No matter what town I land in, for however long, I feel it's necessary to have a go-to Mexican restaurant somewhere nearby, if not right next door.
Williamstown can be a bit of a drive for some, or be perfectly located for others. No matter what distance you have to travel for something south of the border, Desperado's on Main Street is a definite si!
Being in New England, it can be a bit challenging to find a Mexican restaurant that serves quality meals and drinks while also not giving you terrible indigestion -- or worse.
Desperado's is that zesty balance of Berkshire DIY-style and Mexican flair that leaves you wishing you could consume more in one sitting.
Set back in the Colonial Shopping Center on Route 2, Desperado's is a gem among the various retail shops flanking it, although the restaurant building itself looks like one of those run-of-the-mill, cacti-and-stucco-infused joints.
Desperado's offers wine, beer and flavorful margaritas -- may I suggest raspberry? -- all for reasonable prices for those who want to imbibe while chowing down on some courtesy chips and salsa.
As far as food is concerned, the possibilities seem endless, as everything on their menu sounds pretty delicious. Desperado's ensaladas, or salads, are a must-devour, even if you shy away from leafy greens.
Among the salad possibilities are Desperado's Mexican bowls. These babies are filled to the brim with some lettuce, meat and cheese, among so many other choices, depending on what you're in the mood for.
The Fiesta Bowl features black beans, chicken, mushrooms, lettuce, tomato, onion, jalapeno, cheese, sour cream and guacamole. This, and only this, is enough food to last you an entire Saturday night.
If salads aren't your idea of a Mexican meal, Desperado's serves up plenty of entrees, including pollo ranchero and fundido.
Or, if you want something a little more mainstream, they offer an a la carte menu with enchiladas, quesadillas, tacos and burritos.
Don't forget the nachos! Desperado's also has a kids' menu and a "north of the border" menu to appease anyone with a finicky appetite.
One of the best things about Desperado's is that they make their own salsa, chips, guacamole, corn bread, soups, chorizo and so much more. And they sell some of these goodies as take out, so you can do your best to cook up something spicy at home.
Aside from the wide array of menu choices and a warm, familiar atmosphere, Desperado's' staff is more than welcoming, even at an hour until closing time. Attentive, friendly, easy-going, subtle and funny, one waiter made this writer's experience one that will not soon be forgotten.
With a UFC fight on the flat-screen TV behind the bar and the restaurant dying down for the night, this waiter made casual conversation with satisfied customers while respecting they had their eyes on the screen to see who would win this particular match.
Not only does Desperado's set the bar for Mexican food, they also seem to have set the bar a little bit higher when it comes to customer service.
If you go ...
Desperados, 246 Main St., Route 2, Williamstown, (413) 458-2100, www.mydesperados.net.
Style: Mexican restaurant
Entertainment: Flat screen TV
Our rating: 1 mug, Run away; 2 mugs, Yawn; 3 mugs, Cheers; 4 mugs, "I'll be back;" 5 mugs. "Round's on me!"
Your rating: You can rate Williamstown's Desperados at www.berkshireeagle.com/The413.
To reach Laura Lofgren:
or (413) 496-6229.
On Twitter: @BE_LauraL_