26 January 2008

[REVIEW] Mexicali Fresh - Nuffield St, Newmarket, Auckland

Last night I went to Mexicali Fresh in Nuffield St, Newmarket, Auckland for dinner. It wasn't my intention to write a review but had a few thoughts on reflection of my experience so figured I'd share them.

Not sure how my review format should be so will keep it simple.

Food was good, fresh, and with the "build your own" burrito/tacos (similar to Subway) you get what you like, guacamole cost extra. Service was prompt, efficient and friendly. Prices offer good value for money, $13 for a massive burrito, and you won't be hungry afterwards.

The house salsa on offer is good, even if made from canned tomatoes. The regular salsa has a great coriander flavour, and the hot "111" salsa has a nice smokiness and a decent level of heat. The great thing is you can have as much, self serve, salsa as you want. I went back for a second round with the freshly made corn chips they have.

To the side of the house salsas there are usually 4 or 5 different bottled hot sauces (I didn't get there names as I didn't plan on writing a review at the time, but I believe they are sourced from Dunedin based Mexi Foods). I tried three of them, all having nice flavour, but one Habanero (possible El Yucateco XXX Hot Habanero)sauce had a serious hot hit, I think they were all from Mexico.

Toilets were nice & clean, makes the ladies happy.

The beer was the worst part of this whole experience. I had a Tecate, and a Dos Equis, both seemed to be within Best Before date, but were majorly oxidized and generally tasted bad, they were cold though. They use to have Epic Pale Ale but stopped stocking it cause they said it had too much flavour. Hopefully they will review their beers, because the selection of Mexican beers they have suit the Mexican theme but totally let the food experience down.

We sat outside because it was a little hot inside and was a lovely warm evening and we could wait the people walk by. There were a number of people outside smoking which was not very nice while eating, but it wasn't the fault of Mexicali Fresh.

A very satisfying experience which offered good value and a great selection of hot sauces. I am going to be challenged to find another dinning experience in NZ with the variety of hot sauces on offer. Please please please get some decent beer in. If you want a local craft brewery lager then I suggest Epic Lager.

Mexicali Fresh

Disclamer: I'm owner of Epic Brewing Company, and an International Beer Judge. Good food needs good beer.