Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Andrade’s International Restaurant

7 Bollingbrook Street
Petersburg, Virginia 23803

As most of you know Stephen Spielberg was filming in downtown Petersburg for a couple of weeks earlier this month for his upcoming movie about the last days of Abraham Lincoln. One Friday went both my father and I had off and Alex was home from school we decided to go and try to see the film set. Most of the down town area was blocked off and well guarded and we could only get a few quick glimpses. What we did see was pretty cool and street scene with a bunch of actors dressed in period gear and men on horseback. After getting fussed at a couple of times we decided to cut our losses before the actual police started to fuss. Being around lunch time we decided to drop in Andrade’s for a bite.
Andrade’s International restaurant is a little bit of a misnomer. It is a fancy Mexican restaurant, I know that that is almost an oxymoron but it’s definitely more of a Mexican restaurant than an “International” restaurant. The place was a ghost town with us being the only three people in the whole place. As soon as our drinks were ordered our waiter brought us a basket of tortilla chips and salsa. I was a little upset that they did not have white sauce, but their salsa was very good and freshly made but a little bit on the spicy side.

                I ordered the seafood burrito for $10.95 which I thought was a little on the high side. While we waited we looked out the back window which had a perfect view of the set. There were tents, canons and horses. The cobbles stone road was covered in dirt and mulch and many of the buildings had facades made to look like the 1800’s.  It actually took quite a while for our food to come at least for a Mexican restaurant where the food is usually served two minutes after it is ordered. I will almost never complain about food taking a while to be served because it makes me feel that it is being freshly prepared and hasn’t been sitting under a heat light for a long time. 
                This time was no different. Our food was obviously freshly made because everything was hot and crispy. My burrito was deep fried with a crunchy and flakey outside and a warm and moist inside. There were probably about seven or eight shrimp inside the burrito and they were well cooked and not stringy. The best part the sauce that was used inside of the burrito, it had a silky and creamy texture and the most amazing cheesy/seafood flavor.  Any description I could make would not do it justice. It was one of the best burritos that I have ever eaten.  It was served with Mexican rice, frijoles ala charra and pico de gallo. I mixed the extra sauce from inside of the burrito with the rice and it was awesome.
            Overall, Andrade’s may be the best “International”/Mexican restaurant in the Tri-Cities. It was very clean, the service was great, the atmosphere was inviting and the food was excellent. But I have to remind everyone that they do not serve the white sauce which I’m sure will disappoint many. But the food was fresh and was much higher quality than most other Mexican restaurants. Somehow with better ingredients they were still able to keep their prices reasonable in comparison to lesser quality establishments.  I will definitely go back and suggest that the next time you have the taste for Mexican food skip Taco Bell, Don Jose’s and El Nopal and try Andrade’s.

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