Review: Garibaldi’s a celebration of Mexican flavor
It’s either a really great or really bad idea to go to a Mexican restaurant on the same afternoon that Mexico beats Germany in World Cup qualifiers. It you like tranquil, bad idea. If you like robust celebration, good idea.
Choice seating was out of the question on my recent visit to Garibaldi Bakery and Mexican Restaurant in South Naples. You know that door you spy when you first walk in the entrance? That’s where you’d have found me. And the music, stadium sound without the stadium. I could hardly think. But thinking is overrated.
So, things start off with chips and salsa. The corn chips are thick and crunchy and you have a choice between a smoky red sauce and salsa verde. I prefer the green; but on a scale of mild to wild, this salsa is not for wimps and will induce you to drink a lot of wherever you’re having.
My entrée was the steak and onions. It features a generous portion of thinly-sliced marinated flank steak, topped with cooked onions, with a small side of greens, a heaping pile of Mexican rice and refried beans.
The steak may be a little dry for some tastes, but that’s the way it comes. I think the onions and beans counters with that. I swear there’s lard in them thar beans; but I don’t know that for a fact. Lard gets a bad rep, but it’s tasty.
My partner in dine asked for the chicken enchiladas verde. His sides were the same. The sauce is a bit tamer than the green salsa, due to a little extra time on the stove top and a slightly different blend. This place is known for its enchiladas, my favorite being the mole enchiladas. Mole, featuring poblano peppers, chocolate and chili peppers, is to be celebrated in all forms; and is generally served with chicken and corn tortillas. But the enchilada take is a nice twist; especially with the crema, greens and cotija cheese on top.
You probably won’t have room for dessert; but once you peek at the bakery, you’ll want to grab some to go. From breads to churros, cakes and every guava-filled pastry in between, Garibaldi has one of the largest collections of Latin baked goods anywhere in Collier County.
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If you go
Garibaldi Bakery and Mexican Restaurant
11510 Tamiami Trail East, Naples