Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Mexicali Soho

As an American living in London, I was very excited (to say the least) when I heard there was a Tex-Mex burrito shop in Soho. I’ve been (many times), and it is good. It is as close as I have experienced in London to my beloved Anna’s Taqueria in Boston, and the ubiquitous Chipotle. Mexicali's Berwick Street shop is bustling at lunchtime with their simple menu of burritos, tacos, enchiladas, and nachos.

Overall, they serve a solid steak burrito. They are hearty, filled with beans, rice, meat, guac (+50p), and sour cream (+50p).

But they do fall a bit short. It is kind of clear from the size of their tortilla steamers that their tortillas just won’t live up. The steamers only fit about 3/4ths of the tortilla in them. This means that they don’t have the amazing (almost uncanny) elasticity of a tortilla at a premium burrito shop, and are a bit dry on the edges. You also only get one choice of beans, and generally, the food doesn’t seem as fresh or home made as even the most mass-produced burrito chains (like Chipotle) in the US, where the meat is cooked on open grills right in front of you.

The burritos are a bit pricey starting at over £5, and all the extras cost, well, extra. They are served with chips and an unlimited amount of hot sauce, much appreciated by the avid burrito fan.

The casual format in Soho is much different than their restaurant format in Notting Hill (which I have not tested).

Overall, as an American in London, I am very happy to have Mexicali (Soho) in town. It is also obviously a popular joint, with a line out the door every lunchtime. When you are craving a solid burrito - filling, spicy, and nostalgic – this is the place to go in London. But burrito connoseiurs beware, don’t spend £500 on a flight to London to check out how the Brits manage to do a burrito, as it will disappoint.

Category: Dining
Expectation: Indulgent takeaway
Satisfaction: 4 out of 5

No comments: