Mesa Verde

There’s a lot of good stuff sprawled across the floors of Curtain House, and Mesa Verde is one of them. The drinks menu here is endless; it’s a no brainer then for the restaurant to be a popular choice for after work drinks, but we were here for the food.

Mesa Verde appears to have had a menu change since I’ve visited a couple of months ago, apologies in advance if you see something that you particularly fancy that isn’t on the current menu!

Tortilla Chips – $12.00

The house made tortilla chips is much better than the supermarket variety, with some added thickness that ensured it wouldn’t crack even when you’re scooping up an obscene amount of guacamole with it. Speaking of, the guacamole was creamy with a zing, and there was more than enough to go around with the chips.

Salmon Tostada – $7.00

Tostadas are great, first of all, it’s just a fun word that rolls off your tongue, and secondly, it’s essentially a crunchy taco, need I say more? The tostadas at Mesa Verde were topped off with the creamiest avocado, that had a mousse-like consistency, which went really well with the plump and fresh slices of salmon. Although this was messy to eat, the flavours meant that it was worth it.

Charred Corn – $8.00

I love charred corns, especially when they’re smothered in morita mayo and cotiya cheese, all lightened up with a squeeze of lime. Again, messy to eat, but well worth it.

School Prawns – $9.00

The school prawns were coated in an addictive layer of spicy seasoning, and would have definitely went well with a margarita. The pickled green chilli hiding behind the prawns had more than just a kick to it, so eat at your own risk.

Pork Taco – $7.00

To finish things off, we shared a couple of tacos. First up was the pork taco. the shredded pork lacked the oomph that I was looking for, but the chilli salsa did help it out, and the pickled radish gave it some texture.

Baja Fish Taco – $7.00

The baja fish taco was my pick of the night, although it took a ridiculous amount of time to pick off all the corianders. The fish itself was cooked in a light batter, and was perfectly tender inside. The herb aioli was quite mild, I think I would’ve preferred the smoke marita mayo here instead.

Given that drinks takes centre stage at Mesa Verde, it was nice to see that the restaurant did not neglect the food either. The bill does add up with tacos here and charred corns there, but it did have a groovy vibe (is this still a thing? asking for a friend), and I can certainly see myself returning and trying out some of the drinks.

How to get here:
Mesa Verde is located on the 6th floor of Curtain, on Swanston Street, just a short five minutes walk from Melbourne Central.

Mesa Verde Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Taco Bill

Taco Bill is a Mexican restaurant chain that has been around for a long long time. I always saw the storefront near my local station, and finally decided to pay it a visit on a Monday night.

Incidentally, Taco Hill have a deal of half price mains on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday night, so we went ahead and grabbed an entree and a main each to share.

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Chile Nachos – $19.00

The chile nachos were one of the specials on the night, it was essentially your standard nachos with the addition of chilli con carne. The nachos were pretty tasty, with the classic combination of salsa, sour cream and guacamole, and plenty of cheese. In fact, the cheese meant that the corn chips were stuck together, making it a bit difficult to eat at times.

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Enchilada Nuevo Mexico – $22.00

The new Mexican style enchilada consisted of three corn tortillas stacked together, with beef, onion and cheese stacked inbetween, topped with more cheese, an egg, and mild chili sauce. On the side were some Mexican rice and frijoles, i.e. Mexican beans, and a beef taco. The serving of this dish was quite impressive, however, the flavours were lacking. The tortillas were soggy, and thew beef mixture just kind of tasted like beef stewed in a mix of store bought salsa and tomato sauce. Although this filled me up, I wasn’t very satisfied.

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Chicken Quesadilla – $18.00

My friend chose the chicken quesadilla, and unfortunately, this was a bit of a let down. The texure of the chicken was reminiscent of canned tuna, and it was rather dry and stringy.

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I didn’t have high expectations going into Taco Bill, and it was actually an alright experience overall. Although the food was not very authentic, the service was very friendly, and the dining space was welcoming. With the half price on mains three nights a week, I can see myself returning here for a weeknight meal when I don’t feel like venturing far from home.

