Monday, August 12, 2013

Coyol Mexican Restaurant

12967 Rt 21
DeSoto, Mo
On Facebook

 The Place:
In the location that was formerly called 'Senor Nacho'. Next to the KFC. As Senor Nacho, we didn't care for it very much. As we recall, it has changed ownership and name at least once, we think maybe more since we were last there.
Of course, we need to discuss the name. 'Coyol' is the name of a palm tree (acrocomia aculeata) common in Southern Mexico all the way down into Argentina. It produces a small coconut-like fruit which is really hard to break open and there's not much inside it when you get there. So it is not at all common to find the fruit many places other than where it falls on the ground. Why would you name a restaurant in DeSoto after a palm fruit no one around here will likely ever see or taste? Well, I'm not done yet. You see the trees are good for something else. Cut one down, drain the sap, let that sap ferment and man, you've got a potent beverage. One that not only can get you face-down wasted because of the alcohol, but bonus: the enzymes in that drink react with your body chemistry, intensifying the drunkenness considerably when you step out into sunlight for a while.
Since the restaurant's sign has on it a palm tree, I'm pretty sure the name is based on the tree, not the nut nor the sap wine derived from it, though I'm not real sure.
One of the table tops
We went in the already busy place and were led to a booth in the back. The walls were painted in a rough textured, adobe-colored paint, with faux exposed brink painted on in various places. Murals depicting simple, traditional Mexican themes were also painted in. The table tops were thickly laminated with more Mexican-style art, some quite striking.
There were several tables and booths filled, families, couples. Some of the adults were drinking a variety of adult beverages. One man across from us was drinking a Dos Equis, though oddly enough he didn't really seem all that interesting.
Our waiter brought menus and asked about drinks. He was a handsome man, tall, lean, forty-ish, with pronounced Spanish features. He was dressed in jeans and a white cotton shirt and reminded me of the type of man that could handle himself quite well in harsh dry climates as well as the rugged lands of his European ancestry. His accent was thick, and made every syllable sound important. We ordered tea, Diet Coke and Dr. Pepper.
The menus were about six pages, laminated and included labeled photos of many of the dishes. All of which looked very good. I wanted an enchilada, or a chimichanga, but I also wanted rice and beans. I picked my meal because it included all of that. Angel wanted a steak, and Adam wanted a taco.
We took a while to ultimately choose, Angel and I changing our minds several times before finally settling. In the mean time the chips and salsa arrived and quickly disappeared.
On the wall above our heads, were several sombreros. There were Polaroids  taped to the wall of the entrance of customers wearing these sombreros having a great time. I assume alcohol was involved.
The Food:
For me it was chimichangas, fried chicken burritos, which included beans, rice, guacamole, sour cream and a lettuce and tomato salad. Angel chose the Steak Jalisco, which she mispronounced but was repeated perfectly and precisely by the waiter.(Jalisco is a south western Mexican state, the capital of which is Guadalajara, and includes the popular port city of  Puerto Vallarta.)
The Steak Jalisco was offered as being covered in mushroom and shrimp. Adam indeed ordered one of the many combo plates, one burrito, one taco, rice on the side.
As we waited and munched on chips I listened to the rich, passionate Mexican music, enjoying it thoroughly even though I didn't understand a word of it. True passion translates perfectly though, even without words. I mentioned to Angel and Adam that one of his co-workers at Pizza Junction had left a comment on the review I'd written a couple of weeks prior. I said she'd said some very nice things about him. This alarmed him and he demanded to know who it was. I asked his mother to dial the blog up on her smart-ass-phone and she did.
Steak Jalisco
"Adam is a great worker and a funny guy!" it said. It was written by someone named 'Dawn'. "That's my manager's wife" He said. "Awesome!" I replied. I also thought how nice it would be to get a public compliment from my manager's wife, or even my manager. Must be nice to be appreciated.
The plates arrived, luscious looking, steaming, my plate was still almost too hot to touch. Angel's steak sizzled, as hot as a summer day in Guadalajara. Adam's plate came next and the table went quiet for the next ten minutes. I ate and ate, savoring every bite. The chicken was moist, the pinnacle test for quality preparation. The lettuce was crisp, the guacamole was fresh and bright, the beans cheesy and the rice, not overly tomato-ey. they'd nailed it.
Angel made satisfied grunting noises as she ate, carved the steak and dipped the shrimp. "Tender" She said of the steak between bites, once again quite an accomplishment for such a thin cut. Another bowl of chips arrived, drink refills were timely. The waiter maintained his professionalism even as he swept out the crumbs from underneath a table recently vacated by a family. Pride in his work was obvious.
None of us could finish our meals, we tried, but the stuff was delicious and at the same time quite filling. It didn't look like much at the start, but it took quite and effort to whittle it down. At one drink refill I turned to Angel and asked; "Do you consider the waiter to be quite handsome?" She looked at me flustered and flushed. She stammered. "I didn't know we were here to judge." Adam laughed, I did to, because judging is precisely what we do at these places.
     We were quite impressed, to put it mildly. We didn't care for Senor Nacho, but in its present incarnation as Coyol, all the things that the previous place was lacking are fixed. The food was fresh, tasty and perfectly prepared. The service was excellent, timely and professional. Around the table there was not a single complaint. In the car Angel did admit that the cheese sauce got a little salty after a while, but not terribly so. That was all we could come up with. Otherwise the atmosphere, the food and the experience was fantastic.
The price as well was reasonable at about forty bucks. A lot of quality, a lot of food, for a very good price.

Coyol Mexican Grill on Urbanspoon

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