This review originally appeared in The Ramapo News
Tequila Sal e` Limon, Dona Maria, and Ole` Ole` are the culinary jewels in Suffern’s Mexican food crown, but one of these, Ole` Ole`, is looking pretty tarnished lately. Upon entering Ole` Ole` on an unassuming Tuesday night, we found it packed—there was a fifteen-minute wait. However, after looking around we discovered that their entire secondary room, which has enough chairs for twenty people, was rented out to eight tipsy forty year olds wearing sombreros.
We were seated soon after and received our menus. Those who are on a diet will be happy to notice that they offer healthy options, marked by a strange icon which seems to be a pile of food with shoes in it, and those who do not eat meat will be pleased to see their small but existent vegetarian menu.
They sent over a basket of fresh multicolored corn chips and salsa. The salsa was bright and captured the essence of the tomato flavor, but a little mild for our tastes, so we asked for a hotter blend. Out came a masterfully rich chipotle paste with the texture of peanut butter, which was completely amazing. I wish I had some in my fridge. These two sauces came in handy in a disparaging way later on in our meal.
We ordered our appetizer, the nachos tradicional, and a medium pitcher of sangria. The sangria was both watery and expensive, at $22 for a medium pitcher. You could make similar, better sangria at home for less money.
The nachos, however, were one of the saving graces of Ole` Ole`. They were the perfect size for four people as they didn’t just fill you up like most nacho platters do. For dinner we selected the chipotle pesto with penne, the carne asada, the chicken borracho and the taquito special, which we received an annoying length of time after the appetizer.
Taquito special background, sangria in a cool cactus glass foreground
The chipotle pesto was creamy. Pesto isn’t usually creamy. I didn’t feel the chipotle flavor was as pronounced and jarring as it could’ve been against the ‘pesto’, which would’ve been a great experiment in contrasting flavors. My dish, the Mexican classic carne asada, which consists of skirt steak marinated, grilled, and served with rice and beans was nearly great. The steak was tender and extremely flavorful. The sides were only mediocre and I barely ate any of them. A similar complaint was heard when considering the taquito special, in which the main protein—the taquito’s filling—was crispy and full of delightful chorizo sausage, but the side dishes were boring.
Chipotle “Pesto”, served on the same plates they use in our college cafeteria for stir fry
The chicken borracho was problematic. The menu states that chicken borracho is “A boneless chicken breast sauteed with onions, mushrooms, and peppers in a tequila base.” While the tequila sauce brought out the positives in the vegetables, making them bright and sweet, it was nearly invisible on the grilled chicken (not sauteed, as the menu stated) , causing it to be bland enough that we had to put salsa and chipotle sauce on it to make it palatable. It barely resembled the dish it claimed to be in the menu.
We sought to appease our negative attitudes by ordering dessert. We got Mom’s flan, an egg custard popular in Mexico, and a white chocolate mousse cake. While the cake had almost no white chocolate flavor, the flan once again saved the day, like the nachos and steak. The thick, creamy custard was a pleasant and filling way to end the meal.
Bottom Line: This place is not worth your time or money. Drinks are expensive and you feel like you’re not getting your money’s worth. Dishes came unseasoned, and a lot of the sides tasted canned. There were timing problems in the kitchen. While some of the interior spaces are beautiful others seemed a hodge podge of what may have been ‘hip’ in the designers mind, but look awful in combination. Sorry, Ole` Ole`, but the Mexican food crown of Suffern really only has two jewels now, and one ugly rock.
Ask to sit in the back room… it’s about twenty times cooler and has actual chairs
Ole` Ole` Bar and Grille
100 Orange Ave
Suffern, NY 10901