Trey Popp visits the very comfortable Avenida in Mt. Airy and finds home-style cooking worth leaving home for.
How good can home-style Latin food be if Jose Garces has been rocking your palate with intricate small-plate creations for the last couple years?
The answer is very good. Avenida is about affordable meals served on Ikea plates, not lamb lollipops in shot glasses, but the Alvarezes do it with uncommon focus and finesse. Don’t skimp on appetizers. Slow-cooked octopus arms blistered with tequila poke through a cooling bed of watercress. Chorizo, poblano rajas and al dente black beans achieve a perfect three-way balance under a just-cheesy-enough queso fundido. Already you’re having trouble sharing the very sharable portions.