I’m undecided about Mexican food. I don’t know what ‘authentic’ Mexican is but what we’re lead to believe (from fast food joints and supermarket products) is that their cuisine is predominantly based on cheese, tomato and wraps. Which isn’t all a bad thing. I’ve never been one to turn my nose up at processed junk food; for health reasons maybe but I can readily admit there’s often a time and place in my life when nothing hits the spot as well as something meaty oozing with cheese.
And that’s basically what Montezumas is. I’ve been several times now and I usually go for one of the combination meals. As the name suggests, this is a plate with a few items on it and it’s great for the undecided.
Montezumas is a chain and each that I’ve been to is decked out in bright, primary colors and adorned with cute, ‘Mexican-themed’ décor. I personally think it makes for a great, casual party atmosphere.
The menu contains a lot of things with different names that I find hard to distinguish (taco, tostada, burrito, fajita) but the bottom line is that it’s mushy, hearty food with some kind of wrap/shell around it.
A lot of the combination meals come on piping hot plates and you are warned not to touch them because they’re hot. There’s something about human nature though… almost every time I’ve been to Montezumas, SOMEONE will no doubt touch the plate and exclaim ‘oh! That’s really hot’. Well… you were warned!
Most plates will also have a side of rice, beans (best described as bean mash) and maybe a salad.
Tostada platter with carne and chicken tostada and salad
When we went last night, I tried to be healthy and ordered a tostada plate. I didn’t know what a tostada was but Hien (who loves Montezumas and has tried a few things off the menu) assured me that it was a small serve. It ended up being a large serve and though I was told a tostada is like a wrap, my own conclusion is that Hien isn’t an authority on this at all because it was like a pile of salad on a pile of meat on a pile of beans on a hard corn circle. Impossible to wrap. I wasn’t sure how to eat it so I just fished out the meat and ate the salad. You can chose 2 variety of tostada in the platter and I went for shredded beef and chicken. The shredded beef was OK but the chicken was sooooo dry and bland. I just kept reassuring myself ‘this is probably very healthy’ but secretly wishing I had a creamy, cheesy version instead. I did like the side salad though. It was crunch, fresh and tangy.
Durango - chicken and sour cream enchilada, beef enchilada, beans and rice
Hien chose the Durango which had both a chicken and beef enchilada. He described the experience best by saying ‘mmm… now it’s time to dig into a pile of delicious mush of unidentifiable meat’. It’s not entirely fair because yes, you can tell the difference between chicken and beef but I kinda agree. I think Montezumas is a place where you can spend a while analysing the menu and deciding between minor differences of this meat/that meat, this type of wrap/that type of wrap. But at the end of the day, you get the same kind of satisfaction mixed with a sickly feeling ‘oergh too much’.
Montezumas makes for great comfort food, party food or hangover food. It doesn’t pretend to be gourmet and the individual items are quite reasonably priced. You don’t go there for subtle flavours that showcase different ingredients. You go when you’re hungry and craving large servings of hot, hearty, comforting and cheesy food.
There’s a bar there with a classic cocktail selection. What I recommend though is the sangria because I LOVE sangria and I love them more in 1L jugs.
Often I’ll regret going to Montezumas afterwards because I think ‘what HAVE I done to my waistline’ and also ‘I never want to think about cheese melting on rice ever again’ but there are those nights when nothing else will do.