Ma Bella Vita: Dinner at MamaJuana Cafe (and other weekend happenings)

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Monday, January 26, 2015

Dinner at MamaJuana Cafe (and other weekend happenings)

I had a nice and relaxing weekend--- a combination of family and friends quality time. Cant go wrong with that. Despite a overly-exaggerated snow warning for Saturday morning, I was pleasantly surprise when my Wall Street Journal paper still showed up at my front door. I received a gift card for Christmas from one of my aunts and I used part of it to get me a subscription to the WSJ (*nerd alert*).

I gotta' tell you, this newspaper makes my mornings just  a little brighter everyday. I am a fanatic of business and investing news (as you may or may not already be aware of from reading the blog) so, this paper definitely falls in to the list of "things that make me happy".

I spent half of Saturday doing massive amounts of laundry. I say massive because I pretty much washed everything I could find in my apartment, including clothes (obviously), heavy blankets and kitchen towels-- everything! I actually woke up pretty early so decided to take advantage of the semi-empty laundry room in my building. I also cleaned my entire apartment in the process. There is something very refreshing about a clean apartment and clean clothes.

As of a week ago, I declared Saturdays my "work-out video" day where instead of going to the gym, I work out to one of my DVDs. I bought this Jillian DVD about a year ago but just gave it a try for the first time on Saturday:

I loved it. As always, she is hard core. She ain't playing any games. Is do or die with this woman, and I wouldn't have it any other way. Both of my leg calfs are in pain today. I think is fair to assume she's responsible.

One of my very good friends was in town for the weekend. She recently moved to Staten Island but comes to the city to visit family from time to time. We decided on an impromptu dinner at MamaJuana cafe. Ive been to a couple of MamaJuana's in the past-- in Washington heights and the Upper West Side. This particular new location is in Bronx, NY (a brand new location). And here is my honest, no chaser opinion on this place. This review is specific for the Bronx location. 

Drinks were pretty affordable for a Saturday night dinner, my friend had a white-wine sangria which she loved for $7. I had a glass of Pinot Grigio (decent taste) for $8. 

We skipped appetizers and went straight for the main course.

I had the "Salmon con Salsa Latina" (salmon with Latin Salsa) over grilled veggies. The salmon was one of the best I've had in a long time. Price tag for this meal was $22.

My friend has the "Red Snapper with Mofongo" a delicious-looking fish stuffed with mofongo which is a Latin dish made up of mashed plantains. She raved about her meal as well. Price tag for this "masterpiece", however, was kind of steep at $28.

I have been on this "health kick" lately so I skipped dessert. I did watch my friend enjoy this Tres-leches, for which two thumbs up were given. Price: $7.

I have to be honest that we were a little disappointed with the menu options. The locations i've visited in the past have a lot to choose from, including a section for "lighter meals" and things of the sort. This particular location only provided us with one single page listing what was available. I dont know if its because the location is new and they are still getting things together but I would have liked to have seen more choices. I felt like they just narrowed down the main dish section to the most expensive dishes they could find. The branch is not yet online so I had to rely on the menu from other locations only to find out that I wouldn't find any of those dishes in the menu handed to me that night.

Our bill was over $72 not including tax and tip which I feel is a little high for two people. I ended up paying $38 and my friend $45. This place is amazing for someone not in a budget or for a hot date. I do have to admit that the food was delicious. All in all a great dinner and great conversation with a great friend. 

The rest of my weekend was spent running a few errands and visiting my parents where I ran in to this gem, perfect for a "throw back Thursday" on instagram:

I remember I used to love this movie! Sadly I have no VHS where to play it. I know I may be aging myself with this but I am an 80s baby, what can I say ;)

That's all folks. Stay warm and thank you for reading <3

TELL ME: Do you have a favorite Latin dish? Have you ever seen Pollyanna?

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