Name: Delgado's Cafe
Location: 119 Harry L Dr., Johnson City, NY 13790
Phone: (607) 798-7306
Price: $15-$20 per person
Megan and I used to go to Delgado's quite often. Mexican food is one of our favorites, and its nearby location made it very convenient for us. Then came the day that we found Los Tapatios, superior in quality and much cheaper in price. This rendered Delgado's pretty much obsolete in our minds.
But we are trying to be complete in our food-blogging duties, so we paid a visit to Delgado's last night for dinner. I was curious to see how things had evolved in the several years since we had last been there. We arrived around 4:30 PM on a Friday and were surprised to find very few spots available in the parking lot at such an early time. We entered through the rear (the restaurant entrance--the bar entrance is in the front) and seated ourselves in one of their spacious wooden booths. The restaurant is a large, well-decorated space with a big dining room in back and a long bar in front. Delgado's provides a low-key, comfortable atmosphere and seems to be a popular place for the after-work crowd to have a few beverages.
We were presented with menus, tortilla chips, and two different dips. The first was the standard salsa, which I found to be pale by comparison to Los Tapatios' equivalent, while the second was a much tastier bean dip. The menu is rather extensive and includes pretty much any standard Mexican dish you can imagine, available in various combinations. One of their most popular items are the wings, which I have had many times in the past. I didn't get any wings on this visit, but I can attest that the honey garlic and the spicy BBQ wings are rather tasty and a little bit different, sauce-wise, from most other wings I've had. Megan ordered the Fajitas a la Carte (around $13 with no extras) while I went with the Ranchero-style Beef Enchiladas dinner ($16), which came with albondiga (meatball) soup, and sides of beans and rice.
The albondiga soup was a pretty good start to the meal. Featuring tiny meatballs with various vegetables in a beef broth, I would describe it as the Mexican equivalent of Italian wedding soup. Not bad, but nothing particularly memorable.
I was reasonably happy with my enchilada dinner. The enchiladas were pretty tasty but were covered in ranchero sauce, which I found to be kind of oddly thick, gravy-like, and maybe a little bit cheesy in taste. Whatever it was, I found it to be mildly off-putting. But I did enjoy the seasoning of the ground beef filling and the Mexican rice and refried beans contributed to make this a mostly satisfying meal. Although I was kind of thinking to myself the entire time that I could get the same exact meal more authentically for half the price at Los Tapatios.
Megan's fajitas were decent, but were definitely different from any other fajitas we've had before. Served with the usual sauteed peppers and onions and a side plate of lettuce, tomato, cheese, and sour cream, the chicken is marinaded in some kind of garlicky sauce vaguely reminiscent of soy sauce. Perhaps a little bit weird, but not bad. Megan was reasonably pleased but she lamented that the entree does not come with any sides unless you order the full dinner for $3-$4 more. Sorry, but beans and rice are not worth $3-$4.
Overall, our visit to Delgado's reconfirmed what I knew all along, that Los Tapatios is the better of the two restaurants in both quality and value. That said, I wasn't displeased or disappointed with my meal. I don't know if or when we'll make it back to Delgado's again, but I can see why others may like it. It has a laid-back atmosphere and would be a fine place to hang out with friends, eat some wings, and have a couple margaritas. If you like Mexican food, you owe it to yourself to try Delgado's, but it pales in comparison to the area's best.