Let me preface this review with the following:
1) Born and raised in the American Southwest, where Mexican influence reigns supreme in the Grand Canyon State, I was spoilt for choice with an abundance of mouth-watering and tantalising flavours of real Mexican cuisine. I have extremely high standards.
2) I am open-minded; however, I prefer dining in independent local restaurants versus faceless chain restaurants. I will try anything once, as long as it doesn’t kill me.
3) Every Mexican restaurant I have been to in this fair country, which claims to be authentic or original, has been utterly disappointing; even a joke at times.
During an outing with a couple of friends, they suggested Chiquito in Springfield Quay. Alarm bells were ringing after stepping into this “Original” Mexican Grill and Bar. After perusing the menu of “Authentic” Mexican food, I tried my hardest not to whinge. Burgers, ribs, pasta and fish & chips?! Cajun, jambalaya, pesto and hoisin sauce?! Seriously, in a Mexican restaurant claiming to be original and authentic?
After critiquing the menu, I reluctantly ordered the spicy chicken burrito, and my boyfriend had the Cajun beef chimichangas.
Served in a terra cotta bowl, my spicy chicken burrito was hot out of the oven. As my knife sliced through the oven-crisp flour tortilla, steam escaped out of the burrito. After a few bites, I concluded the following:
- Chicken was a dry and bland
- Chicken and salsa lacked kick and flavour
I sampled the boyfriend’s hefty serving of Cajun beef chimichangas. As they say, things taste better when they are fried! It is rumoured to have been first created in my home state, by accidentally dropping a burrito into a deep fryer. Chiquito’s attempt of the chimichanga is noted, because of the nice flaky tortilla. However, after a forkful of the “Cajun” beef, I was underwhelmed by the flavour and dry slow-cooked meat. The Cajun flavour was nowhere near to the Louisiana cuisine I have enjoyed. It lacked the flavour of the holy trinity (bell pepper, onion and celery) and hints of bay leaf, parsley, green onions and cayenne pepper. I was disappointed in this Cajun-Mexican fusion.
Overall, the food was mediocre and underwhelming. However, Britons and locals seem to enjoy it (they are a national chain after all). Though I cannot call myself a Chiquito fan, it might be suitable for those who are unfamiliar with the true intoxicating flavours of Mexican cuisine. The service was pleasant and efficient, no complaints there. Lastly, the price; let’s put it this way: the uninspiring chicken burrito cost £10, whereas in Arizona you can easily get a burrito of better (authentic) quality and taste WITH sides of rice and beans for under £4. Mexican cuisine is very down-to-earth, incorporating inexpensive ingredients, but result is fantastic flavours that make my mouth and tummy sing. Therefore, I find it hard to pay double or triple the prices back in Arizona. Glasgow (or the UK for that matter) is definitely no cradle for Mexican delicacies. So when I’m in dire need of Mexican, I will stick to making it myself compliments of my trusty tortilla press and spices shipped over from little Mexico.
Telephone: 0141 420 4050