Consider the following some early criticism on new eateries that will receive full reviews at a later date. We just happened to stop into these two newbies on our own time in the past couple of days and found some items worth talking about.
After checking out the grand opening of the swanky Red Martini Piano Bar and Blondie's fire-filled new rooftop addition, Level 320, we hit up The Flow of Mexico to soak up some alcohol (not so much alcohol that our food sense was affected).
All five of us were impressed by what we tried, from a delicious vegetarian chimichanga and rich shrimp enchilada to chile relleno and pastor taco sides and a giant seafood goblet called the Campechana. We ordered two plates of outstanding churros (fried pastry sticks with vanilla ice cream) for dessert also.
On first taste, The Flow stands at least one sombrero length above average Southwestern eateries. Chef Chelis appears to know what he's doing. If anyone can make this spot work for Mexican eats, perhaps he can.
• Three weeks after opening at 2514 W. Colorado Ave., Dat's Italian is succeeding in its mission of providing lower-budget choices, from salads to main courses and sandwiches.
Our small-group order included a well-prepared Caesar salad, with small or large (only $4.50) options, and they'll ask if you'd like anchovies. The basic spaghetti comes with marinara, meat or alfredo sauce, and you can add meatballs for a total of $7.25, well worth the price. Another good option is the Italian sausage sandwich ($6.25) with peppers, onions and a sweet sauce.
The owners are working on obtaining their beer and wine license, and they're encouraging anyone who lives in the Old Colorado City area to stop by and sign a supportive petition. The approval could come in a couple weeks. As the weather warms, Dat's Italian also will have patio dining in the back. We reported on the opening in our March 25 Side Dish.