Mexican Radio, an outstanding choice for authentic food and ambiance
Overall rating on a scale of 1-10
Service 9 •Food 9 •Ambiance 9 •Price $$$
By Danielle Pitanello
I think that everyone has their own idea of what makes a great restaurant. In my opinion, great restaurants pay attention to aesthetics. They take pains to be consistent with each dish. They do not bristle with annoyance if you ask for flexible options. They also clearly state what their “best” dishes are; these are dishes that the chef makes better than most, if not all others.
Mexican Radio, a treasure in the heart of the antiques district of Hudson, NY, measures up in these ways and more. Housed in a 1840s building on Warren Street that has been home to a private residence, a department store and an antiques store, this three-year old restaurant is the second of the same name for husband and wife owners Lori Sheldon and Mark Young, who opened the first Mexican Radio in Manhattan about 10 years ago.
On a weekend afternoon, my husband and I set out for a daytrip to Hudson in search of an antique vase (which we found) and had every intention of dining here.
Aside from the food itself, the décor also awakens your senses. The two-floor restaurant is painted with bright colors and decorated with Mexican folk and religious art imagery.
High ceilings create a feeling of spaciousness, and the bar itself has its own history, as it was made using local barn wood from the 17th century.
Feeling as if we were transported to Mexico, we started with standard fare of salsa and chips while we perused the large menu. The salsa was spicy, but not overbearing; the chips warm and crisp. My husband cleaned the plate which is praise in itself, as he makes mean salsa that most others don’t measure up to. There is a small $3.50 charge for the chips and salsa, but well worth it.
A visit to a Mexican restaurant wouldn’t be complete without a glass of Sangria, so it was only fitting that we tried their homemade version of this wine. It was fruity and light and carried us through the zesty dishes.
It is important to note that this restaurant is a vegetarian’s haven. Aside from the many choices, Sheldon, herself a strict vegetarian, makes sure the meat dishes and vegetarian dishes don’t mingle and even maintains a separate fryer for the tortilla chips.
I began my meal with a Black Bean and Butternut Squash soup. The bowl was divided in half with both thick soups and then swirled with sour cream. I could have happily ended my meal here, but chose to move forward for review purposes.
My husband chose a Chicken Tortilla Soup. It had pulled chicken, avocado, carrots, corn and sour cream. It was a spicy soup, but again not overbearing or “hot”. Rather, it had just enough kick to it.
We shared our main meal of Enchiladas. You can choose to have all the same filling or try all three. We opted for the latter and ordered cheese, chicken and vegetable. We also choose all three sauces —the house which is chocolate and fruity (Mole), Raspberry Chipotle and spicy Verde. This dish, with so many choices, was priced at $16.95 and was perfect for sharing.
All dishes are served with either Pinto beans or rice. We both opted for the pinto beans.
Our meal was authentic Mexican the whole way. I am certainly not the only reviewer that has been blown away by this restaurant. They have won numerous awards both in Hudson and NYC for their food and margaritas.
If you’re in town for the Winter Walk on Warren Street on December 2, take a break from the traditional holiday festivities to enjoy an untraditional holiday meal.
Total price including tip: $50
Mexican Radio is located on 537 Warren Street in Hudson, NY. Open daily for lunch and dinner. For more information call 828.7770; www.mexrad.com