I love Mexican food. Even the "Mexican" that would have a Mexican person saying "Oh you English make such strange food". The doubtless inauthentic combinations of mince, beans, tomatoes, cheese, sour cream and avocado are so tasty that I don't really care if it is not quite how the Olmecs would have done it.
Last night it was rainy and miserable and perfect for seeing a film. We'd been told about a multiplex not too far from us that had a cheesy Mexican joint as part of the complex, which sounded just perfect.
We were really lucky with our timing. We were seated in a nice booth at 6.45, but within about 15 minutes the place was heaving with people being asked to wait in the bar with electronic beepers to alert them when a table was ready. The loud (and very infectious) soundtrack was a bit odd in a half-empty restaurant, but when it had filled up it gave a real party atmosphere. I had a bottle of Magners cider, but I think that on another occasion I would insist on a jug of Lynchburg Lemonade (Jack Daniels, triple sec and lemonade) and skip the movie.
We started with a favourite - green chillis stuffed with cream cheese, crumbed and fried. In a perfect world these are filled with goats cheese, or something a bit more flavourful, but these were excellent. Not at all greasy, very crisp and nicely filled with extremely hot cheese. A sweet chilli jelly for dipping them in was a good accompaniment.
I had quite a hard time choosing my main course. I was very tempted by the ribs and the bison burger, but I settled on prime steak fajitas. My husband had single-mindedly pursued enchiladas, but was thwarted. In his opinion enchiladas must be beef, and he couldn't be pursuaded by the chicken ones, so he had a burrito instead.
My fajitas were impressively presented, on a wooden board with built-in sizzling plate and terracotta tortilla dish (don't know how our perky, pint-size waitress managed to carry it - it was twice her size) but the sizzle didn't really add flavour to the meat, which looked like it had been cooked and sliced and then just put on top of the onions and peppers. It was a reasonable effort - the tortillas were very good and the meat was quite nice, but I do like the slightly sticky, smokey sauce that usually coats the meat, which was missing in this case.
I think my husband liked his burrito. He certainly went very quiet and ate very quickly.
The restaurant was so busy by this stage that my husband suggested that we order dessert to prevent them kicking us out too long before the movie. We shared a banana taquito - banana wrapped in a cinnamon tortilla, fried and served with icecream and caramel sauce. You certainly wouldn't want to eat one by yourself: it was a generous portion.
By the time we'd finished, managed to get the bill and pay, it was the perfect time to stroll into the cinema. A very good night out.