Mexican in Wellington

Yesterday Ticker and I went to the newly opened Mexican restaurant in Miramar, “La Boca Loca Tacqueria”.  After reading a review on the Wellingtonista, we were really excited to try the food there.

Well, boy were we disappointed.  It seems like they had taken real Mexican food, and tamed it down to suit the Kiwi masses.  While they do provide food that is a bit more authentic than places like “Arizona” (don’t even bother) and “The Flying Burritos Brothers”, and “Sweet Mother’s Kitchen”, so far, the only place we have found serving decent Mexican food is The Taqueria in the Left Bank, off Cuba Street

Our meal cost us over $40, for (not bad homemade) tortilla chips, (not exciting) guacamole ($8.50), tortilla soup (with burned bits of tortilla) ($7 x 2), slow roasted pork tacos ($9.50), chicken enchiladas ($10).

Both the mains were very disappointing, and I could make better guacamole in my sleep.  The enchiladas were under seasoned, not even remotely spicy, despite claiming the “smoked ancho chili” sauce, and “pobalano chicken”.  The whole thing was mushy, under salted, bland, and not worth $10.

Ticker’s slow-roasted pork tacos with pineapple salsa were at least somewhat better… but the pork was also under seasoned, and somewhat bland.

The one positive comment Ticker and I have is that the homemade corn tortillas and tortilla chips were quite nice.  I can never seem to get mine that thin and soft.  The chips that they made are better than I have ever had before in New Zealand, certainly better than the ones available in the supermarket.

However, the service was also somewhat lacking, and for the money, we weren’t very satisfied.  Especially me, with the terrible enchiladas!

The restaurant is new, and it seems like they are still trying to figure things out, so, maybe there is potential for them to surpass the Left Bank Tacqueria for good Mexican food in Wellington?  For now, it seems like they are quite popular, and satisfying the Kiwi’s desires for tamed-down Mexican food. So, we’re waiting to see what happens and may give them another try in a few months.

Also, I have to admit being some what of a Mexican-food snob.  Coming from Chicago, home of a million Mexican restaurants, and living in Pilsen for years, I know what to expect.  I also like cooking Mexican food, and got Diana Kennedy’s “The Essential Cuisines of Mexico” book last year, which is a fantastic resource for Mexican cooking.  Unfortunately, many of the ingredients called for are not available in Wellington.  I did, however, come across a site “http://www.mexifoods.co.nz/“, where you can order stuff like masa flour, mole sauce, tinned chipotle peppers, etc.  But I still can’t find a source for queso fresco!

I have had a lot of success making pumpkin & cottage cheese enchiladas, with a nice chipotle tomato sauce.  I also do my standard lentil or black bean burritos with refried beans with mexican rice and salsa fresca on a regular basis, which I would say are truly the best in town!

Also, recently, the Pak N Save in Kilbirnie started carrying my favourite Buffalo chiptle sauce, and Herdez Salsa Verde!!!!!  So, that is really exciting.  Unfortunately the problem still remains of decent tortilla chips… even Tostidos are better than that shi* they sell here!  I guess I’ll have to order the 2kgs of masa and try making my own again….

After that disappointing meal yesterday, Ticker and I are heading to the Left Bank Tacqueria today, in search of real Mexican food!

** UPDATE:  We tried to go to the Tacqueria… and it was closed!  How unfortunate that the best Mexican food in Wellington is also woefully undependable and inconsistent with their opening hours!  Of the 5 times I have tired to go there, they have only actually been open once!  And on the door the opening hours are listed as “Midday ’till late”… as if that wasn’t intentionally vague.

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2 thoughts on “Mexican in Wellington

  1. Nicole – you’re so “global economy” with this rant :)

    There is no decent Mexican food in the middle east either. Luckily Michigan has a big migrant population because of all the agriculture, so I will eat it every day when I go home for my summer holiday.

  2. Have you tried the restaurant in the Sandwiches Bar on Kent Tce? It’s called something something Muertos I dunno and they apparently have Mexican chefs. They also neglect to mention anything about the ‘heat’ of a dish so it took me a while to recover. I MAKE NO PROMISES.

    (remember though that NZ is not filled to the brim with Mexicans so demand for those specialist ingredients is probably uneconomical – supplying hard to find ingredients is hardly a public service)

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