TRAINING FOODS: Chichimecas for Cinco de Mayo

A churro is a hit.

A churro is a hit.

Chichimecas Restaurant in Farmingdale lies steps away from the railroad station, practically on top of the tracks, but in many ways seems far away from the city center. We enter and are immediately taken back to Mexico, into an open-air restaurant beside Mayan ruins that we visited when there for a wedding when Daniel was 11 months old. The bright décor and happy atmosphere is festive and fun.

Our waiter is friendly and happy to answer our questions and make suggestions. He speaks with the boys in a manner that puts any parent with reservations about bringing children into a restaurant immediately at ease. We love it here already.

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He recommends the chicken with mole sauce, and after eating it, so do we. The boys order the chicken quesadilla and we start with the guacamole, which doesn’t disappoint. Its freshness is apparent; our chips slowly disappear, as they are plunged sometimes two at a time into its rich center. John is a fan of the salsa; he repeatedly dunks his chips and steals each and every one of mine. Unfortunately I can’t say no to his cheeky grin. Our waiter brings out a complimentary appetizer of cheese and refried beans. The cheese oozes onto the plate and we successfully finish this dish as well as our chip supply.

Our entrees arrive and my chicken is encased between enchiladas and covered with a rich, black mole sauce. Its slight spiciness and creamy consistency is perfect, and the side of rice is a wonderful complement. Our new adventurer, Matthew, is content perched on my knee as we all dig into our plates. Daniel is unsure about this new dish, though after a taste is smitten and devours his portion. John consumes his share, steals some of mine, and whatever else he eyes on the table.

Between courses the boys watch with an enthusiastic eye as the train passes from time to time. Its presence brings us from our Mexico escape and back to the present. The check finds its way to our table with another dish to try: a fried churro dredged in cinnamon sugar. We can’t seem to get ourselves a bite; the boys devour it.

Come to this marvelous Mexican restaurant on Cinco de Mayo, or any other day, to enjoy the delicious food, full bar, the fun atmosphere and pleasant staff. We depart for the station, but not before tossing some coins into the nearby fountain, surely making wishes for more adventure ahead.

For train fans, the tracks are right outside the window.

For train fans, the tracks are right outside the window.

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