch.
We arrived around 11:30 a.m., so we had our pick of seats and got a fair amount of attention from the hostess who doubled as a server. That worked fine until about 12:15 p.m., when it got more crowded. At that point, the hostess/server would have needed roller skates to traverse the sizable dining room as she took orders, served food and delivered checks.
I can't imagine finishing a dinner entrée at Tres Pesos. As it was, I hauled a third of my lunch home. I could have finished it if I had skipped the fried plantain appetizer, but then I would have missed out on plantains with a crisp crust and creamy inside served with a pool of sour cream.
Arroz con pollo combined sliced chicken (a bit overcooked), mushrooms, onions, red and green peppers (cooked perfectly), Monterey jack cheese and a mild tomato sauce on a bed of rice. It was served with warm flour tortillas, avocado wedges and tomato slices. Yum.
Plate presentation matters at Tres Pesos. I could clearly identify each component of the ground beef chile relleno and enchilada entrée. I hate it when everything is buried under cheese and placed so close together you can't tell where one thing ends and another begins. The fried batter on the chile relleno stayed crisp and the enchilada was, mercifully, not drowned by the tomato-based sauce. Refried beans were in a fried tortilla shell, which also kept them in their place.
After tax and tip, my order of fried plantain, arroz con pollo and chile relleno/enchilada combination came to $21.94.