Thursday, April 24, 2008


408 South Second St., Philadelphia 215.238.7280

You won't find burritos or tacos at this hip Mexican on Headhouse Square, but you will find an overwhelming list of tequila to chose from and a lot of really good food (but no chicken either!) If it's worth anything to you, Xochitl recently landed at #20 on Philadelphia magazine's 50 Best Restaurants list.

Xochitl has plenty of ambiance: loud, red and dark enough to be romantic, but hard to read the menu if your eyes aren't what they used to be. If that's a problem, let the server know and they'll bring you a mini-flashlight. I swear.

A girls night out Mexican-style can only be kicked off with margaritas. I can't handle lists of liquor, so I decided not to decide and opted for the house tequila. I know nothing about tequila, and quite frankly, don't care. As long as it's not going to give me a hangover, then pour away. The margarita was yummy, but if you love Copabananas tart margarita, then this ain't it.

We started with the guacamole ($7) made to order at the table. YUM. We all agreed that if this was the only thing we ate for dinner, we would have been happy. It was that good. And, we also tried one of the ceviches... Vuelve a la Vida “Return to Life” ($15) with shrimp, octopus, scallop, oyster and onion, cilantro, jalapeƱo, tomato and avocado. It was served in an oversized martini glass. Personally, I didn't like that it was all thrown together, but I'm weird about my ceviche. I like to taste each piece separately. Regardless, the flavor was nice.

Both girlfriends had the pork shank because they were out of the pork chop. It came on the bone for gnawing, which they were too graceful to do. I don't know what else it came with because it was too dark to see. I had the Salmon con Mole Verde ($20), roasted salmon with green mole, roasted potatoes and cabbage, mushrooms and figs. Again, too dark to see what the sides were. I don't recall potatoes though. It was all slimey, but the salmon was prepared medium rare after all. I know slimey isn't an attractive description, but it was and it still tasted good.

Dessert was simple. Just a couple of churros ($7) with Mexican chocolate and cajeta dipping sauces. They were hot and sugary. Wished there were more.

We'd go back.

Read other reviews here.


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