Review: Off the Menu

Dania Ramirez and Santino Fontana in Off the Menu

Off the Menu is a romantic comedy about finding love and New Mexico green chile. I couldn’t resist the New Mexico location. It’s currently streaming on Prime Video.

A fiesta in front of an adobe church

Off the Menu is a mashup of New Mexico scenes with every possible touristy sight, no matter where it actually is, thrown in. It will drive New Mexicans a bit nuts, but it’s beautiful.

What Off the Menu does really well – wonderfully, beautifully well – is capture the love of green chile and the food that comes from it. The romcom part of the story is standard fare, but the food is mouth watering.

It’s a pleasant story, a nice way to spend an afternoon. The acting was well done.

Joel (Santino Fontana) is the heir to a fast food chain selling tacos. Business is bad, so his sister/boss Stacey (Kristen Dalton) sends him to New Mexico looking for new food ideas.

Joel stumbles on Javiera’s Kitchen in a tiny picture postcard town. Javiera (Dania Ramirez) creates the beautiful food. She has a daughter Sophia (Makenzie Moss), and her mother lives there. The mother (Maria Conchita Alonso) was the only face I recognized among all the actors.

Santino Fontana and Dania Ramirez in Off the Menu

Joel doesn’t reveal that he’s there to steal food ideas from Javiera. Naturally they fall in love before the menu-stealing aspect of his personality comes out. Will they work it out? Gosh, what do you think?

I shouldn’t make light of Off the Menu. It is a tried and true genre film with the extra attractions of green chile and New Mexico’s finest scenery.

The film has a Facebook page with many clips from the film, behind the scenes info, and interviews with director Jay Silverman.

Off the Menu poster

Take a look at the trailer.

What do you think? Will you give this film a chance to make you hungry and happy? Dang, I can’t wait to eat.

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