If Chicharito were to visit Manila one day and crave for a cilan-terrific burrito—both of which are extremely surreal—I’ve made my list where to take the striker. There’s Orale and Ristra’s, but let’s not forget the list which is banned from even making its way in his consciousness: Mexicanto, Mexicali, Baja Mexican Cantina, Taco Bell (how dare we bring Chicha to fast food) and Agave (BGC and Eastwood).
For those awed by the word Agave, I was too, until I learned that it is nothing but a juicy plant of the tropics and not a secret ingredient. Now if you think Agave, the restaurant, harbors a secret ingredient in its Mexican fares, that again brings disappointment.
Agave may be a Mexican joint but it disrupts the exotic vibe by assaulting its kitchen with the Pinoy extract. The tangy burst of flavor, much anticipated spice and touch of cilantro and other unidentified herbs are absent. What we get are flavors straight out of our neighbor’s kitchen, the one reading about Mexican 101 whose name might start with Manang.
The disillusionment cannot be concealed, since I was highly expecting a glorious Mexican fiesta to kick Ristra’s ass. Sadly enough, even CPK and Chili’s can whip up a better tomato masterpiece with their American set-up.
The quesadillas are plainly assembled and the pico de gallo, consumable in 2 bites. The lack of generosity in the cheese is a sign of Third World penury and my cheese fixation thrived for weeks from this deprivation. The tortilla is far from freshly made and is desert dry all throughout. The vegetables come in skimped portion to match the waitress garb, and the only thing that comes in abundance are the shorts which I find no interest in.
The same formula follows for the chicken enchiladas, only made more distinguished with the tomato sauce that dressed the wrap. Requesting for the rice to be replaced with side salad was a sensible choice, since poco is the new pico de gallo here. The enchilada remains boringly standard, and there is nothing savory, fajita-like, tangy, smoky or just yummy about the chicken. It is just, well chicken. Pollo, but no loco.
Which brings me to the fact that I have once again been fooled like the time I spent at Rue Bourbon, when I learned after the first greasy bite that they sell drinks, not food. Food is perhaps just a government requirement to set up shop but drinks up, we’re a watering hole, duh. Oh duh. I’ve been had again.
Agave is that place where you go for beer and alcohol and more drinks to come. No such thing as a grande fiesta, just a terrible taco or that que barbaridad quesadilla. If you want Mexican food, go somewhere else because Agave is just a plant that cannot even afford decent cheese!
Lo siento, Chicharito we will have to take you elsewhere. While it might please me to hear you yell “Que Barbaridad!” in your own way, it doesn’t have to be at the expense of my meal. I’ll just bring you EDSA, MRT or my room instead.