WIAW: Agave Grill Girl’s Night

I don’t usually do a day-in-the-life WIAW. What I eat on weekdays doesn’t tend to change. So today’s What I Ate Wednesday post is about What I Ate at Agave Grill in Hartford, CT. As I mentioned on Monday, Kelly was in CT this past weekend so she and I planned a Saturday dinner date literally MONTHS ago. That girl knows how my schedule tends to go.

Be sure to join Jenn’s link-up!

And I know how Agave’s tends to go: the space is quite small, and they don’t even take call-ahead seating on weekends (something my mom and I found out during my first visit a couple of years ago). Thankfully I connected with Hartford Restaurant Group‘s Jonathan (fun fact: they also operate TD Homer’s in Southington and Wood-N-Tap in EVERYWHERE) awhile back through this blog, and he was kind enough to score Kelly and I a rare Saturday night reservation for two. Thanks Jon!

FYI, Agave does do call-ahead seating Sunday through Thursday! Source

Overall the service was pretty good. I arrived early and was seated promptly, but no one came by to offer me a water or something to drink until Kelly arrived about ten minutes later. But that gave me plenty of time to peruse the menu and the specials, which together gave plenty of options! We were waited on right after Kelly sat down and I of course had some cocktail questions for our waitress. Her knowledge of the drink menu seemed a bit shaky, but from what I could gather it had been recently changed. She ended up delivering two “skinny” margaritas to Kelly and I, on the rocks with extra salt. They were just what we craved and mine went down way too quickly!

I hate labeling things “skinny” but I do love how simple these were – just tequila, lime juice, and agave nectar. Some “skinny margs” use sugar-free triple sec, and to that I say gross.

Agave has delicious chips, though the salsa was not as chunky as I like. They’re famous for their tableside guac which Kelly was eyeing, but I wasn’t very hungry and unlike most bloggers, can take or leave guac. Luckily our waitress offered to bring us a smaller side of the stuff to go with our chips! It had a bit of a kick to it – not too much though – which Kelly and I enjoyed.

It seemed to take forever for us to decide what to order – and it probably seemed that way to our waitress too – but Kelly ended up opting for the Agave Street Tacos (shredded pork in two soft blue corn tortillas with shredded cabbage, pico, Chihuahua cheese, and choice of sauce – of course she chose avocado). She especially was excited to try them after I informed her that they are not only another “famous” Agave offering, but they were served at Taste of the Nation. She had missed them since she was so distracted by the delicious margarita that was also served. That’s my girl!

Flashback: Kelly and I at Taste of the Nation with our mini Agave margs in front of the restaurant’s display! Photocred to her.

Upon first glance at the menu my gut told me to go for tuna, but I debated several options before finally circling back to my first instinct, the Pasilla-rubbed tuna (ahi tuna rubbed with a Pasilla crust, grilled and served with roasted corn, black bean, and mango salsa, Mexican rice, crispy tortilla strips and drizzled with Chimichurri sauce). I ordered the sauce on the side and got grilled veggies instead of rice, because when it comes to Mex restaurant carbs I will choose the chips over rice ANY day.

The mango salsa consisted of black bean, corn, tomato, and a mango sauce. Since I asked for the sauce on the side, they actually separated the mango sauce from the black bean, corn, and tomato! Not expected but also appreciated.

Though I am impressed by and appreciate of the fact that Agave got all of my order’s weird tweaks correct, the tuna was unfortunately cooked incorrectly. I asked for it medium rare and it came out medium well, and was not at all what I was expecting. I felt like I was eating an overdone burger. The veggies were fantastic though – nice and firm, not too oily, and plenty of them! I also always appreciate an excellent Chimichurri sauce.

Best dish of the night. (Source)

Kelly ordered a side of the cornbread pudding with her meal and I have to say it was the winning dish of the night. I could not get enough of this stuff, and thankfully for me she got full and was willing to share. The dish was essentially soft cornbread in a little skillet, covered in a creamy sauce. Sooo decadent and fantastic. I am drooling just looking at that picture as I write this.

Photo taken by a real life Damian from “Mean Girls” (great comparison Kelly).

