Bites Nearby: Habanero's Mexican Kitchen
Less than a year old, this Mexican-style restaurant and bar offers classic Mexican fare made with fine ingredients.
Habanero's on Moody Street in Waltham offers a slightly upscale version of a Mexican restaurant, with a bar thrown in. It has all the classic Mexican plates and appetizers including burritos, enchiladas, quesadillas all served with quality ingredients and a bit of flare. The chef also makes weekly specials, such as Mexican meatballs and shrimp soup. For margarita aficionados, there are dozens of kinds of this tequila-based drinks, as well as craft beers.
Suggested dish: We had the enchilada plate with mole sauce, the Mexican sauce made with chocolate ($9.50). The dish consisted of two soft corn enchiladas stuffed with chicken and cheese (beef or vegetarian were other options), sour cream, and sides of beans, rice, guacamole, and a tangy mix of dressed fresh vegetables. The mole sauce was mild, light and chocolatey; it's one of four possible sauces: mole, tomatillo, red chile or a combination of all three.
The enchiladas were soft and tasted fresh, almost like crepes. The chicken inside was tender and had more taste than just white meat. The side of beans, either black, pinto or refried, was also simple but good, as was the guacamole and salad-like garnish (pico de gallo). Only the tomato-flavored rice seemed like an afterthought.
The vibe: Somewhat elegant, with dark wood tables and other finer fixtures.
Cool factor no. 1: Each table has on it a container with four different kinds of hot sauce.
Cool factor no. 2: Santana and other popular blues groups on the sound system.