...how I miss you!
Clearly, before moving to Taipei, I already knew that I would be kissing Mexican food good-bye for awhile : / But knowing a harsh truth, and actually living it out are two different things! Tonight as I was walking home after work, meandering through some of the side streets hunting for dinner, I came upon a small Mexican restaurant - "Yuma" - and I couldn't stop myself... I decided to check it out... what's the harm? Right...
Up until now, I have only gone so far as to read and study the Mexican food reviews on my favorite Taiwan blog [A Hungry Girl's Guide to Taipei], but even with a brave girl going before me... I still haven't stuck my neck out and tried any of the few - Very Few - Mexican food venues that she recommends! Even still, did this stop me? Nope!
First impression: The interior was clean, spacious and well lit, with brightly colored walls, booths, and decor... as well as Spanish music playing overhead. I would say the interior of the restaurant as a whole was more or less equivalent to a Tex-Mex place. It was almost vacant (obviously not the most popular place in town), but what else would one expect of a Mexican food restaurant in Taipei?
The Menu: The menu had most of the usual suspects - nachos, burritos, quesadillas, tacos, and fajitas... as well as burgers, chicken wings and "Texas calamari"... red flag, red flag #1! I ordered anyways. I was already there. The quesadillas (a fairly simple dish) seemed too easy to mess up (tortillas + Taiwan don't always mix), and the fajitas were out of my typical dinner alone budget. I decided to go with the nachos.
My meal: The 'Classic Nachos'.
First of all, the nachos came with a spoon - red flag, red flag #2! It might have been more accurate to call this dish "Seven Layer Dip," as it more closely resembled some seven layer dips that I have eaten in the U.S. The nachos were served in a deep dish (almost a bowl) with the chips on bottom. Average salty tortilla chips out of a grocery bag, I'm certain. Topped with refried beans - these tasted right, but were pretty sparsely spread and mixed in with.... Jalapeños. A nice thought, but the jalapeños were sliced length ways so that each piece was bigger than one bite... that's a lot of jalapeño for one dish. Topped with mushrooms. Mushrooms? Really? Red flag #3! Topped with melted string cheese, way too much of it. Topped with sour cream, very chunky salsa that bordered on pico de gallo minus the pico, and guacamole made with local avocados... a very different taste from the smooth and creamy avocados used in the US.
The conclusion: Most of the nachos were so soggy and bogged down with cheese that I wasn't truly able to enjoy them. Plus, I more or less avoided anything that touched the guacamole all together. It wasn't pretty folks. Even though, I am confident that there must be restaurants in Asia that serve Mexican food, and do a great job of it... I would have to say that this wasn't the place. In the meantime, I will look forward to eating some classic Tex-Mex during my upcoming visit to Texas!!! :)