Friday, May 10, 2013

Dinner at Cactus Mexicana

Cactus Mexicana

After our 'appetizers' at Green Beacon Brewing Co, Marc and I (the pigs that we are) needed something more substantial to fill our guts. We were both in the mood for pizza and I was eager to revist Beccofino but that place was so busy that there wasn't even anyone spare to tell us they were full. We took the impatient route and hopped across the road to Cactus Mexicana. Marc seemed hesitant in suggesting this place. Perhaps he thinks the 'food blogger' is too snobbish for sloppy Mexican food. To that I can only say: nahhhhh.

Cactus Mexicana has an unexciting fitout with tables indoors and a generous outdoor sitting area that looked slightly more lively. We opted for the latter. As we were walking to our table, several posters caught my eye advertising restaurant specials. Unfortunately, none of the many specials applied to the time/day that we were there. Why is that always the case!?

There is a fairly sizeable drinks menu with beers and cheap cocktails, typical to this style of venue. I didn't notice sangria on the menu but it was listed as one of the specials that we weren't entitled to at that time. Marc went for a Spanish beer and I chose an El Diablo cocktail. The backstory to this is that I thought I was all clever in spotting 'Diablo' cocktails thinking they were named after the popular game. Marc had to wake me up to the fact that 'diablo' was just their word for The Devil so I was being rediculously geeky in thinking everything referred to computer games. To recover from that blunder, I figured I'd just drink the damn thing. It wasn't bad! It tasted strong but drinkable.

Beef fajita wrap

The food menu contains all the typical tex mex favorites. There were the varieties of wraps (burritos, tacos, fajitas, enchiladas, quesadillas etc) that I can never remember the difference between. Marc went for a beef fajita. It came as a DIY wrapping station with the beef on a sizzling hot plate.

Rest of the fajita meal

Other components of the fajita included cheese, fresh lettuce, salsa, sour cream and guacamole. Marc thought these were alright but not disimilar to what he would make himself out of an Old El Paso kit.

Nachos - layers of corn chips and cheese baked crispy with mild salsa, sour cream and guacamole

Our prior intake from Green Beacon did have some impact for me so I wasn't prepared for an entire meal for myself. I settled for an order of plain nachos (without the addition of mince or chicken) to share with Marc. I enjoyed these way more than I expected to. I hadn't ordered nachos out in so long that I'd forgotton their appeal. Piping hot, crunchy corn chips drenched in chewy molten cheese and smooshed with guac, salsa and sour cream is not to be underestimated. It is pure enjoyment. I didn't care that all the components tasted jar-quality and not in the slightest homemade. All together, it was far from gourmet but still finger-licking tasty. I queried how the chips stayed unsoggy despite the abundance of watery toppings and deduced that cheese must act as a waterproofer. I'm pretty sure that my heavy intake in corn chips in recent weeks can be traced back to this exact moment in time.

Ok, so Cactus Mexicana is just another one of 'those' cheapish, inauthentic Mexican restaurants. I like that it doesn't try to be anything else and although our food wasn't remarkable, it was edible, filling and generally quite tasty. It's easier than cooking/cleaning at home in any case. I do have to take issue with something here, and this is very bizarre, but throughout our dining experience, the staff only ever addressed Marc. "Sir how was your meal" "Sir is everything alright". It was like I didn't exist. I went to pay but only sir was acknowledged so I let him pay instead. I suppose that is one advantage to sexist treatment...
Cactus Mexicana on Urbanspoon

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