Mexican food in London

I was out with some friends the other night and one of guys suggested we go to Mexican restaurant; he was saying it is fantastic. So, we all piled up to Angel to check this place out.

I was wondering if it was a place I went to a few months before. Sure, enough it was. I grew up in Canada and the UK so I am not really an expert on Mexican food but I have been to Los Angeles and I have many knowledgeable American friends who know what Mexican food can be about and I have asked them what the real deal is.

I love Nachos they are one my favourite ‘treat foods’. I even do make my own salsa and guacamole. I have made relatively simple dishes like quesidillas and so on.

Anyway, back to the story; the place we went to was ok and I had been there two times now; not bad but nothing special I thought. I had a look over the menu to see if they had anything different; it was the usual tacos, chimichangas and fajitas etc… they do make really good hamburgers. I was in the mood for something different and ordered the BBQ pork chops; they were too dry for my liking. And the what was humorous to me was the guys who run the place are all Cypriot and pretend to be Mexican by adopting names like Roberto Carlos. Roberto is quite a lively chap I will say and the atmosphere was quite energised. I am really crap in that I don’t remember the name of the place but it is past the cinema on Upper street. The have done considerable work on the decor; it is very colourful inside.

In contrast, last year I was in Buenos Aires, Argentina and just down the road from where I was staying was a Mexican restaurant. This place had dishes I had never seen in other places. They had dishes made with mole sauce. Mole is a sauce made with chocolate; I liked it so much. In the three weeks, I was in Buenos Aires, I went back to the place three times.

Why can’t these restaurants in London avoid just being a clone of other places and their ‘standardised’ Mexican food?

And the U.K. has become a bit of a nation of foodies. I have seen some really good cooking shows about Mexican food on the telly here. Like when the two hairy bikers where travelling thru Mexico on the BBC.

Hairy Bikers web-site

I am hopefully not the only person who craves better Mexican food in London. There are some good places like Cafe Pacifico in Covent Garden; I have eaten there quite a few times since I have been in the big Smoke.

I have had heard about a place called the Green and Red Cantina in Bethnal Green; it is on my list of places to check out.

Anyone from Vancouver reading this – how about Steamrollers the fresh burrito restaurant chain. I went there a couple of times when I was in Vancouver. I would love it someone opened one in London.

5 Comments so far

  1. Sol Flamberg (unregistered) on October 1st, 2006 @ 6:05 am

    For great Mexican Groceries & Food here in the UK look no further than http://www.mexgrocer.co.uk

    Tomatillos, Masa Harina, Chiles, Tajin all you need for your mexican cooking


  2. Flora (unregistered) on October 2nd, 2006 @ 11:56 am

    There’s quite a good run of comments about Mexican in London on this blog entry: http://www.gyford.com/phil/writing/2003/01/14/londons_lack_of.php

    They mention Mercado, which has just opened in Stoke Newington: http://www.mercado-cantina.co.uk/

    I’ve eaten there and it was really fantastic. Totally un-cliche food. Not exactly Mexican street food or Tex-mex, but a chef’s genuine and creative use of Mexican ingredients–treating Mexican as genuine cuisine rather than a set of unchanging and interchangeable dishes.

    Yum, Steamrollers! Not very Mexican though.


  3. Krista (unregistered) on October 7th, 2006 @ 6:20 pm

    Try Crazy Homies in Westbourne Grove for American Mexican.
    Try Cafe El Paso on Old Street for dirty bar Mexican.
    Try Green & Red on Bethnal Green Road for very authentic Mexican–note it’s not the place for you if you want a burrito (go to Crazy Homies).
    Try Metizo (sp?) in Hampstead for where Mexicans in London get their fix.


  4. Grant(Panzon)Winters (unregistered) on October 14th, 2006 @ 3:03 pm

    Hello Majit
    Come down to Brixton to the Dogstar… I have a kitchen there, it’s called EL PANZON.
    We do Mole, Enchiladas, Chicharron, Chimichangas and a wide selection of Tacos and Burritos to choose from…
    We are open 7 days a week.
    Monday to Friday 5:30pm – 10:30pm
    Saturday 12:00noon – 10:30pm
    Sunday 12:00noon – 8:30pm
    At the weekend we serve a late breakfast/brunch 12-5pm
    On Sunday we serve a Latin Roast from 12:30 till it’s all gone…
    ADDRESS: EL PANZON @ The Dogstar
    389 Coldharbour Lane
    Brixton
    London SW9 8LQ
    Tel: 020 7924 9888
    Nearest Tube: Brixton… 3min walk


  5. Grant(Panzon)Winters (unregistered) on October 14th, 2006 @ 3:04 pm

    Hello Majit
    Come down to Brixton to the Dogstar… I have a kitchen there, it’s called EL PANZON.
    We do Mole, Enchiladas, Chicharron, Chimichangas and a wide selection of Tacos and Burritos to choose from…
    We are open 7 days a week.
    Monday to Friday 5:30pm – 10:30pm
    Saturday 12:00noon – 10:30pm
    Sunday 12:00noon – 8:30pm
    At the weekend we serve a late breakfast/brunch 12-5pm
    On Sunday we serve a Latin Roast from 12:30 till it’s all gone…
    ADDRESS: EL PANZON @ The Dogstar
    389 Coldharbour Lane
    Brixton
    London SW9 8LQ
    Tel: 020 7924 9888
    Nearest Tube: Brixton… 3min walk



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