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Last night, after the little after-work party at work, we went with Josela to "The Texas Embassy Cantina." We were supposed to go to Dalston and eat at Bos Cirrik, but as that's a good half an hour away from Leicester Square and a full hour back to our house, so, given that Josela wasn't able to go out to eat until after 7, I thought we'd better find someplace closer to eat, and I had remembered hearing about an actual Tex Mex joint in the neighborhood ...

The menu was intriguing - enchiladas plus lots of steak and barbeque (which was very much about what Londoners associate with Tex and not what you'd actually get in a Tex Mex joint, because enchiladas and barbeque are two very different culinary specialties) and even some Southern dishes (fried chicken and chicken fried steak). I saw a combo plate that promised an enchilada, a flauta, and a chalupa, with rice and beans. Yum! We had no problems convincing Josela to change his plans (he didn't want to commute across infinity before dinner either), so off we went.

Well! In the Tex Mex joint, The Texas Embassy Cantina is a FAIL. The enchilada was chewey in a bad way with coldish, gloppy cheese, the chalupa was actually a tostada, and a tiny one at that, and the rice was on the crunchy side. I mean, seriously, people, have you ever BEEN to a real Tex Mex joint? Was it maybe 10 years ago and the food you're cooking now is merely based on your memories of what you had? It was SUCH a failure, and the portions were sad. Josela's barbeque plate was actually fairly tasty (he was nice and shared), but it was all just a big let down. The strawberry margarita was good, though at 6 quid a pop expensive - not that it held a candle for overpriced when compared to shadowdaddy's 3.50 bottles of Lone Star. That's seven dollars a bottle for Lone Star, my American friends. I guess I'll say for the record that the decor in the restaurant was very good and their salsa was nice, but I'm going to scream in the restaurant the next time some moron serves me a bowl of FLOUR tortilla chips.

Well, the good news is that shadowdaddy has brought back a pile of corn tortillas for me from the states, so I'll be able to cook enchiladas the way I like 'em as soon as I'm ready. And I'll be ready Wednesday night, because Josela has a small suitcase full of Mexican food cooking stuff waiting for me in his apartment. Fiddle on going out for this stuff, I'm going to have to make it at home - but at least my margaritas will be the right price.


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 28th, 2008 11:53 am (UTC)
Yeah, I went to that place once and swore never again - I ordered a chilli and when it came it was tiny, had clearly been microwaved, had hardly any kick, and was so greasy it gave me heartburn within minutes. I've had better chillis in Wetherspoons pubs, frankly.
Jun. 29th, 2008 07:10 pm (UTC)
There's a Tex Mex place in Crouch End (actually it seems to have most types of eatery. I haven't tried it yet tho. whether it would live up to your quest for the genuine article, I can't say! :)

Tis called Sombreros
Jun. 30th, 2008 10:40 am (UTC)
I've been there a few times, thankfully when other people were paying (work, in other words) but not in the last few years. Put it this way, I've never been back on my own time or dime...
Jul. 5th, 2008 04:24 pm (UTC)
There's a place called Tortilla across from Angel tube that I haven't been to yet. It was recommended by someone on the american-students list at UCL, who said the owner is American, which is a reasonably good sign. The message says it is California-style Mexican food. Every time I ride by on the 19 bus I am reminded that I need to give it a try.

Oh, and if you're going to Barcelona I can recommend a place that satisfied my cravings for a while. :) It's called Itztli, and its address is St Miquel, 60. Good tortillas and salsa that actually tasted like salsa. I had a nice chat with the owners, too (since I understand Mexican Spanish more easily than Spanish Spanish that was a particular pleasure). They can also ship hard-to-find ingredients (like canned chilis) all over Spain, but they told me the shipping costs would be so high to the UK that it wouldn't be worth it.

A friend of mine who lived in Amsterdam for two or three years said the thing she missed most from the USA was Mexican food. I understand now what she meant.

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )


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