Chow Down Midtown, continuing through June 23, gives restaurants a chance to strut their stuff at a reduced price. CDM covers the Broad Ripple and just north of Downtown area ~ the area between Northside Nights and Devour Downtown.
Price: $26 per person.
Food: THE MENU~ if you are not a fan of salad, you won't like the first course as there are no appetizer or soup options on the CDM menu at Delicia. The ensaladas (salads) were well done, with a oil-based house dressing and two options: Beet Salad-jalapeno and sour orange marinated beets, candied pumpkin seeds, radish greens, queso fresco or De La Casa-field greens, red onions, tomato, queso fresco, orange-tamarind vinaigrette. A tasty, light plate of greens with varying textured extras.
If you are not a fan of flan (vanilla, caramel, custard) for dessert, you are out of luck with that course, also. There is only the one sweet choice or two drink options for the third part of the meal. I tasted the flan, though, and found it to be superior to most restaurants with its texture, nice layer of caramel and balanced level of vanilla. I also ordered the churros with chocolate dip to test and found them crispy, hot and fine ~ nothing spectacular, nothing lacking. It's rather difficult to make churros badly or make them outstanding.
We tried the two drink options, Margarita and Sangria. I have had the pleasure of being at the bar section of the restaurant and know the mixologists are skilled and, if you go, you should try their Pisco Sour at least once. (*Side note-the Pisco Sour at Libertine is the best I have ever had, but this one runs a close second.) However, the margarita was rather flat and lacking in citrus appeal. The sangria, oddly enough, had a similar issue. They were just okay, disappointing as I like both drinks usually.
The entrees are what stands out at Delicia on the limited menu: Tacos de Rajas con Queso-fire roasted poblano, red bell peppers, onions, corn, panela queso, cilantro-lime crema, herb green rice; Brazilian Shrimp Stew-roasted shrimp, coconut milk stew, tomatoes, green pepper, white rice; Enchiladas de Pollo-stewed chipotle chicken, tomatoes, onion, guajillo chile sauce, stewed black beans, herb green rice, and Bistec a la Pobre-8 oz skirt steak, fried egg, sweet plantains, stewed black beans, white rice.
Atmosphere: About what you might expect from a near-Broad Ripple establishment. Casual upscale with the prices to match.
Service: Fabulous-there has been chatter about the hit-or-miss service here, but I watched and found it to be better than many places. Certainly the friendliness and knowledge of product is high.
Libations: I would definitely encourage this spot to offer many more options of wines by the glass and to double check their bartenders to ensure uniformity on the typical drink choices (margaritas, sangrias, etc).
Will I return?: Absolutely~the regular menu and entree choices give great hope this will be a good Latin American cuisine spot in town ~ albeit the prices seem to need tweaking.
Bottom Line: Chow Down Midtown is a perfect opportunity to trial-run, at reduced prices, Delicia, which offers tempting entrees and has much potential.
Elizabeth J. Musgrave is a syndicated fine-living, travel columnist, freelance writer and photographer, and performing arts and restaurant critic for Gotta Go. Read Infused, her spirits, wine & beer lifestyle column, at www.GottaGo.us and www.FoodDigital.com and catch her as Indy’s Entertainment Adviser on 93 WIBC. Gotta Go is published on www.Gottago.us, www.BroadwayWorld.com, and in print. Follow her on Twitter @GottaGo, LinkedIn and Facebook.