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Feb 6, 2007 07:24 PM

Mexican in NZ/Wellington

Just read an article in the Dominion Post Indulgence section about one of the few if any real Mexican restaurants in the area: Mexico Lindo at an orgainic blueberry farm in the Akatarawas. The cook is Rosa Maria Alarcon Lara, AKA Rosita. She's the mother of the owner of the blueberry farm and the reviewer David Burton had some good words to say of the place and cook. Does anyone else have a word to say about the place?

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  1. Went there last year, when Rosita first opened her kitchen, which is the old garage next to the Blueberry Farm's cafe. Was out again a few weeks ago, as it's prime blueberry picking time again. Mexico Lindo is nothing extravagant, but you get the genuine thing in Rosita, and are treated warmly. Her food is good, although portions are not American sized. The burrito plate with rice and beans is a mighty good thing, and it is worth it to strike up a conversation with her (especially if you speak Spanish), or her son, David. There is a swimming hole, down at the river, and a few acres of you-pick blueberry bushes. It makes for a fun summer day in the country, about 30 minutes from Wellington. The farm has a nice website, with a new section about Rosita's Mexico Lindo.

    4 Replies
    1. re: holowacz

      i'm a yank on an extended stay in wellington so i'm sure i'll get a hankering for good mexican while i'm here and will definitely try the place out. thanks for the info. in the meantime, would you recommend a mexican-type place in wellington that would suffice?

      1. re: holowacz

        I have heard good things about Mexico Lindo, although I have to admit it has only been from Kiwis. I am a transplant from California to Wellington and I love the place, but through little fault of their own, Kiwis know nothing about Mexican or Latino cuisine, so I'll believe it when I see it. That said, I will definitely investigate when the weather permits again.

        In Wellington there are 3 Mexican places that I know of. One is the place in Newtown. Like it? Not so much. Seriously, take a pass on that one.

        There is also a Mexican food stall in the market on Teranaki and Wakefield. The closest to authentic but sadly not very good. Just has no flavor. Just because you are Mexican doesn't actually mean you can cook.

        Then there is The Flying Burrito Brothers on Cuba. The place looks like bad version of Chilis (which is pretty bad). However, the food is noticeably better. I wouldn't call it great Mexican food by any stretch of the imagination, but it is clearly of a higher quality than you will get any suburban Mexican themed chains in the US. If it were in California, it might even survive IF the food was about 1/10th the price (literally). I take that back, it wouldn't survive, but it wouldn't have to be that much better to survive.

        One thing most people don't realize about Mexican food is what makes it great is that it is really cheap, healthy, convenient and when prepared correctly, really really good. (Kind of like Malaysian food here.)

        So is Flying Burrito Brother good? Let's just say when you are Californian looking for a fix, you could do a lot worse. You just have to get over paying $70 per person for something that cost $7 per person at home, but on some level it seems appropriate given our longitude.

        1. re: shameless

          I'll second that, shameless. We live in Christchurch were there are 7.5 supposedly
          "mexican" restaurants. The .5 is for a place in Lyttleton (Volcano Cafe') that does
          not advertise itself as a mexican restaurant but serves standard "mexican" fare. We also have a Flying Burrito Brothers. We've given up on Mexican food here in NZ. It's very expensive, and though it may look the part it never tastes anything like we're used to from LA (or New Mexico or Texas where I also lived for a long time). The solution? We make our own. My hubbie now's got pretty much the whole menu of a good taco stand in LA worked out. We're thinking maybe we should open our own place, but ... would it even take off?

          1. re: gabyt

            Yah, folks, i'll give up on mexican here in wellington. sorta dumb on my part looking for good mexican/latino food in these parts, really. like looking for a great burger in Hong Kong, heh. (not that you can't, but besides the point). had a house party recently with a bunch of diplomat peruvians here for study and they brought some of the most scrumptious dishes i've tasted. i must look into peruvian cuisine when i get back to the states.

      2. There's a place on Cuba Street in downtown Wellington called the Flying Burrito Brothers. We went there maybe six months ago and the food was pretty good. We'd go back more often except we live in Auckland.

        2 Replies
        1. re: bettylee

          Bettylee I'm going to Wellington next week, so I'll give FBB a go!
          Have you been to Mexicali Fresh? I don't really know anything when it comes to "authentic" Mexican food, but from what I've had, it's ok for fast food Mexican?

          1. re: nerdontheloose

            (I'll preface this by saying that I'm originally from New England so I can't comment on "authentic" mexican food - but I lived in a college town and we did have quite a few good/cheap/fresh takout burrito places.)

            I've been to Mexicali Fresh a few times. I usually got a steak burrito and the chicken nachos and at first it was okay/good (good enough to satisfy my mexican cravings and I was so psyched!). The only big negatives for me at the time were that nothing was really that spicey and the atmosphere is like a cafeteria.

            But I've been back twice recently and the steak and chicken have been horrible. It's like the chef just stopped caring. The steak used to be slow cooked, shredded & flavorful and the chicken was good too - had a nice lime accent. Now the steak is tasteless and is just little tough, chewy, fatty nuggets. The chicken is also tough and flavorless. I couldn't comment on the rest of the menu and I probably won't be going there again.

            There is a new place in Parnell called Hola Mexican Restaurant (or something like that). I went there last weekend and it wasn't bad. The food is probably about the level of a mexican chain retaurant in the US, but really not bad by NZ standards. My beef burrito was good but I wouldn't get the nachos again.

        2. I heard about a place in newtown, opposite where the hospital is that's meant to be good - although I've never eaten in there and the chick was french so what would she know about food ;) (joking if you reading this Caroline!

          1. On Cuba street there is a funky little place called Fidel's. It was fun but neither Mexican or Cuban.