By THÉRÈSE MARGOLIS
The TK Terraza Grill in Tecamachalo is not new.
In fact, it’s been around (albeit not always under the same name — it used to be called Tecamacharlies) since the 1980s (and the background music here is still from that decade).
But while its décor and atmosphere have mellowed out over the years (gone are the ceilings of hundreds of hanging baskets and risque signs on the walls, and the waiters no longer make cutesy snide comments at the clientele), the basic menu at TK has remained pretty much the same.
And that’s a good thing.
Yes, Roal Grupo Gastronómico — the folks who purchased the restaurant from its original owner, the Anderson Group – had the good sense to leave well enough alone when it came to Tecamacharlies menu classics (if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it).
So all you fans of the Anderson chain’s finger-lickin’ barbequed short ribs (still the house special) and those delightful 4-4-4 oysters (a selection of three different types of baked oysters served in their shells on a plate of hot rocks) will not be disappointed.
And that quintessential courtesy cup of freshly made shrimp broth is still served up as soon as your sit down at the table, along with a bowl of fresh veggies and home-baked bread with Philadelphia cream cheese in the center.
But the Roal Group has made some additions to the old Tecamacharlies bill of fare.
To begin with, there are now a lot more center-of-the-table sharing items, such as Coyoacán-style basket tacos (bean, potato and pork rind, sold by the dozen and served in – you guessed it – a basket) and Chinese shrimp tacos on flour tortillas.
There is also a weekly menu of chef’s specials that sometimes incorporate variations on regular menu items. (Those archetypal BBQ ribs may just show up with a potent mezcal marinade – they did last time I was there!)
The service at TK is still warm and welcoming, but much less unabashed than it was in the Tecamacharlies era.
Once a place to let your hair down and party hardy, the new reincarnation of this restaurant is far more suitable for family outings.
What that means is that now while you are chowing down on your favorite TBC salad (bacon, watercress and mushrooms, with the updated TK version including alfalfa sprouts and chopped walnuts) and that emblemic sabana steak – both icons from the original Tecamacharlies – and quietly reminiscing about the wild times you had here during your misspent youth, your wife and kids will be enjoying a tranquil meal of tasty Mexican cuisine and be oblivious to what you are really thinking about.
TK Terraza Grill is located at Fuerte de Trevi 4 in Tecamachalco, Naucalpan (tel: 5293-0121).