As I mentioned in my previous post about Greenwich, we decided to partake of some Mexican food after an exciting day of observing clocks at the Royal Observatory. I’ve decided that as a service to the internet community, I will always post a “review” of any Mexican restaurant I visit in London. So, today’s location is Cafe Sol in Greenwich.
First thing I noticed about Cafe Sol: Dude, where’s the chips and salsa? Yes, that’s right – NO FREE CHIPS AND SALSA. This is a MAJOR faux pas in my book. No self-respecting Mexican restaurant in the US would fail to provide its diners with complimentary chips and salsa!
As for the menu, it included a variety of “Mexican” and “Texan” food, with the Texan food consisting of steak, ribs, and BBQ hamburgers. The Mexican dishes were fajitas, tacos, burritos, enchiladas and mini-chimichangas. The appetizers were nachos, chips and salsa (still pissed off you have to pay for that!), a weird dip thing that listed hummus as an ingredient (I love hummus, but in a Mexican restaurant? I think not!), and some non-Mexican appetizers such as stuffed mushrooms, chicken wings, and “Texas” corn on the cob.
I was considering the mini-chimichangas, but noticed that they came with mushrooms and was a bit freaked out, as I couldn’t imagine mushrooms in a chimichanga. I was debating over asking for the mini-chimichangas without mushrooms, but I wasn’t sure if the food was, how shall we say this, pre-made and then heated up in an oven. Besides, I hate mushrooms, and seeing them as an ingredient totally turned me off from the chimichangas. Next, I considered the burrito, but this listed sweetcorn as an ingredient! Ewwww. I’m not a big fan of sweetcorn (especially when it is in a burrito), but apparently it is Britain’s 2nd favourite culinary vegetable, which explains why they add it to EVERYTHING!
I finally settled for the lunch special, which allowed you to choose an appetizer and certain main courses for �5.95, (a rather good price for London). I opted to have the “muchos nachos” for my appetizer and the shredded beef tacos for my main course.
Surprisingly, the “muchos nachos” were actually quite decent. They used some great cheese, included guacamole and sour cream, and provided plenty of jalapenos. The one drawback, though, was the type of chips they used. They weren’t doritos, but were damn close, as they had some weird cheese flavor. UGH! Why can’t these places just use regular tortilla chips??? Taline mentioned that they deserved an “A for effort”, but this review is going to be brutally honest and focus only on the food. I’ll admit that their nachos were some of the best I’ve had in London, but sadly, their use of these faux-Doritos knocks the nachos grade down to a B-.
As for the tacos…well…see for yourself:
LOOK AT THOSE TACO SHELLS! THEY ARE FROM A FREAKIN’ TACO KIT YOU CAN BUY AT THE GROCERY STORE! THIS IS AN ABSOLUTE DISGRACE! Seriously, it is not very hard to make your own taco shells. Even a horrible chef such as myself could do that. And notice how the taco dish is served…they don’t even make the tacos for you, they just throw some pre-made taco shells on a plate, add a bowl of meat, a handful of lettuce and cheese, and a small dollop of sour cream! Wow, thanks!
The portion sizes were horrible. As you can see, the meat came in this small bowl, and there was hardly enough sour cream for two tacos! The meat itself was not too bad, but there simply was not enough for three tacos. (Of course, they provided enough lettuce to fill six tacos, go figure!) Also, where are the beans and rice? This is a staple for every taco meal! Due to the above factors (and especially the pre-made taco shells), Cafe Sol’s tacos receive a big fat F.
Ohhh my God, I can’t wait to have some real Mexican food!
This Californian was also not impressed with the Mexican food.
Ummm what a cute mural:
I love the cactus and tablecloths with flying eyeballs.
So, if you’re looking for some excellent Mexican food, you won’t find it at Cafe Sol in Greenwich. I’m still searching, though! Taline says there is a place called “Nachos” that I must try. Looking forward to it…
[Edit: Just remembered that Gayle left a comment on my previous rant about Mexican food:
"You should try Cafe Sol on Clapham High St. Well worth the trek down to South London. The only decent Mexican in London! Beware though, it should not be confused with its sister restaurant in Greenwich, as although they are related the Greenwich one is definitely from the dodgy side of the family!"
Hahaha...yes, Greenwich was definitely dodgy! Damn, wish I had remembered this bit of advice. I'll have to give the Clapham High St. restaurant a try.]