Sunday, 10 July 2011

Tex Mex Tuesday & Thursday! Santo & Desperados

This week was a double Mexican whammy...and both were a success! We began with Santo which is just around the corner from where we work on Portobello Road.  Unfortunately it was a pretty rainy afternoon when we stopped by but once inside our spirits were soon lifted.

I ordered a sparkling tropical juice, the main ingredient seemed to be Kiwi which was a pleasant and tasty surprise, and they also brought over some complimentary nachos and salsa whilst we perused the menu which is always a thumbs up for us! 

They claim to have the most amount of Mexican dishes to choose from this side of the Atlantic, and their menu was certainly alot broader than most.  We ordered some nachos with chili con carne as a starter, shown in the out of focus picture above, but it was too good not to feature! This had to be the highlight of the visit for me.  Piled high with chilli, sour cream, guacamole and refried beans...we literally finished every last crumb and both unanimously agreed they were THE best nachos ever! 

What followed was a burrito that, for me, knocks spots off any burrito Chilango can rustle up.  Even the outer tortilla appeared completely homemade and was almost pancake like in texture as it was lovely and fluffy.  Mara declared it the best Mexican she had ever eaten.

I ordered a chicken quesadilla and again was so impressed with the actual tortilla used, I literally could have eaten 10 of the things! The ingredients are fresh, inventive and most importantly delicious! Unfortunately they didn't have a dessert menu per se and only offered a few different ice cream options when we enquired about if they did do dessert so that was a bit of a let down...we all know dessert is my favourite part of the meal! but somehow that didn't dampen our spirits as we left Santo because we had been left so completely satisfied with what we had eaten! 

Thursday presented another opportunity for Mexican as I met up with some friends in Islington, and I'm of the mindset the more Mexican the better! Desperados describes itself as a Mexican Cantina & Bar and from the second I arrived I fell in love with it.

From the chilli bunch hanging on the wall...

to the table decor...

to the awesome curly straw and my non alcoholic cocktail! 

Desperados cocktail menu was as extensive as their food menu, so if Mexican and cocktail is your thing this is definitely the place to go! and there were about 6 or so non alcoholic cocktails on offer as well!

One thing we weren't too sure about was the service.  In the 10 minutes after we arrived, whilst waiting for 2 more friends to join us, we got asked by no less than 7 different waiters for our drinks orders!!  The first couple of times we were impressed by how on the ball they were, but eventually it got a bit ridiculous! and we felt they should have somehow had waiters assigned to tables to avoid this happening.

The service was quick though, and we were served our main dishes very promptly.  

Amy's steak fajitas were still sizzling away in the dish as they arrived and we were loving the huge portions! 

I had side dishes of rice, beans, guac and sour cream...along with an actual salad too! It's definitely the place to come on an empty stomach.  I went for an enchilada, and usually would always order chicken but apparently they had run out of chicken that night! so I went for beef...which turned out to be just as well because it was SO delicious and something I may just have to order again in the future! Jade also had to go for a beef burrito...after trying to order a chicken one (it had been a long day for her!)

There was a great vibe at Desperados, and it was pretty packed all night long...the people didn't stop coming which is always a good sign in my book! and it was a great place to spend the night catching up with old friends.

The nacho starter which Pip had as a main course was more than adequate and we thought pretty reasonably priced considering how much you got, check out those awesome nails as well - I couldn't resist! 

When the bill came they brought everyone little shots of one of their exotic cocktails.  The girls were all suitably impressed and if it hadn't been a 'school night' would have probably indulged in some more! 

All round, a great week of Mexican munching!

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