How to get here:
The Blackburn Taco Bill is located on Railway Road, a short 5 minutes walk from Blackburn station.

Taco Bill Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Mi Corazon

I don’t have a whole lot of experience with Mexican food, sure, I’ve had my fair share of Salsa’s, but I’m talking about proper Mexican food here. Mi Corazon seemed pretty legit on first impressions alone, the funky tequila bar was decked out in lights, and the whole place just seemed like where the cool kids would hang on a Friday night.

Left: Coconut Margarita – $18.00
Right: Classic Margarita – $16.00

Because of the impressive bar, I was lured into ordering a coconut margarita, and my friend had a classic margarita. The coconut flavour was very distinct, and the overall effect was a creamy and sweet drink, which went down a treat. The classic margarita, on the other hand, was a lot more punchy in flavour.

Corn Chips w/ Guacamole and Salsa – $12.00

Starting things off, we had the corn chips with guacamole and salsa. The corn chips were thicker and crunchier than the Dorito kind, the guacamole was creamy and light, and the salsa offered a more acidic alternative to get your appetite going.

Elote (2 pcs) – $6.00

Grilled corn is another must, and Mi Corazon’s version had a light layer of parmesan and paprika powder, a great addition to the juicy corn kernels. If only the corn was grilled a tad more, this would’ve been perfect.

Chicken Wings – $12.00

I really didn’t expect much from the chicken wings, sure, they’re going to be tasty, but nothing ground-breaking. But I was wrong. The chicken wing was coated in a jalapeno pesto-esque paste, and it was spicy, to say the least. It was a great kind of spicy though, the kind that you just can’t put down, even though it means sculling a whole glass of water after.

Soft Shell Crab Tacos (2 pcs) – $15.00

Soft shell crab never disappoints, especially when it’s wrapped up in soft and warm tortillas. The batter was light and crunchy, and the sour shreds of coleslaw complemented the soft shell crab perfectly. The guacamole on the side was a bit confusing though, was I supposed to dip the whole taco into it, or spread it on top?

Pescado Tacos (2 pcs) – $12.00

The fish tacos were equally delicious. The fish were grilled lightly, and remained juicy and succulent. The crunchy coleslaw created an interesting counterpart to the softness of the fish. And the confusing guacamole makes another appearance.

Compachanos Tacos – $12.00

We went for one of the meatier taco options too, with both beef and chorizo thrown into the mix. I gave this a pass since I’m not a fan of coriander, but it was well-received around the table.

Pollo Quesadilla – $15.00Β 

The shredded chicken quesadilla were cheesy and soft, I wish there was more filling though!

Marinated Pork Quesadilla – $15.00

The marinated pork was punchier in flavour compared to the chicken, thanks to the orange and pineapple juice marinade, as well as the added garlic and onion.

Mi Corazon serves up a range of great tasting Mexican dishes. Although nothing innovative, it is a place where you can nibble on some corn chips while sipping on margaritas for hours on end, and sometimes that’s all you need.

How to get there:
Catch tram #1 or #8 and get off at Stop #126, Stewart St/Lygon St, and the restaurant is 50 metres away.

Mi Corazon Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Fonda

All the horrible myths you’ve heard about law school is true, hence the lack of posts for the last month, I never thought I was all that bad at time management, but that’s before law entered into my life. But that’s for another post, today’s one is going to be a long awaited restaurant review.

Fonda is a Mexican restaurant, its interior does not scream Mexican at all though. It’s got the industrial vibe going on with the use of pipes, and the yellow and black stripe which is reminiscent of those DANGER tapes that are thrown around construction site. However, there is also splashes of pastel colours throughout the restaurant. The high ceilings ensured that the place was filled with light, and overall, it felt inviting and spacious.

Tortilla Crisps – $9.00

Being at a Mexican restaurant, we opted for the tortilla crisps over the chips, since you know, traditions.

