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Chef's Choice: James Malone, Staccato at the Firehall 


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Hola! Enchiladas Queretanas

What makes your favorite dish taste so good? Is it only the quality and freshness of the ingredients? Is it the presentation? Does the service and ambience affect your palette? I feel it takes multiple elements working in a symbiotic fashion to create a great experience, i.e., a great dish. For me, my favorite dish is constructed with more than just quality ingredients and proper cooking techniques. My favorite dish can usually be equated to my favorite experience. At Hola! it begins when I walk through the door. I always receive kind smiles from the staff and ownership, I'm seated quickly, chips and salsa are there before I can ask and my water glass is kept full throughout my meal. After frequenting a restaurant enough there is a chance a server might remember your face or even your name. At Hola! service goes much further - I rarely have to order anything at all. I believe Marcos' usual introduction is, "Shall I get your fresh guacamole started...James will you be having the Queretanas with one extra enchilada and some pineapple-habanero salsa on the side?" While having a favorite dish is important, I think a favorite experience might mean more to me. Hola! puts emphasis on all the necessary ingredients to create a great experience for their guests the same way we do at Staccato. Great service, great food, creative drinks, attention to detail and consistency keep me coming back time after time.

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