Cinco de Mayo - An Adventure in Eating

A few weeks ago Cinco de Mayo was rapidly approaching and we still had not found a Mexican restaurant in all of middle England. But, Will was out on his bike one day and he found it:


So, I did my due diligence and checked the Trip Advisor reviews and I don't know why I ever really do this because they were like all the TA reviews - all over the place. Everything from "This is the best restaurant ever!!" to "I will never eat at this craphole again!!". Trip Advisor merely exists to confuse me and make me second guess every hotel and restaurant decision I have ever made.

Anyway, back to Chicos. I must preface by saying, we LOVE Mexican food - hands down, our favorite. Other than our friends and families, it is the thing we miss the most about America. So, with much anticipation and high hopes we're off to Chicos. Now, I understand we are nowhere near Mexico and I should have suspected there might be a problem when I realized the owner was Eastern European (merely meaning "not Mexican"), but there is no possible way this meal could have been less Mexican if it tried.

The "tortilla" chips were Doritos. DORITOS. Whaaa? As soon as they were served, Will picked one up, examined it, looked at me and said, "Do you realize what this is?" Now, in fairness, there were tortillas and meat and shredded cheese, but what is the most important part of a Mexican meal? What is the thing we rave about to our friends? Yes - it's the salsa and guacamole. It's the chips and the margaritas. At Chico's the salsa and guacamole were bland, runny and clearly straight from the shelves of Tesco. And if there is any group of persons who know less about Mexican food than the owners of Chicos, it is the people who make "Mexican" condiments for the supermarkets of Great Britain. Things were not going well. The "sour cream" was Ricotta. RICOTTA. It was all so confusing. I will not even discuss the margaritas, just suffice to say they could have been the inspiration for a game entitled "Guess The Alcohol!".

In the end, I really just wanted to help them, because if they could get their guacamole/salsa/chip thing together - if they knew that a key ingredient in a margarita was tequila - they just might have a chance. I felt like pulling the owner aside and saying, "Listen, I'm from America, which is right above Mexico. I can help you! How 'bout I bring my salsa and guacamole recipes over and perhaps, also introduce you to sour cream? Can we talk about the inappropriateness of Doritos?"

So, while I anticipate my future career as a restaurant consultant, those of you who live anywhere near a real Mexican restaurant, go and enjoy a burrito for me. Heap on the fresh salsa, toss back a tequila-based margarita and thank the Almighty for guacamole that has been made using avocados. You lucky dog.

Love to all!


amo said...

Oh! This made me laugh loudly. Doritos??! RICOTTA?! Too hilarious. Reminds me of the time we ate at a Chinese Buffet in Venice. Let me just tell you, don't fill your plate with a heaping helping of what you *think* are lo mein noodles until you verify that they are NOT indeed, tripe.


Elizabeth Skillman said...

@Amy. Ok, first I'm cracking up that you ate Chinese food in ITALY! I've had my own tripe experiences (too many in Africa I'm afraid). Nasty, nasty stuff.

amo said...

Yeah, we were walking around, starving, and bam - there was a Chinese restaurant. We had to go. Mind you, we had already been in Italy for a couple weeks, so we needed a change.