If you haven't caught the charming film Ratatouille, I recommend checking it out on DVD. It's about the great love of food, and the inspiring notion that "anyone can cook." My favorite scene is when the jaded food critic Anton Ego takes his first bite of ratatouille, and it instantly transports him to his youth, when the dish brought such comfort to him on a dark, dispiriting day. Just a bite of food has the power to bring you back to another place and time, and can nourish the body and the soul.
When I walked into La Batalla, I felt like I was back in Mexico, which I have such fond memories of and am very saddened by the swine flu pandemic and drug violence troubles that so burden our Southern neighbor.
A quaint atmosphere greeted me, as did very friendly service. Note the cloth (not paper) napkins. Fifty extra points! There weren't a lot of obvious vegan choices on the menu, but it's easy to veganize Mexican food. Just ask!
Who doesn't love free chips and salsa?
I shared the guacamole, $6.50, to start. Pretty tasty, but my meal was so filling, I probably could have skipped it.
Vegetable enchiladas ($9.95) weren't on the menu, but they were happy to make them. I know when I'm still reminiscing about a meal the next day on the bus ride to work, it was really good. The rice was cooked in chicken stock, so I got a salad with avocado instead. No complaints here! I washed this down with an Herbal Mist Yerba Mate iced peach tea, $2.
I couldn't resist the jukebox. For $1, I got three lively salsa tunes.
Visit La Batalla, 83 N. Washington Ave., Bergenfield, NJ
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