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The Family Chow

South of the border flavor in Spa City

The Family Chow was longing for some warmth and color on a recent cold and rainy Sunday afternoon, and decided Mexico – or perhaps a Mexican restaurant – would be nice.

Son was not enthusiastic about the idea, figuring there would not be a hamburger on the menu. Mom, Dad and Daughter won him over in the end, and we headed up to Saratoga Springs to visit the Mexican Connection at 41 Nelson Ave.

MEXICAN CONNECTION

41 Nelson Ave., Saratoga Springs

• Food – 4 C’s (out of 5)

• Service – 3-1/2 C’s

• Family friendliness – 3 C’s

We arrived at 2 p.m. to a mostly empty restaurant. Asked to help ourselves to any table, we walked to a back room with red and yellow stucco walls and bright paintings (ahhh, color). The table was lived-in comfy, and we were quickly greeted by our pleasant server Jackie.

The Mexican Connection is a restaurant and “tequilaria” with an extensive menu of sipping tequilas – more than 150 – ranging from $5 to $125 (!) per shot. If you like your tequila, this is the place to come. Wife, not quite sure tequila before 5 p.m. was a good idea, opted for the house-made Red Sangria ($5) – a light and delicious mix of red wine, fruit juices and brandy. Complimentary chips and salsa were delivered promptly, which we decided to supplement with an order of guacamole ($8). Mom and daughter loved the guac, with its chunks of fresh avocado and bits of tomato and onion; Son barely tried it, given its green color; and Dad commented that it could have used more salt. All of us enjoyed the salsas – one mild, one hot (ahhh, warmth).

We love it when a kids’ menu reflects the type of cuisine served on the adult menu, and the Mexican Connection did not disappoint. There were two exceptions – chicken fingers and a hot dog (albeit wrapped in a tortilla with cheese). A round of good-natured, but firm ribbing changed Son’s mind about ordering the chicken fingers, and he chose the Cheese Quesadilla instead. Daughter picked the Mini Chicken Queso Tostada. The kids’ meals included a drink and ice cream ($5.25). Husband ordered the aptly named Conquistador ($18), which included a Chimichanga, rice and beans and a taco. Wife decided to go with one of the menu’s permanent specials – the Shrimp Quesadilla ($18).

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