Mexican Connection (Saratoga Springs, NY)

Nestled in the quiet back streets of Saratoga Springs, not far from the Racino (or whatever it’s called now), is Mexican Connection. Which is a very misleading name, because if it’s authentic Mexican cuisine that you’re looking for, this place should not be your first stop. Upon further review, their Web site says they serve “Mexican and SouthWestern Cuisine,” but I still wouldn’t even call it that.

A glance at the menu and you will immediately start to question if this is Mexican food or a weird American version. First of all, a chile relleno is served as an appetizer. Eh? I’ve never seen that as an app, but okay…

Off to the specials of the evening. I don’t specifically remember what was being offered, but I remember steak and shrimp…and nothing that resembled Mexican. Also, looking around I couldn’t visibly see hot sauce anywhere in the restaurant. Most Mexican places have it at every which angle. I knew not to expect much.

So I flip to the back of the menu to look at the combination platters. Things start to look up! I see chimichangas, enchiladas…things that I should be seeing. I order a platter that serves up two enchiladas, refried beans, and rice.

Usually I'd say that my poor cell phone quality pictures don't serve the dish justice, in this case...

Then I got my order.

First of all, that rice was either the cheapest possible rice on the market, or instant. Or both. You know how cheap, instant, box rice puffs up a lot? Yeah, that was going on here. Truth be told I’m not a huge rice fan to begin with, but this wasn’t good.

The refried beans are what really got to me. A smooth, creamy refried bean side with a little bit of melted cheese on top is usually the highlight of my Mexican meal. I absolutely love refried beans. And since I’m vegetarian, they often end up as a spotlight on my dish. I ordered refried bean enchiladas at the Mexican Connection. Oh, it wasn’t good. For one, the flavor was sooo boring. There seemed to be no sort of effort put into these beans. They were blah. And then, the texture. These beans were somehow pasty and chunky at the same time. Does that make you feel weird? Because it did for me while eating them.

Not to bitch more, but dessert was also really disappointing. We ordered fried ice cream. If you aren’t familiar with what fried ice

This, my friends, is NOT fried ice cream

cream is/should look like (evidently Mexican Connection isn’t aware) look at this recipe . What did we get? A scoop of ice cream placed on top of a fried tortilla drizzled with honey. They had all the right things: ice cream, fried-ness, sugar, honey…but it was all wrong. Fried ice cream is…FRIED. A scoop of ice cream is literally fried and served as such. Dessert was good…but not fried ice cream. Don’t mislead me with my desserts, they are very important to me.

I’ve said it once or twice before on my blog, but it’s worth repeating here. I hate chain restaurants and do all that I can to avoid them, and I don’t blog about them on here. I love seeking new and local places to eat so I can blog about them and let my friends and family check them out. Therefore, I really don’t like writing negatively about them. It hurts my soul, but sometimes it just has to be done.

That being said, the guacomole was pretty good.


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  1. #1 by Jackie on February 22, 2011 - 8:25 PM

    There is NO good Mexican food in Albany! It’s so sad. Please, if anyone knows of a GOOD one, let me know. And please do not say El Mariachi…that is not good Mexican food my friends…not good. It’s sad when I feel like a decent enchilada I go to the Cheesecake Factory.

  2. #2 by Kayla on February 22, 2011 - 8:27 PM

    Jackie- Salsa Latina

    Absolutely delicious Mexican food. In kind of a sketchy location on Central Ave, but it’s by far the best Mexican in Albany. Any time you wan to go, let me know. I LOVE it there. And they have legit refried beans and enchiladas, I promise.

  3. #3 by .Baba on February 24, 2011 - 3:40 PM

    Love your blog Kayla. I had read this before though.
    Love, Baba

  4. #4 by Renee on February 27, 2011 - 9:54 PM

    I got a strawberry jalapeno margarita from here. It was a special on the menu that friends got a week earlier and said it was great because the jalapeno gave a slight bit of heat. Well…when i got mine. It was so hot I couldn’t even drink it. I scooped out the bits of jalapeno and it was equivalent to at least 1/4 cup for chopped jalapeno. The waiter said the drink should only contain about 3 rings. YEAH!! try 33!!Needless to say they took it off the bill!

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