Down at Power Plant Live, Mex is now the old man on the block. The block has changed.
While the opening of new establishments like Tatu, Joe Squared, Leinenkugel's Beer Garden and Kettle Hill have raised the wattage on the Power Plant scene, Mex, to its credit, has decided that it wants a share of the limelight. To that end, the restaurant is introducing a new menu, which should be fully up and running by the end of September.
Some of the new menu items are being introduced at Mex's lunch service. That's a good idea. It gives the kitchen some time to get the hang of the new dishes before they become official dinner items. Some of them look promising, too. There are bacon-wrapped dates stuffed with chorizo and Cabrales, green chile mussels, a Mexican chopped salad with avocado and tequila lime skirt steak.
There are new items in old categories, too. New specialty quesadillas include the camarones royales, with shrimp, black beans, cilantro and cojita, and the vegedilla, with asparagus, caramelized onions, sun-dried tomatoes and brie.
The vegedilla was pretty good. I always like it when a quesadilla has actually spent some time on the grill, and this one had. The vegetables inside stayed crispy, and the cheese melted evenly. The ingredients on the plate didn't match up, though, to what was listed on the menu. It might have been I was served the vegetable quesadilla, which is another menu item. That could just be a software glitch.
Introducing new dinner fare at lunch gives Mex a chance to handle things like that and to get feedback from customers, too. It would be even better idea if Mex figured out a way it could offer the dinner items at lunch-time prices. Convenient to many nearby offices, including the Exelon building, Mex has an inviting patio for relaxed dining outside and plenty of elbow room for conducting business lunches inside.
Throw in Carrie, a friendly bartender, and Mex is also a good place for having lunch all by yourself.
I'm always happy to see a restaurant shake itself up. I'll be checking back in on Mex's new dinner menu. But if you find yourself cooped up inside the office on a beautiful day, grab the gang and go check it out yourself. Just watch it with the margaritas, maybe.