Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Whadda Dive!

Last week my cousin Anne dropped in my office with her daughter Emily. During our conversation she mentioned that her sister (and my cousin) Emily's son Rob Crenshaw (um, that makes him my first cousin once removed) was to have his restaurant featured on Diners, Drive-inns and Dives with host Guy Fieri.  Rob owns Cabo Fish Taco in Charlotte NC and another in Blacksburg VA. The show was on last night (5/17); Susan and I recorded it. And like a lot of Guy's '3D' featured establishments, it looked really good.

Every night Susan and I play the "what do you want for dinner" game.  What's in Bon Appetit, Cooking Light, Fine Cooking, or on Food Network or any of a dozen other sites.  We love to experiment with something new.  So tonight, on the way home, instead of cooking we decided to head up to Blacksburg to try out Cousin Rob's place.

We'll be back.  Soon.  We liked it that much.

When we walked in our server, "Marielle" greeted us with a big smile; when she learned it was our first visit she went out of her way to make us feel welcome and told us about the menu. She knew the product -- and the recipe featured on Food Network -- and made good suggestions. Marielle is one of the best servers we've ever had. While we waited for our dinner we got complementary fried tortilla chips with a spicy bean dip.

Susan had the Shrimp Tacos -- Cabo tacos with beer battered shrimp, with soy ginger sauce, sesame seeds and scallion.  I had the signature Fish Taco - Two flour tortillas stuffed with beer battered cod, cabbage, tomato, avocado, mixed cheeses, & finished with a cilantro white sauce (and which Guy had on TV).  Marielle suggested Susan have hers with Baja Rice (rice with mango/pineapple) and I had the jalapeno cheddar mashers (smashed redskin potatoes with jalapeno - spicy but not overwhelming). Total tab (with 3 beers - 2 for me) was about $25.00 after tax before tip.

The tacos were 'soft' which I prefer (I hate 'hard shell' tacos that explode all over the place) and tasty.  The fish taco could have used a little more flavor and avocado, but that's nitpicking.  You can see other menu items at the website - click on the Cabo name above.

The atmosphere is 'rustic' (for lack of a better word, but it's not a log cabin) - a lotta wood and sturdy furnishings (being across Main Street from Virginia Tech is a good reason for 'sturdy').  There's a fully stocked bar (again, a good thing for that location) and an outdoor eating deck for good weather.   My only gripe about the physical space is it is NOT handicap friendly.  There's an unused, difficult to navigate handicap ramp from the very small parking lot onto the deck, leading into the main restaurant, but Allyson would have a very hard time getting up and in it.  Live with someone in a wheelchair and no matter where you go, you look for accessibility.

Y'all really need to trek to Blacksburg to try this place.   I'm going to tell my friend Wade -- one of the Roanoke Times restaurant reviewers -- to give it a try.  The paper's already given Cabo a good review (linked from their website) but I think Wade will like it also. And I'm now a Facebook fan.

And someday I hope to meet my cousin Rob and his wife Maeghan. I think he's the first Restaurant person in the family.  We've got too many Lawyers, some accountants and even had a Doctor (Anne & Emily's dad).  Nice to have someone in the family with good taste.

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