2010-06-09 / Restaurant of the Week

Garcia's Mexican Restaurant

E very day is a fiesta at Garcia’s Mexican Restaurant on Austin Street in Forest Hills. From the lively, convivial bar that serves refreshing margaritas, daiquiris and ice cold beers to the outdoor patio, where cool breezes blow, there’s always a reason to visit, not least of which is the delicious, fresh Mexican cuisine.

Relax after work at Garcia’s Happy Hour Mondays

through Fridays from 3pm until 7pm, serving discounted margaritas, beer and sangria. Nightly dinner specials may include seafood ceviche, shrimp quesadillas and tilapia prepared with spices and savory rice. Owner Manny Gutierrez is a “hands-on” owner and is dedicated to providing excellent quality and service. In addition, he donates his time, energy and food to various community activities, including the Forest Hills Chamber of Commerce, of which he is a member. He recently catered a Mexican feast to the Subway Series NY Yankees and Mets. Garcia’s is a great place to bring dad on Father’s Day for a festive meal.

Perfectly mixed margaritas on the rocks were brought to our table along with warm tortilla chips and zesty

house made salsa. Diners on the patio were enjoying a balmy evening along with a pitcher of Canyon Cooler, a house specialty cocktail. Margaritas are served frozen, straight up or flavored with mango, peach, guava, passion fruit and more. You can snack on their tantalizing appetizers at the bar or enjoy them at your table, as a prelude to dinner. Freshly mixed guacamole was mildly seasoned and delicious, scooped up with tortilla chips ($11.95). Choose classic quesadillas with jack cheese, chicken, beef, chili, or sautéed vegetables for a real crowd pleaser ($8.95+). Smoky chorizo sausage are sautéed with white wine for another popular appetizer, or share the Nachos Locos with your choice of grilled chicken, shrimp, black beans, guacamole, melted cheese and jalapeño peppers ($8.95-$12.95). Chelsea, our polite server, said the chicken wings are also quite popular for their fiery sauce, celery sticks and bleu cheese dressing.

Entrees at Garcia’s include meat, fish, seafood and chicken dishes, all prepared to order using mild spices. If you like your dish spicier, just let your server know and the chef will turn up the heat. Fajitas are one the most popular entrees, especially since they can be shared by two people. Sizzling chicken, steak, shrimp, vegetables, or a combination, comes to your table on a cast iron skillet accompanied by warm tortillas, pico de gallo and guacamole ($18.95-$20.95). Mole Poblano is a traditional Mexican sauce made with cocoa and spices that enhances everything it touches. My dining companion enjoyed a traditional platter of enchiladas mole poblano that was exceptional. Tender, shredded chicken, slow cooked with seasonings rests inside corn tortillas that are then baked and topped with the aromatic mole sauce. You’ll love this dish and the sauce goes well with the rice that accompanies all entrees ($13.95). Pollo relleno is chicken breast stuffed with jack cheese, topped with a creamy mushroom sauce, Mexican rice and salad ($21.95). Enchiladas Suizas are stuffed with moist, shredded chicken then topped with green chili sauce, melted jack cheese and sour cream ($13.95). One of my favorite traditional meals is the tacos al carbon, or tacos from the grill. Tender, marinated steak or chicken is grilled on the fire

then sliced up and placed into warm flour tortillas with pico de gallo, Mexican rice, grilled scallions and cool sour cream ($16.95). I couldn’t decide between steak or chicken and so the chef made one of each. Both were juicy, mildly seasoned and delicious.

If you prefer to keep it simple, Garcia’s grills up a delicious 12-ounce shell steak, marinated skirt steak and even St. Louis ribs. A unique kebab of skewered shell steak, chorizo sausage, onions, tomatoes and peppers makes a great meal, sizzling from the charcoal grill and perfect for eating out of doors for a taste of summer. Plump shrimp can be simply grilled or prepared with garlic sauce or red sauce with garlic and white wine.

Desserts help sweeten your mouth after the bold flavors and textures of Mexican cuisine. Orange flan is the lightest, most refreshing custard I’ve had, and is perfect for finishing off this delicious meal. Apple chimichangas are tender pastry filled with warm apples, served with creamy vanilla ice cream and whipped cream. You’ve also got to try bunuelos, made with fried tortillas dusted with cinnamon sugar topped with two scoops of ice cream, drizzled with honey. All desserts are great to share, and don’t forget a steaming cup of coffee or a glass of Tia Maria, Kahlua or your favorite digestif to put the sombrero on this meal.

Garcia’s is open seven days a week for lunch and dinner from 12pm to 10pm on weekdays and until 11pm on weekends. At lunchtime there are well-priced specials, sandwiches, salads and platters. Call to arrange a special celebration and Garcia gift certificates make the perfect present for the person who has everything but could use a night out! Visit their web site for more information and visit Garcia’s Mexican restaurant for fine cuisine, Happy Hour drink specials and lots of fun. Make your Father’s Day and Graduation day reservations now. Buen provecho!


70-09 Austin Street, Forest Hills • 718.575.0007


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