Saturday, 31 July 2010

Goodbye Tex-Mex, hello Mex!

photo credit: hodgers
Mexican restaurants are cropping up all across the UK, not just in London. While I can't comment on the quality of the food that these places are serving, I have spent some time looking at their websites and many of the menus appear to be serving some pretty decent stuff. Does this show an increased demand for more 'authentic' and less Tex-Mex cuisine among us Brits?

One place which caught my eye this week is Amigos Mexican Kitchen in Stafford. Not a very grand place but quite a few favourable reviews have been popping up across the net and it's even made it to the South Yorkshire paper. It's definitely worth keeping an eye on what's happening across the country as more and more places like this keep opening up.

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Jennifer Aniston and her love of all things Mexican (well, food related)

Mexican food is very popular among the rich and famous, the cuisine of choice for many of the US presidents (Bill Clinton, George Bush, the Obamas). Jennifer Aniston is also a big fan, and recently commented that she would choose "chips and guacamole, quesadillas, enchiladas and a big tostada salad – and nachos!” for her final meal.

However, in a recent interview with Stylist magazine, she also commented upon her disappointment about the lack of good Mexican restaurants in the UK. “I’ve said this before but you British guys have really gotta work on your Mexican restaurants. You really do. You gotta get homemade tortillas and home-fry those things.”

While I know we are far behind the USA, I'd be intrigued to know which of the country's establishments Ms Aniston has tried. Did anyone see her at Wahaca last week?!

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Mexgrocer goes from strength to strength

It's just over a month or so until Mexican Independence Day (16th September) which also marks the first anniversary of the internet food specialist, Mexgrocer.co.uk.

The last year has seen continuous growth for this business which fills a niche in the market for authentic Mexican goods in the UK.

It's not only the UK that's seeing a growing demand for Mexican food. "Over the last 12 months we have had over 3 million visitors from every country in Europe" says Sol Flamberg, co-owner.

Having used the site several times to order goods, I've always been impressed by the efficiency and quality of the goods on offer and it's great to be able to get what you need all in one place to cook proper Mexican food. I just wish I'd thought of it first!

Monday, 5 July 2010

London's Mexican Wave

After spending four months Stateside, I come home to find a number of Mexican eateries have sprung up across London. Although I haven't yet had a chance to sample any of the below, it's exciting times for Mexican food in London.
The newest addition to the scene which (for me) is the most interesting, is Cantina Laredo, a place I am familiar with from the USA. It's a more upmarket restaurant and the menu looks great as well as not being too badly priced. While the group's first UK joint (many more are planned) has only been open a couple of weeks, the early reviews are positive and I cannot wait to try it out....especially before the prices go up, which often seems to happen when places take off. Become a fan of the group on Facebook!
Cantina Laredo, 10 Upper St Martin's Lane, St Martin's Courtyard, WC2H 9FB


At the other end of the spectrum, I see that the humble burrito continues to go from strength to strength. Benito's Hat are opening a second outlet in Covent Garden. For further details, see this link or my map of places to eat (at the bottom of this blog).
Benito's Hat, 56 Goodge Street & New Street (coming soon)

The most long-awaited burrito place in London this year must be the ubiquitous US-based Chipotle on Charing Cross Road. Since opening in May, it's had rather mixed reviews but that's unsurprising considering all the hype. It certainly isn't the cheapest burrito around, but it might just be the most eco-friendly judging by the company's ethos.
Chipotle, 114 Charing Cross Road, WC2H 0JR

And last but not least, TACO BELL is making a comeback in Britain; yes, you no longer need to be Air Force personnel to visit one on British soil*. Considering the above, it's no surprise that the US fast food giant is getting back in the scene, with its first outlet in the food court at Lakeside Shopping Centre. I see they've gone for a classy location then.
Taco Bell, Food Court Level 3, Lakeside, West Thurrock, RM20 2ZP


*the only Taco Bells left in the UK since the early 1990s are at RAF Mildenhall and RAF Lakenheath.