Oh, I also ordered a nice sipping anejo tequila: Gran Centenario, described as “strong vanilla on nose and palate, sweet & woody”. The “vanilla” and “woody” are what drew me to it (and the lower price I must admit) and I certainly wasn’t disappointed. Though lower-quality straight tequilas never fail to make my stomach churn, I love to find Mexican restaurants with a good selection of high-quality anejo and reposado tequilas for me to explore.

As usual Kelly was excellent company and a fantastic dining companion. I can’t wait until we reunite! It was nice to go back to Mexican cuisine, which is what first brought us together (at Chili’s…ha) and I think I’d go back to Agave again. I’m not already ready to return, but there are other dishes and drinks I want to try in the future!

You can follow Agave Grill on Twitter and like them on Facebook. They also are offering a $20.13 prix fixe menu for CT Restaurant Week, now through 10/20!

What are your feelings on drinks labeled as “skinny”?

How was your last Mexican restaurant dining experience?

Guac or salsa?

32 Responses to "WIAW: Agave Grill Girl’s Night"

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  1. She Rocks Fitness

    October 16, 2013 at 9:48 AM

    Always guacamole! I think sometimes I could just eat chips and guac at some Mexican restaurants…especially when the chips are extra crispy and thick. Last Mexican dining experience was at Flying Birds here in Houston. It’s similar to Chipotle, but more local. Pretty darn good!

    Reply
    • Caitlin

      October 16, 2013 at 10:06 AM

      Often I just want to go to a Mex place and eat only chips and salsa, and drink margs. I feel you!

      Reply
  2. Davida @ The Healthy Maven

    October 16, 2013 at 10:07 AM

    Making me choose between guac or salsa eh? I’d have to go with salsa and especially if it’s corn salsa! Speaking of corn, cornbread pudding is actually the most brilliant idea I’ve heard in a while. THAT needs to be remade at home! Glad you had fun :)

    Reply
    • Caitlin

      October 16, 2013 at 10:43 AM

      Please make it so I can pin the recipe!

      Reply
  3. Kaitlin @4loveofcarrots

    October 16, 2013 at 10:11 AM

    I happened to have mexican the same night at bodgea and had killer chips and guac as well as AMAZING steak! I am drooling just thinking about it. That corn bread pudding looks amazing and I think I would go to Agave just for that! What a shame about your tuna, I certainly hope they made up for it!

    Reply
    • Caitlin

      October 16, 2013 at 10:43 AM

      I want to take you to Agave just for that pudding!!! I love hearing that you love steak, I never get sick of it.

      Reply
  4. hyedi

    October 16, 2013 at 10:50 AM

    I’d normally say guac, but the salsa I had at Frontera Grill in Chicago changed.my.life.

    I’ve been craving Mexican food lately. Must get on that!

    Love your jacket!

    Reply
    • Caitlin

      October 16, 2013 at 11:04 AM

      Life changing salsa is always a good thing! Thank you :) forever21 fake leather!

      Reply
  5. Kelly @ Cupcake Kelly's

    October 16, 2013 at 12:21 PM

    Ahhhh Damian second best part of the night. The best being that cornbread pudding. So glad we got to share that meal and have a wonderful girls night!

    Reply
    • Caitlin

      October 16, 2013 at 1:04 PM

      Always is wonderful with you!

      Reply
  6. Sam @ Better With Sprinkles

    October 16, 2013 at 12:42 PM

    I adore both salsa and guac…so can’t I just have both? :-p It’s been a while since I’ve gone to a sit-down Mexican restaurant, but I have requested that for when my parents take us out for my birthday dinner!

    Reply
    • Caitlin

      October 16, 2013 at 1:27 PM

      Haha yes you can!

      Reply
  7. stephanie @ healthy, happy stephanie

    October 16, 2013 at 1:56 PM

    I prefer to think of them as REAL margaritas. They taste so much better when they’re made with fresh lime and agave nectar instead of a bottled mix.

    Reply
    • Caitlin

      October 16, 2013 at 2:23 PM

      I agree! Some places call them “natural”.

