Monday, December 12, 2011

Mad Mex Willow Grove: Now Open For Your Drinking Pleasure

There a few things that I can't get enough of. Obviously a tasty brew is one of those things but Mexican food also makes that prestigious list. Naturally with an affinity for such things I was a happy to hear that Mad Mex would be opening a new restaurant in Willow Grove which is much closer to my house than University City, their next closest location.

The only Mad Mex I had ever been to was the one in State College while visiting Mer but I knew that they all prided themselves in having an extensive draft list. It seems a bit strange but I can even remember being shocked and excited by seeing Great Lakes Nosferatu on special the first time I had been there for dinner, not something I had expected from any sort of chain-type restaurant.

The lady and I had the opportunity to check out the new spot over the weekend while we got some Christmas shopping done. Much like the State College location, the decor and atmosphere have a great 'Day of the Dead' theme. The place seemed busy but we were seated right away without a wait, wasn't expecting that from a new restaurant on a Saturday during the holiday shopping season. Once we got seated in our really-excessively-large-for-two-people-but-I'm-not-complaining booth I grabbed the beer menu which featured a great deal, $5 Sierra Nevada Celebration 22 oz drafts! Not something I would normally pass up but when there are 23 other beers beers on tap I can't in good conscious go with something so familiar.

The rest of the 'Mad Draftos' consisted of a variety of microbrews, primarily of the hoppier variety, including a few surprises like Avery's 16.8% Belgian Strong Dark Ale, The Beast. I wasn't feeling that ambitious so I went with Stone's 11.11.11 Vertical Epic Ale which was a Belgian Strong Ale brewed with chilies and cinnamon which seemed fitting given the food. This was supposed come in a smaller 12 oz glass but I was pleased to see our waiter bring me out a full shaker full, nice move guy. There was unique dichotomy between the Belgian yeast esters and the pepper flavors but somehow they worked together in what I thought was a fine beer. I wasn't expecting to like it as much as I did and it paired quite nicely with my meal.

With such an impressive draft list I had a hard time choosing a follow up but the lure of Firestone Walker's Double Jack proved once again unavoidable. I hope everyone out there understands my adoration for this beer, it is one of if not THE best Imperial IPA around if you ask me. The beer is a thing of beauty for hop-heads but it is incredibly well balanced and smooth considering. Get it, drink it, love it.

While the beer selection is what really made the evening stand out for me, our meal didn't disappoint either. I'm no foodie and usually end up sounding like even more of an idiot when I start talking about food so I'll spare you. I do have to say that if you like your queso super spicy than this is the place to get it, lot's of heat in there. The whole experience was really quite pleasant, our waiter was great, the food came out at just the right time, and the music was fantastic...what more can you ask for? Thanks to Monica and Jordan for setting the whole thing up, I really appreciate it and will definitely be back for some more!

Mad Mex is one of the few chains that have full embraced the world of craft beer and offers something for every kind of drinker. Options for a good beer for suburbanites like myself can sometimes be quite hard to find so I'm going to go out to a restaurant like this I want there to be some interesting beers on tap and not just your typical macro choices. I can't always have my way and go to a real beer bar for dinner so alternatives like this are a must. In this day and age I think it is just embarrassing when a restaurant has a lazy beer selection but luckily, more and more are grasping the fact that we want some variety. Mad Mex Willow Grove is just the latest to do so, here's to many more.

Mad Mex Willow Grove
2862 W Moreland Rd
Willow GrovePA 19090


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