Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Carlos and Pepe's Mexican Restaurant - Go if you must

Location : 1420 Rue Peel, Downtown Montreal
Damages : Inexpensive - $9 per plate (average)
Food : Strictly average
Ambience : Casual
Service : Great
I judge Mexican restaurants by a simple standard - their guacamole and salsa should be better than my homemade one. And based on that, this restaurant lost by leaps and bounds. Which is sad. Let me tell you why..
Carlos and Pepe's has the advantage of being a stones throw away from Rue St. Catherine. It also has the most pretty seating arrangements, with table placed by its huge glass walls facing the streets and small booths in little corners of the restaurant. Its servers are warm, friendly and smiley.
As soon as you enter a small basket of heavenly spiced tortilla chips are placed in front of you with a small dipping bowl of a unique salsa and barbeque sauce combination. And a little bit into that basket, the server will get you a warm mug of vegetarian soup, on the house. So far, so amazing.
But the main order is where things go downhill. All dishes don't come with guacamole, and I know I'm complaining just because I am a crazy avocado lover but hey.. chili with guac, quesadillas with guac.. always taste awesome. Anyway, we went for the fajita (which did have guac accompanying it) and a veggie chili platter (no guac).
The food came fast enough, but boy, did it disappoint us. The veggie chili platter was a bed of rice, which barely visible beans on it smothered with cheddar cheese. The Salas served on the side had less than sufficient dressing and Ashwin refused to touch it at all.
The fajita was served on a Sizzler platter, with four tiny plastic containers filled with a sparse helping of cold refried beans, salsa, discolored and over salted guacamole and sour cream. They also gave us a bamboo basket with soft tortillas with it. All the veggies in the fajita were not seasoned. Some tasted just of oil. The condiments in the tiny container were just vile and the soft tortillas tried their best to bring the dish together but failed against the rest of the component's conspiracy.
We left both the dishes not even having eaten them halfway. The desert menu was like any normal restaurant's but so disgruntled were we that we refrained.
The drinks menu showed an impressive range of margaritas and martinis but since it was a workday lunch, again, we refrained.
Both our verdict at the end of the meal was that even though the quality of the entrees left a lot to be desired, having tortilla chips with salsa and some margaritas here after movie wouldn't be a bad idea.

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