From Mr. Crab:
Just when I was about to give up my fledgling freelance writing career, this week I landed a lucrative contract from a major travel guide publisher. The assignment: to backpack across Mexico. It's a tough job but somebody has to do it! Actually, it's not as glamorous as it sounds. I'll be responsible for visiting, exploring, researching and writing a 45-page chapter covering a 250-mile long stretch of Mexico's West Coast, including Acapulco and a city I've always wanted to visit -- Zihuatanejo! I'm actually quite nervous about the job because I've got a lot of ground to cover in only a few short weeks.
Speaking of Mexico, a new Mexican restaurant has just opened in our neighborhood. It's called "Mucho Mas" on Upper Street in Angel Islington. They serve up quite tasty burritos, tacos and salads. Another blogger described it as akin to Chipotle. That's a favorable comparison. The steak tacos are especially nice. It's good, but not great. Of course, being Mexican, I have much higher standards than most. I judge all Mexican food on my mother's cooking.
Overall, London's Mexican food scene sucks. You simply cannot find REAL Mexican food scene in this town. Most of what passes for Mexican cuisine in London -- and much of Europe -- is absolutely rubbish. We've been to some dumps that make Taco Bell look like a 3-star Michelin rated restaurant. And the majority of "Mexican" food in London is actually Tex-Mex, which is NOT the same thing. Some are just dreadful (i.e. Desperado's on Upper Street). Helpful hint: If you walk into a Mexican restaurant and you see sombreros and maracas hanging from the ceiling, paintings of banditos and Pancho Villa on the wall or waitresses wearing frilly white dresses with bandoleers, RUN AWAY.
Bottom line: If you want good Mexican food in London, you've got to make it yourself. Which is why the only Mexican place I can recommend in London is www.coolchile.co.uk. They are a vendor in London's famous foodie Borough Market, selling Mexican cooking supplies like dried chilies, tortillas, and best of all, ingredients for making mole. Mole (pronounced MOHL-eh) is Mexico's quintessential dish, though unheard of by most Brits, or even most Americans outside of the Southwest USA. It varies by region, but it's basically a thick rich sauce made of chocolate, chilies and spices and poured over turkey or chicken. Yum! If mole is not on the menu, it ain't a traditional Mexican restaurant!