I’ve been searching high and low for some great deals to share with all of you. Happy hours seem to be the easy choice since there are lots of great  spots around the metro to try out after work, before the game, or on a weekend afternoon, but I’ve struggled to find cheap date nights. I happened to be out on a run a few weeks ago and jogged past Chimborazo on Central & 29th Ave NE. I almost ran right into the tent sign that read “Wednesday Date Night $35″. How could I have missed a great deal so close to home?

Chimborazo Exterior

On the next open Wednesday night I was set on going and called up friends Sam & Zeb to join us. We arrived around 8:15 pm with just enough time to enjoy dinner before they closed at 10. Chimborazo is small corner restaurant with seating for around 45 people. Even on Cheap Date Night, we walked through the back door to find plenty of space for our party of four.

Chimborazo - Interior

Cheap Date Night consists of your choice of two daily specials and a bottle of wine for $35. The guys wanted to be a little more adventurous and not limited to the three daily special choices, so Sam and I decided to split the date night special. We chose a bottle of the Diseño Malbec — a South American wine to go with our South American cuisine. Since the guys weren’t doing the date night, they decided to pass on drinks. Instead, Zeb splurged on a Fioravanti… when in Ecuador!

Zeb

As mentioned, the guys didn’t want to be limited by the Date Night Special, neither in variety or quantity! They both ordered an appetizer and graciously shared with the ladies. Zeb chose the Empanada de Queso ($2). I was a little surprised to see it came with a light dusting of powdered sugar, but the salty cheese with the sweet batter and sugar made for a nice treat. Just enough for each of us to get a bite.

Turnover

Alex chose the Ceviche de Camarón ($10). The patacones (fried green plantains) were my favorite. They served as a nice scoop for the shimp. This is the appetizer to order if you can only choose one. The best ceviche I’ve had!

Ceviche de camaron

For dinner, Sam and I were able to choose from the three daily specials which included Seco de Carne (normally $10.50), Chupe des Camarones (normally $11), or Ecuatoriano Vegetariano (normally $10.50). Luckily we had a knowledgeable waiter to explain all of the options. I went with the Ecuatorian Vegetariano. It was a generous portion with a lot of variety: stewed beans, rice, llapingachos (potato patties), muchín de yuca (fried yuca critters), sweet plantain and curtido on top of greens. I could have passed on the plantain, too sweet for my taste, but I enjoyed ever other bite on my plate. I think my favorite was the aji ciollo (Ecuadorian hot sauce) which I poured over my extra rice and llapingachos.

Ecuatoriano vegetariano

Sam tried the Chupe des Camarones, something that isn’t on the regular dinner menu. I expected a shrimp stew, but instead her plate included a shrimp saute mixture with white rice and three crispy patacones. It was the entree version of our appetizer, Ceviche de Camarón. The meal also came with the aji ciollo. I think you could eat that green hot sauce on anything, it’s that good.

Sammie's dinner

Alex ordered the Saltado ($11). A large bowl of flavorful marinated chicken, tomatoes, onions, peppers, and seasonings surrounding a big scoop of rice and a creamy avocado slice to balance out the heat.

Saltado

Lastly, Zeb ordered the Llapingachos con Chorizo ($11). The South American flavors that filled his plate were classic, something I imagine eating with a family in their village home, but I wasn’t expecting the peanut sauce on the side. Each item was flavorful on its own, but everything tastes better with peanut sauce, right?

Zebs dinner

We enjoyed the quiet and unpretentious environment. The open room, Ecuadorian photos on the wall, and the simple flowers on the tables made it feel like we were in a friend’s kitchen.

It came out to about $35 a couple before tip. Affordable, filling, and delicious! All-in-all, a great dinner date on a Wednesday night. Make the trip up to Chimborazo. Authentic Ecuadorian cuisine without the long flight.

 Atmosphere

Simple decor, bright lighting and open seating make Chimborazo a great place to come with family or friends. Definitely not a romantic date night for two.

Service

Our server was very knowledgeable, but I was a little frustrated that he didn’t take more time with us. He seemed a little frustrated that we had so many questions.

Presentation

Informal and straightforward. The heaping portions left little room for dainty details.

Taste

Best ceviche I’ve ever had! And I would have eaten dirt if it were covered in that aji crillo sauce!

Value for Dollar

The date night isn’t that different from the normal dinner prices, but all-in-all it’s a great value for such delicious food!

 

But don’t take my word for it…

Chimborazo

2851 Central Avenue NE
Minneapolis, MN 55418
612-788-1328
www.chimborazorestaurant.com
Chimborazo on Facebook
Chimborazo on Yelp
Chimborazo on Urbanspoon