Guacamole
Salsa
The two accompanying dips were both quite refreshing, though nothing extraordinary. The tortilla crisps were great though, they were thicker than your Dorito’s kind, and the crunch was on point. The blurple chips tasted the same as the yellow one, to my disappointment, but hey, that doesn’t take away from the novelty.Β 
Left: Horchata – $6.00
Right: Watermelon and Strawberry – $6.00

This was my first time trying a Horchata, and I gotta say, it’s pretty awesome! It’s a traditional Mexican drink made with evaporated milk, rice water, cinnamon and vanilla. The cinnamon flavour was quite prominent, and if you love cinnamon, then you’ll love this. The closest thing I can think of is a cinnamon flavoured milk tea, which I’m pretty sure isn’t a thing.

The watermelon and strawberry was pretty standard in comparison. Don’t get me wrong, it was still nice and perfect for a warm Summer night. Watermelon and strawberry is such a classic combination, and both fruits could be tasted in this drink, which is always nice.

Chopped Beef Burrito – $15.00

Moving onto the more substantial offerings of the night, we decided to share a couple of things to test out the menu. First off, we got the chopped beef burrito. Fonda takes a lighter approach with their burritos, filling it with toasted quinoa and black beans, rather than rice, the usual carb of choice. This is probably the best burrito I’ve had, the beef had so much flavour, and were perfectly pink in the middle, which means that it was nice and juicy. The salsa added some nice acidity to the burrito, and the chipotle aioli tied the whole thing together. Seriously, less calories and delicious, what more could you ask for?

Mexico City Pork Taco – $7.00

The tacos were equally as delicious, the pulled pork was tender and flavoursome, and the pomegranate added some sweetness and texture to it.

Chicken Adobo – $7.00

The chicken adobo was a lot more punchy in flavour, with ancho chilies, chipotle aioli and pico de gallo thrown into the mix. The charred corn did cool the heat down a little, and overall, it was a delightful combination.

After visiting Fonda, I completely get why people are always raving about it, and how quickly they managed the expand their Mexican affair. Mexican food that doesn’t leave you feeling greasy afterwards? I’m always down for that.

How to get there:
I went to the Hawthorn location of Fonda, which is on Glenferrie Road, a short five minutes walk from Glenferrie station. Other locations include Windsor, CBD, Richmond, and Knox City.

Fonda Mexican Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Trippy Taco

I used to always get Smith Street and Brunswick Street confused, the thing is, they just both have a bajillion restaurant on them and it’s hard to remember what’s where! One time, my friends and I were on Brunswick Street, and we literally walked for half an hour trying to find Trippy Taco, because we kept on thinking it was on the next corner, super sad story I know 😦 A year later, I finally got over that traumatising experience and found it with the help of good ol’ Google Map!
Mixed Taco Meal (1 Beans and 1 Tofu) – $13.50

Excuse the crappy quality of these photos, it’s hard to take good photos with the florescent orange lighting 😦 Anyway, back to what’s important, the food! My friend went for the taco meal, and she loved it! It was sooooo messy to eat though, literally the second she picked the taco up, everything just fell out haha. But the filling was delicious, and the salad was amped up with the ample amount of avocado and a squeeze of lime juice, everything was just really light and fresh!

Tofu Asada Burrito – $12.00

Omg I can’t even look at this photo, it’s just so ugly… But the char-grilled tofu was the bomb dot com! Is that not cool to say anymore? Back in 2010? Oh well. The filling was pretty much the same as the tofu taco, but because it was all wrapped up in a soft flour tortilla, it was a lot easier to eat! The smokiness of the tofu really came through, and definitely paired well with the fresh salad.

Trippy Fries – $6.50

Apparently you can’t visit Trippy Taco without ordering a basket of their fries, and who am I to say no to that? The thin French fries was really crispy, and the seasoning on top kind of reminded me of the seasoning they use for the Mexicrinkles at Salsa’s, but a more subdued version.

Service is pretty minimal here, you have to find your own table, and order at the counter. Trippy Taco is popular amongst a variety of people, which is always nice to see. If you’re craving a Mexican meal, but is watching out for your calories, then Trippy Taco’s lighter take on some of the Mexican classics is right up your alley!

How to get here:
Trippy Taco is located on Gertrude Street, catch tram 86 and get off at stop #15, Smith St/Gertrude St, and it’s one minute walk away from the tram stop.

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