Friday, February 24, 2012

Restaurant Review: Verdad - Bryn Mawr, PA

This past weekend I went home to visit my parents. The beautiful thing about visiting my parents is that I dont have to pay for food. Well, hold on...they read this blog. The BEST PART of visiting my parents is obviously seeing my parents cause they're fabulous people. A part that is wonderful but not needed because just seeing them is amazing (Hi mom and dad!) is that I dont have to pay for food. And since I take a train home on Friday afternoons and don't get in until after 8 or 9, we inevitably go out to dinner on Friday. The only bad thing about this set-up is that the two of them eat like rabbits, whereas I'm the grizzly who eats everything anyone puts in front of me. *sigh*

Verdad is a tequila bar and restaurant located in Bryn Mawr, PA, which is a suburb of Philadelphia and about 2 minutes from Villanova. It serves tapas style so it gives me the fabulous opportunity to try multiple entrees and almost makes my parents look like they eat like normal human beings, i.e. they each order their own plate rather than splitting. Yes, my parents normally split ONE entree. No I do not know how they survive on such little food. Or how my dad survives on these alone when my mom isnt home. But I digress.

Freddi being a good sport and letting me take pics of her food. HI MOM!

The first plate to hit our table was my mom's soup of the day, which was a deconstructed tortilla soup. It was...odd. Really odd. It was like a big ravioli in tomato-ish sauce, filed with chicken and cheese and topped with avocado. It was good. Just weird. I'm not sure I'd order it again but my mom chowed down, so I think it's safe to say they won someone at our table over.

Half-eaten calamari. My was delish and I was hungry. 

Next to arrive was my fried calamari. The calamari was served with red peppers, adobe sauce and garlic aioli. I made the bold statement after I took the first bite that this was the best fried calamari I ever had, and a week plus later I still agree with that. It was seriously amazing. I'm not sure what the better was, except deliciousness. The garlic aioli served on top of the calamari was insanely good and the adobe sauce was in the corners so as not to overtake an unsuspecting diner. All in all, it was AMAZING. I would come back here any time of day just to eat this calamari. And drink a margarita, obviously.

Since I ate the calamari so quickly, I could restrain myself to take a pic. You're welcome, fair readers.

Following my calamari, our entrees were delivered. First up was my grilled achiote red snapper. Achiote is apparently a tropical shrub (thanks wikipedia) that is made into a paste and is used for a marinade in Mexican kitchens. Who knew? The red snapper came with almond rice, tomatoes, olives and caper relish. Also a very good choice...which was demonstrated in my need to defend my plate with my fork to stop it from a certain fish-loving food-stealer who's name also starts with an F (you know who you are!) The almond rice was very interesting--liquidy but not undercooked and it actually did have the distinct flavor of almond milk. I'm a big fan of jasmati rice, and I could see myself replacing it with almond rice.

Last, but certainly not least in my dad's opinion, since this was the only thing he ate, were the pork carnitas. This is literally the reason my parents come to this restaurant. No joke. The pork carnitas are, as you see, served in 3s (which makes no sense if 2 people are sharing, but I again digress) with chipotle honey bbq sauce (so good), mahon (a type of cheese, thanks again wikipedia!) and jicama, as well as the avocado which is clearly seen. They're very good. I wouldn't order them every single time like my dad does, but I would definitely order them.

As always when we come to Verdad, our meal was delicious. The restaurant is very close to my parents house, so obviously I'll be back. And I have to say, Verdad is one of my favorite restaurants on the Main Line. I strongly suggest if you find yourself on the main line or at Villanova, or even King of Prussia, which is a bit of a trek, to find yourself Verdad restaurant and chow down. And drink some tequila while you're at it. Their servers are extremely knowledgeable on the topic.

To take the trek to Verdad outside of Philadelphia, check the restaurant out online at, book yourself a reservation on OpenTable and visit it at 818 W. Lancaster Ave in Bryn Mawr. Do it.

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