Each week, Patch picks a great restaurant either in town or nearby that is worth checking out. This week, we look at the Yummy Grill-Mexican Grill in the Lyons Mall in Basking Ridge.
Yummy Grill-Mexican Grill
445 S. Finley Ave., (Lyons Mall)
Yes, Virginia, it is possible to get a Mexican meal in Basking Ridge for under $10. It just comes with a little bit of a cultural twist, perhaps appropriate for the area.
The restaurant, while separate from the Yummy Grill next door, is connected to the Asian eatery, and the jointly operated restaurant has some unusual touches.
When you go up to order your meal, served later at your table, the display by the counter includes chop sticks, soy sauce and Chinese mustard. Not your usual condiments for Mexican food. However, salsa is served. Meanwhile, Mexican music is played in the colorful interior.
Despite the somewhat confusing cues as what type of cuisine is being served, it is possible to order an inexpensive and pretty good Mexican meal at the Yummy Grill-Mexican Grill, which also offers some American basics such as buffalo wings, burgers and even fried calamari. It's also possible to order spring rolls ($1.15) and chicken wings served either with fried rice or fries.
However, the burritos in particular — from what we sampled — were a good choice for real Mexican food. What was nice was that the ingredients seemed to be of reasonably high quality. At various times, the two Mexican food fans in this home and I ordered both steak ($6.49) and chicken ($5.99) burritos, which came with black bean refries inside and were served somewhat like a fairly healthy wrap.
On a previous visit, I really enjoyed a chicken salad, ($6.25) served in a taco bowl, served with some version of an adobo sauce.
As you can see — with cans of soda and bottled water selling for a dollar apiece — it is possible to eat an entire meal at the Mexican Grill for less than a tenspot. That's pretty much of a bargain in these parts, a good place to go if you're a kid, a day worker or someone who just wants inexpensive Mexican food.
On our last visit, the number one fan of Mexican food in this household, who went straight from baby food to arroz and frijoles in Northern California, ordered chicken fajitas ($9.75), served with white rice, sizzling peppers, onions, tomatoes and flour tortillas.
His verdict? "It's a little weird, but not bad." Both of us detected a distinct flavor of soy sauce in the chicken mixture, but it actually was a tasty platter.
Neither of us tried the noodle dishes, described by the grill's cashier and waitress as Chinese-type noodles covered in a variety of meats — including lobster and scallops along with the basic chicken and steak — with Mexican spices. A little unique!
Drinks that are served, other than basic offerings, include an avocado shake. Obviously, this place requires a little bit of an open mind. But hey, a little adventure is a good thing, and you don't have to blow the bank like you might at some trendy experimental restaurant.
Another note: The photos of meals outside the restaurant don't always look like what's served inside. However, the actual meals were better.
Decor: Colorful Mexican decorations, with a few Asian touches.
Service: Very friendly, but orders are taken at counter.