      Reply
  8. Kaitlin

    October 16, 2013 at 2:36 PM

    Guac for days! Props for enjoying tequila :) I love your descriptions of the food and restaurant!

    Reply
    • Caitlin

      October 16, 2013 at 2:56 PM

      Thank you so much!

      Reply
  9. Brittany @ Barr & Table

    October 16, 2013 at 3:05 PM

    I always go for the skinny margaritas.. I don’t like all the extra sugar in the drinks either. And I’m definitely a guac girl but I do use up all of the salsa too haha. That cornbread pudding looks amazingggggg!

    Reply
    • Caitlin

      October 16, 2013 at 3:30 PM

      Why not use it all up with the guac, it’s salsa!

      Reply
  10. Liz @ I Heart Vegetables

    October 16, 2013 at 3:46 PM

    Yummm!!! Mexican food is my FAVORITE! That place looks totally awesome!

    Reply
    • Caitlin

      October 16, 2013 at 4:22 PM

      I know you love it! You take great pics of it too ;)

      Reply
  11. Kierston @candyfit

    October 16, 2013 at 4:32 PM

    So funny, we have a place called Agave Grill here too. It’s where SuperFit took me on our second date :) It’s a small, quaint Mexican restaurant. Really good. I had the Salmon.

    You know, I never really put much thought into the ‘skinny’ title. I tend to forget to say it and just ask for unsweetened, or non-fat lol I’m a terrible orderer! hehe

    Reply
    • Caitlin

      October 16, 2013 at 4:43 PM

      I have been to another one too ;) in NYC! Ahhh Mexican seafood is the great. Haha I am an awful orderer too in the sense that I am a pain in the ass.

      Reply
  12. Arman @ thebigmansworld

    October 16, 2013 at 7:27 PM

    Cannot believe you even asked guac or salsa….clearly guac…Although when I was I travelled the states and dined out at Mexican restaurants, I would legit eat the salsa with a spoon….oops.

    That sucks about the tuna- Anything above medium comes out like a hockey puck!

    Skinny drinks, it depends..if I’m looking to get drunk or just a casual drink.

    Reply
    • Caitlin

      October 16, 2013 at 9:08 PM

      See I like to eat spoonfuls of things which is why salsa works better than guac! I’m a volume girl. Also it def depends on if its one drink or a night out. I can’t lie, the fact that I was going out after din factored into my lighter drink choice.

      Reply
  13. MassachusEATS

    October 16, 2013 at 7:33 PM

    I tend to eat my weight in chips when I go out for Mexican haha. The margs looks tasty!

    Reply
    • Caitlin

      October 16, 2013 at 9:09 PM

      That’s another reason why I prefer salsa over guac ;) bc ill be doing LOTS of dipping

      Reply
  14. Holly @ EatGreatBEGreat

    October 17, 2013 at 10:01 AM

    I’m definitely a guac girl all the way! I’ve turned my husband onto it too! Mexican is one of my favorite kinds of dinners to have. We go to this local Mexican restaurant every once in a while. My dinner of choice is always the soft chicken tacos with a side of guac. No surprise there! ;-) BTW, that cornbread pudding looks fab!

    Reply
    • Caitlin

      October 17, 2013 at 10:24 AM

      It was such a unique offering, but the classic chicken tacos are usually a great go-to as well!

      Reply
  15. Lindsay @ The Functional Foodie

    October 17, 2013 at 3:00 PM

    Get me at those skinny margaritas. I am such a margarita girl, but they are packed with so many calories. In NYC it is hard to find a cheap, delicious margarita. Looks like you had a good meal and a good time!

    Reply
    • Caitlin

      October 17, 2013 at 3:02 PM

      Margs aren’t too packed with calories at all if you keep them down to just a few ingredients! Those frozen strawberry ones on the other hand..

      Reply
  16. Allison @ Life's a Bowl

    October 17, 2013 at 4:09 PM

    I love guac (and straight up avocado) but it can be hit or miss… Although, Mexican restaurants usually get it right — love when it’s super chunky!

    Reply
    • Caitlin

      October 18, 2013 at 10:10 AM

      I know you are a huge avocado addict!

      Reply

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