I went here with a group during restaurant week and was not very impressed. The margaritas were perfectly made, and the guacamole to start off the meal was fantastic. However, the rest of the meal went downhill from there. They do have a nice bar area, so I would recommend sitting there and only ordering appetizers.
I went here for dinner with my parents and my dad who generally doesn't eat Mexican food or drink had a great time. He thought the guacamole was very good, and I loved that it was prepared table side. The Sangria made with lots of fresh fruit was wonderful. The staff is so friendly and attentive. It was a great evening for all.
I was eagerly awaiting a trip to Xochitl after a recent glowing review for their tableside guacamole in Philly Mag. Unfortunately, you can add this place to the list of Philly "Mexican" establishments (El Vez, Tequilas) which for some reason go over the top in their menu designs (e.g. baby goat, blood sausage) but nary an enchillada on the menu. Room is exceptionally loud. Tableside guacamole was very bland and had no flavor at all. Tortilla soup was the highlight of the meal. Mixed grill was horrendous--shrimp served was tiny, the kind you would see in a strip mall chinese establishment. Service was eh--horrible food pacing, we asked for our entrees to wait after the soups and guac appeared within 15 minutes of our ordering. Of course the entrees appeared within one minute of our request. Bathrooms were not cleaned and smelled like urine. I should add the margaritas were quite good with a nice tequila selection. Bill was $130 for two with two drinks each. In sum, if you want this kind of food (and I am holding my breath that some day we will have a real Mexican place in Philly) Tequilas is a far better alternative for a nearly identical menu.
Pros: Good margaritas, Good soups
Cons: Weak execution, loud room, expensive
If you want innovative Mexican food, good service, or a good meal at a decent price, you'd be advised to miss Xochitl. The food: decent, but I found other reviewers were over-emphatic with their praise. We were a group of 4 and got the mixed grill, a fish special, and the rabbit. Mixed grill was OK, the fish was tasteless (frozen for sure), and the rabbit was delicious. The service: we had a snobby young guy with short hair. While he thought he was pretty cool, we thought he was slow as hell, kept forgetting drink orders, and spent just a bit too much time staring at the women in our party. The price for 4 people: $210 for food & drink (incl. 8 margaritas) + $15 tax + $40 tip = $265 for dinner. I eat out a lot and I eat at good restaurants, but these guys are charging way too much for mediocre food. Give it a miss and head over to Tequila's for better food, drinks, and value. Or get down and dirty, grab a six-pack, and go to Taqueria Veracruzana.
Pros: Good margaritas
Cons: Service, prices
We had a reservation for 6:30. There was an accident in front of us on the way there, so when it became apparent we were going to be late I called the restaurant. The hostess said "Not a problem - I can't give you your original table, but we have a nice hightop table in the bar that will seat you when you get here." Ok.
So we get there, approx 20 min late for our reservation. There are three tables in the place with people eating, and SIX that are empty. The girl at the desk states that the wait will be 1.5 hours, because "those tables are for people with scheduled reservations." When I mentioned the hightop in the bar - which I could SEE and was empty - she said "No, you'll just have to wait." We left, and found much nicer climes around the corner at Core de Rome. I'm sorry, granted I was late, but you'd choose to have six empty tables besides seating a party that's there and complete?
I've been here for dinner a few times and visit the happy hour on occasion. Great upscale Mexican food. Happy Hour deals are great. Order the guacamole and they mix it right at your table. Waitstaff is very friendly and have great recommendations. Cozy decor; can be a little too loud.
Pros: happy hour deals, margaritas
Xochitl is cute, it's cozy, and it's warm. The high point in this restaurant is service. From the professional and attentive host, chatty bartender at the downstairs bar to the absolutely perfect table service. The food...eh. Appetizers were by far the best part of the meal. Exciting flavors, fine presentation. Our entrees, the bistec azteca and langosto enchiladas weren't bad at all, but also weren't standout. The steak had been cut before presentation which is a major no-no. The steak becomes cold (even for mid-rare) and the juices end up running all over the plate, compromising the aguacate crema and the chipotle sauces already there. My fiancee's lobster was well prepared, nothing to cream about. Dessert, well...go somewhere else. Tacos dulce...tacos boring. No flavor. Churos were simply "meh..." I wouldn't leave Xochitl of your list, but I'm not exactly running back either.
