Café Capistrano *CLOSED*
2250 Gathering Park Circle
Carpenter Village, Cary
I’d heard good reviews from some friends who live in Cary and Morrisville about Café Capistrano and one of those friends took me out to dinner there to thank me for editing her dissertation. It’s hidden away in the Carpenter Village development, in their central square of shops and schools. The inside is pinkish-orange with thick brown curtains, not the most appealing combination. It’s very low key from service to atmosphere to food, and reminded me of spending an evening in your family’s kitchen.
Dinner started with standard tortilla chips and salsa that tasted brightly of tomatoes, jalapeno, and lime with a touch of sugar. I ordered a side of guacamole and out came huge chunks of avocado, topped with some diced tomatoes. Cilantro, and I think garlic, was loosely mixed with the fruit. I love avocados in any form but I prefer mashed guacamole to chopped.
For my meal, I had the Santa Fe enchiladas, made with their secret mole sauce and stuffed with three cheeses and chicken.
The tortillas were almost too fresh; I think they could have been held together better somehow. The sauce was thick but not nearly as flavorful or pasty as mole usually is. I neither liked nor disliked it. I thought the same of the rice; it was very plain but fine. The shredded chicken was the best part of the dish. It tasted pure and simple.
My friend had the chimichanga with black beans and rice.
She was happy with it but did agree that her dish did not have much flavor, either.
We both decided to try their Mexican Wedding Cake (tres leches cake) for dessert.
Other than the unnecessary Reddi-Whip topping, it was great and so much better than the one I had at Cuban Revolution recently. I especially enjoyed mixing it with the berry and kiwi sauces that adorned the plate. The soaking milk was heavy on the condensed side but the sweetness didn’t weigh down my fork until the last few bites.
Café Capistrano’s menu seems to focus on a healthy style of Mexican-American cuisine that they bill as Californian. The dishes definitely adhered to that concept, though I think they sacrificed a lot of flavor in the process. I had the same opinion of Margaret’s Cantina in Chapel Hill, so perhaps this take on Mexican cuisine just isn’t for me. There was nothing to complain about but I’m still not inclined to go back. I am too much in love with spiciness.