By Dane Feldman
Photo by Dane Feldman.
As I discussed yesterday, Hartford, CT has become a personal food destination and the restaurant that started it all for me is Agave Grill at 100 Allyn Street in downtown Hartford.
Since first dining at Agave Grill in 2010, I’ve been back several times. It wasn’t until my most recent trip that I made it to Agave for brunch and I quickly realized I made a mistake in waiting so long to do so.
The brunch menu contains 8 different dishes, all of which are distinctly Mexican. Between two of us, we shared the chilaquiles con pollo: two fried eggs, corn tortilla strips tossed with grilled chicken and roasted tomatillo salsa, topped with Oaxaca cheese and sour cream. We also shared the huevos con papas y chorizo: eggs scrambled with chorizo and served over a Poblano-potato hash with bacon, hot peppers, onions, and cheese. The second dish comes with flour tortillas.
While I can certainly say I would order anything from the brunch menu, I am so glad we ordered what we did. Both dishes were totally on point. The poblano-potato hash in the second dish was cooked perfectly to my liking (decidedly not crispy bacon), while the roasted tomatillo salsa in the first dish was so flavorful I couldn’t get enough of it.
Agave grill boasts a full bar even during brunch hours, but the brunch menu specifically lists bloody margaritas and mango bellinis. We had the mango bellinis, which were lightly flavored with mango puree. I certainly had to exercise willpower in only ordering one.
Even on a game day (Agave Grill is located across the street from the XL Center, home of the wildly successful UConn Huskies), the waitstaff was attentive, friendly, and knowledgeable. The restaurant was packed, but we were seated and helped immediately. Our waiter even apologized for bringing out our bellinis late, but I didn’t think it was more than 5 minutes from the time we ordered them.
The restaurant itself is quite expansive. The bar area is large and there’s a seating area near the bar. Agave Grill also has a seating room in the back for when it gets busy, so getting a table isn’t difficult.
All in all, Agave Grill serves some of the best Mexican food I’ve had in the northeast. In fact, Alamosa, Colorado and Redmond, Oregon are the only two places I’ve had better Mexican food.