Pros: Perfect service, great downstairs lounge area, fun drinks
Cons: Boring food
My husband and I made 9:30 reservations on a Friday night after recommendations from a few friends. We had the tasteless tamales as an appetizer and of the 7 main entrees on the menu, three were unavailable. I settled on the flank steak (since my first three preferences were the entrees they were out of) and didn't anticipate a great cut of meat but expected some interesting flavors. Turns out, an order of fajitas from a fast-food mexican joint offers more distinctive flavors than this entree.
Our server was pleasant and the ambiance is perfect for a date. Perhaps more than two margaritas during dinner could make the food more interesting and exciting. #19 in Best of Philly? I have to disagree!
Pros: Ambiance and Margaritas
Cons: Anything Food Related
A friend and I had an intimate get together at Xochitl. We were seated in their lower level which had such a nice ambiance with candles and dimmed lighting. Table-side guacamole prepared to order was the highlight of the evening as was the cocktail I ordered that featured prickly pear cactus juice. The recommendations made by the server were helpful but the real show was watching the table next to us: they were Xochitl regulars. The dishes they ordered are definitely on my list for the next visit. Their main entree was an arranged plate of salmon, beef, and shrimp with warm tortillas and a selection of salsas. YUM! I ordered the poblano pepper stuffed with ground beef that was drizzled with a nut sauce. All of the flavors worked well together but the pepper itself was so spicey. I drank so much water. Dessert was the churros that reminded my of funnel cake but in the shape of Twizzlers. Overall, a great night. Can't wait to go back!
Pros: Table-side guacemole
In short, this was a memorable eating experience. The menu was inventive, and reminded me of chef Rick Bayless' take on Mexican (if you've eaten at Frontera Grill in Chicago, you know what I mean.) For appetizers, we had the tostadas de ceviche, which had the perfect amount of citrus, and tender chunks of seafood. The octopus had a nice texture--surprisely not chewy. The sopa Azteca had this lovely smoky quality to it. For dinner, my husband had the pork shank which was so tender that the meat fell off the bone when you sank your fork into it. I had the barbacoa, and though I've never really been much of a goat meat fan, it was incredible. Beware the tiny thai peppers sitting on the plate--unless your mouth is iron-coated, it'll burn a hole. The cactus salad on the side was also tasty! For dessert, we had the churros with chocolate and caramel-esque dipping sauces. We literally ate all the sauce out of the little dipping bowls. We would definitely go back again.
Pros: Food, decor, great for small groups
Cons: a little pricey
Three of us went for dinner, having heard good things about it. The decor is quite nice, and we all enjoyed the food -- some of it was quite excellent -- but there were too many glitches for a strong review, especially at the rather high prices they charge. (Entrees mostly $20 or more, and drinks at $9 and up.) Several items on the small menu were not available and I found my choices already somewhat limited by certain ingredients I wanted to avoid. One of us ordered a mojito, but the waitress came back to tell us there was no mint, in July! (Who does the shopping for this place?) There's a huge tequila selection and at least 9 margarita options based on them; we tried two different ones but I found them a bit watery; I make better at home. We had to ask for glasses to go with our beer bottles. The staff was friendly but apparently clumsy. In the hour we were there, someone next to us had water spilled on him, cutlery went clattering to the floor several times in rapid succession, and there was some other crashing sound we couldn't identify. This may explain why so many of the dishes have chips in them (which must be a health code violation). We would go back if we could be confident that we would get selection and reliability to match the prices and the general quality of the food.
Pros: Nice decor, good food
Cons: High prices, unreliable inventory
Finally, talented chefs are making a come-back in Philadelphia!. Forget nachos and burritos because you won't find them here. Xochitl offers a highly innovative menu of authentic yet modern Mexican delicacies. There is a wide variety of tequillas and a fun cocktail menu. The ceviches are fresh, flavorful and delicious. I ordered the squid which had to be the best squid and most flavorful dish I have ever had. It was absolutely fantastic. My husband had the lamb which was very tender but underseasoned in my opinion. The pork entree tasted and smelled much more apetizing.
The bar is large and attracts a nice crowd. The dining room is pretty and cozy, and the service is very friendly, knowledgeable and professional. A+
Pros: Innovative food, delicious.
Cons: Can't think of a single thing.
We've been looking for good Mexican food in the neighborhood since we moved to Queen Village and I think it may have finally arrived. Tonight we enjoyed friendly but knowledgable service, flavorful and unique food and a comfortable atmosphere -- nice work so-cheet. The prices are a bit higher than the average neighborhood spot, but the quality and portion sizes were worth it. I can't wait til they get a few more things on the walls and really get into their groove.