In the spirit of Christmas, I decided to write about a place that one of my friends is fond of. Cafe Pontotoc is a "wine bar" whose owner is friends with a man that I've been tight with for well over a decade. "Captain Sparkles" is a good man whose opinion I respect a lot, so when he asked me to check out the cafe, I knew I had to do it. Granted, it took a while before committing to it, but with a week before Christmas, I made the trip to South Main to check out the restaurant.
Knowing that Cafe Pontotoc is a "tapas" restaurant, I knew I couldn't order a single plate if I wanted a complete meal. So, I started off with the Vietnamese Spring Rolls that I usually eat at Pho Binh. The spring rolls holds its the quality of my favorite Vietnamese restaurant, the spring rolls were nice appetizers. Stuffed with shrimp, cilantro, lettuce and other veggies within rice paper wraps, the spring rolls were quite refreshing. My only gripes were the cilantro being a bit strong and not enough hoisin and chili sauce to dip the spring rolls in. The cafe's dipping (as in soy) sauce was okay, although it didn't pair as well as the other sauces. Overall, the spring rolls (which someone like my Dad might see as a salad in wraps) were quite good and made me anxious for my next plate.
For my next and final plate of the evening, I went with tacos. Because it was my first time having them at Cafe Pontotoc, I wanted to try a little bit of everything in order to survey the menu. I got one each of the blackened shrimp, blackened catfish and steak tacos (there's also a vegan option for those who prefer that). Of the three tacos, the steak was by far the best of them because of a combination of the quality of the meat and the sauce (probably hollandaise) it was garnished with. The other tacos were decent, but if I ever visit Cafe Pontotoc again, I'm loading up on steak tacos.
After I finished dinner and got home from Cafe Pontotoc, I did the usual in doing follow up research before writing this review. I do this to limit mistakes such the mispelling of menu items and to confirm what I ate. While doing this for Cafe Pontotoc, I came across the cafe's brunch menu on its website. At the time, I had no intention on writing about the cafe's brunch, but there was something on the menu that changed my mind. Before I go on, I want to preface this by stating that I love Mexican food, which was bolstered by my current employment at a Summer Avenue business near a lot of taquerias. In visiting many restaurants near my job, I noticed a few offer "desayuno" (Spanish for "breakfast"). Unfortunately, I never took advantage of getting a genuine Mexican breakfast, so I was delighted when I saw that Cafe Pontotoc offered a "Desayuno Mexicano" on its online brunch menu. So I decided to return to the cafe for what I hoped would be a unique experience. However, when I got a hold of the cafe's current brunch menu, the Mexican entrée wasn't on it. The disappointment of not getting a "desayuno" hit me like a Jim Rome manual buzzer, and left me at a loss as to what to do. Eventually, I settled for the Pontotoc Omelette that I saw other diners get. As a consolation, the omelet was okay, for it was cheesy despite supposedly having a lot of meat in it. I also liked the hashbrown casserole that I got with it, for the cheese and diced bell peppers really tasted great with the omelet. Although the omelet and hashbrown casserole were good, it didn't lessen the disappointment of not getting the "desayuno" that is listed on restaurant's website. Maybe this is much ado about nothing, but I hate being misled by something or someone that doesn't deliver on marketing, advertising or any other kind of promotion. Having said that, I don't regret going to Cafe Pontotoc for brunch, but I might have eaten somewhere else if I had better information. Now that I know what's on the menu, I might try the Steak Benedict if I visit the cafe again, provided if it's still on the menu (both online and at the cafe).
Well, my dining experiences at Cafe Pontotoc were pretty good overall. Although I like it, it's probably not a place that I could regularly frequent due to my penchant for sexy ladies serving beer (which unfortunately isn't the Flying Saucer anymore; there are many reasons why it lost favor with me and others). Even though I won't become a "regular," it's likely that I could stop there occasionally, especially if it's to rap with my friend Joe, aka "Captain Sparkles." Joe is one of my best friends that I currently have now, a man who has always been supportive of me and has had my back during both the best and worst of times. As I said earlier, he is a good man who I respect a lot and wish nothing but the best for him. As an extension of that, I am also rooting for the "Captain's" friend to have much success at Cafe Pontotoc.
Labels: Appetizers/Bar Food, Brunch, Commentary, Downtown, Tacos, Tapas/Small Plates
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