Mexican Food in London
- ClaireTownsend Oct 23, 2007 03:47 PM
I moved here about a month ago from L.A, and I have been absolutely fine until now...
and now I'm desperatly craving mexican food, is there anywhere in London that I could get semi- decent mexican?
I've found absolutely nothing and had absolutely nothing recommended to me. You can find good Colombian and Brazilian fare but that's about it. Sooo... I started making my own! I had never done it before, but I managed to make tamales, pupusas (El Salvdaoran), my own large tortillas and then huaraches and quesadillas all on a series of whims over a period of two week.
I've seen this name before, plus I've actually eaten at the place so feel it's a worthy recommendation - at least from having had one meal. The Texas Embassy is just that... large place, big bar.. a bit noisy but fun. I had ribs so really can't comment on the 'Mexican' side of things. I think it's worth a try if you are Mexican-deprived. It's right off Trafalgar Square. Somehow it didn't make me feel homesick because I'm from the East Coast. :-)
I can second the Texas Embassy suggestion. I'm a Londoner born and raised but my dad is Californian, and Mexican food has always been my favourite. The Texas Embassy Cantina is fine for tex mex, it's nothing particularly special, but I've never had something there that I thought was bad. It's pretty loud, gaudy and soulless, but fun too. It was a favourite of mine growing up. There is another place on Leicester Square that is large, commercial and not bad, called (I think this is right) 'Chiquitos'. Unfortunately, because it's really not part of our culture over here, you're unlikely to find the real deal very easily; there aren't very many Mexicans in London, and there are few independent establishments in town. One plus point is that nowadays you can buy most of the ingredients that you would need to make your own in supermarkets. This was not always so; in fact, my family used to run quite the bootleg trade in hauling tortillas across the Atlantic, so it could be worse!
I can't remember where I said it, but my idea, too, was that it's so easy to make one's own tacos or fajitas. When I moved to England about 4 years ago, I was amazed to find all that El Paso stuff in the supermarkets. I do wish there was a decent salsa (I used to like Paul Newman's a lot), and I don't cook Tex-Mex but it's very easy. What I do miss a bit is real Mexican food - it's really delicious and gourmet-ish but I'll have to go elsewhere to find that again.
Avoid the Texas Embassy Cantina like the plague. I wouldn't eat here again if someone paid me to go.
Saying that, I am using the term "eat" loosely, as we were never given a meal after waiting nearly 3 hours, only to be told by our very inexperienced and extremely unhelpful waitress that the kitchen was closed. Our group was furious and demanded to speak to the manager who was equally inept at his job. How a riot wasn't started due to the amount of distressed (and rightly so) customers is beyond me. The only consolation we were given was a free beer for our troubles. Never mind the fact that we ended up having to go to McDonald's afterwards as it was the only establishment nearby that was still serving food!
Absolutely shocking. I will be telling all of my friends to steer clear of the place and to visit Crazy Homies in Nottinghill if they are looking for good Mexican in London. At least if you have to wait a long time for your food there you can sip on their potent, tasty margaritas. -
Mestizo on Hampstead Road surprised me: it was started up by a group of Mexicans, and thus offers something much more faithful to real Mexican food than the international-standard Tex-Mex one would expect. I recommend it for a proper meal. If you're looking for a quick fix, they also have a downstairs bar dishing out burritos and tacos (haven't tried these yet) from 12-4 weekdays, and £1 tacos from 6:00 on Thursdays.
I just came back from London and happened to go to Leather Lane Market (Holborn) early one day. I discovered "Daddy Donkey", a big white trailer serving Mexican food, mostly burritos. While I didn't order, I warn you the prices may shock you; burritos cost over five pounds each.
I have no personal experience but have read a number of blog entries on this. Take a look here:
There are a number of choices. How good they are, I don't know. Sacrifice yourself to some self-experimentation and report back to us!