Before we went out there last night, I dropped an email to Brent Peterson and asked about the change. Like many Central Arkansas restaurants, receipts were down in August and September. He had a brainstorm about using dishes Capi was known for over at Trio’s, and discovered she’d had similar thoughts. The new idea was explored, a menu was born and here it is.
Brent explains the new menu this way:
“Capi and I have both traveled extensively in Mexico, New Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean. The cuisines of these locales rank at the top of our list of favorites. We like bold flavors, and Capi is masterful in developing these recipes to let each of the ingredients ‘speak for themselves’without allowing the subtle flavors to be overpowered by heat from too many chiles. You will see a broad selection of enchiladas, tacos, tamales steamed in banana leaves and fajitas; plus, pozole, tumbada (paella), two types of queso, two salsas, a garlic shrimp and Cuban picadillo from the original Capi's menu and some healthy, substantial salads. Capi and I both speak Spanish, and for some time she has frequented the local Mexican markets to find fresh ingredients for our Trio's specials. Now many more ingredients will be provided by these local merchants.”
My curiosity piqued, the hubster and girlchild and I headed that way last night.
The décor is relatively unchanged. The wait staff is the same, the aura is the same… only the menu has changed. Instead of a dozen small plates the menu now features a selection of enchiladas, tamales, tacos and fajitas. We went ahead and ordered the Queso Fundido Poblano ($7) right off the bat; Hunter was hungry and she loves dip, no matter what sort of dip it is.
Paul went for the Carne a la Parilla ($12), a half pound of flank steak strips with green bell pepper, onions and hunks of tomato, served up with handmade tortillas, sour cream and lettuce. The tortillas were a treat, soft and pliant. I liked the flank steak. It had the mouthfeel of a soft sirloin instead of what you expect from flank steak. He liked it, he ate it… he just didn’t feel he was eating anything special.
So, the verdict? I’m going to miss the small plates concept. I liked it a lot. But that tamale and the queso were so good I think I could get past it. Paul feels otherwise — he liked the food but felt that there are so many Mexican restaurants in the city he’s concerned it might not survive. I have hopes, though.
Capi’s is still in the Pleasant Ridge Town Center, and you can still check out their website or call them at (501) 225-9600. See what you think and let me know.