Review: Montezuma’s Mesa (Crows Nest)

On the second day of October we had already been to two birthday celebrations. The first one was Sergio’s and the second one Rale’s. This year Rale decided to celebrate once again close to his house, in Crows Nest, this time in Montezuma’s Mesa. It’s not hard to guess it’s a Mexican restaurant, actually a franchise with several locations in QLD, NSW, SA and VIC.

The place is very Mexican: lots of decorations fill the walls and hang from the ceiling. Everything is very colourful and cheerful.

Wall decoration

Decorations

Sombrero and poncho

Chili decorations

There were even piñatas!

Piñata

Funny thing, everything was super Mexican except from the staff. The serviettes have the franchise’s logo printed on, and the salt and pepper shakers are Corona bottles with lids.

Serviettes and candle

Salt and pepper

Even when I checked the menu online I had a hard time choosing what to order. Maybe if they offered only the “simple” dishes (tacos, burritos, tostadas, nachos, chilli con carne, albondigas, mole poblano, etc) it would be a bit easier, but they also offer a huge number of combinations that make you wonder if you’re making the right choice or not.

Ana (Rale’s wife) had told us that the place was BYO, but it was not. Luckily I didn’t bring any wine (I’ve been sick for a week). The restaurant has a bar that offers beers (local and Mexican), cocktails (not only margaritas, but also piña coladas and other non-Mexican ones), mocktails and soft drinks. Alvaro ordered a strawberries and cream mocktail ($6.95) and I a bottle of non-chilled sparkling water ($3.50).

Strawberries and cream mocktail

As for the food, we settled with the tamale pie (a tasty mixture of pure ground beef, sultanas, olives, sweet corn, Mexican spices, herbs, topped with cheese, served with Spanish rice and salad, $15.95) and the “Baja” combination (chicken and sour cream enchilada, cheese enchilada, rice and salad, $19.95).

The tamale pie was not what we expected. We thought it would be a mix between a tamal and a corn pie, but it was more on the crumbly side and not as tasty as we imagined it. It was also not very big, but it came with lots of rice and a salad that was what we liked the least. It had chopped veggies (cauliflower, zucchini, carrot) and apples and some crumbled cheese on top. No dressing. I’d prefer a fresh salad with Mexican food.

Tamale Pie

The “Baja” combination was tastier than the pie. The chicken/sour cream enchilada and the cheese enchilada were side by side, covered with melted cheese, with some rice on one side and the same bland salad on the other side.

Combination - Baja

Ana had the “Special” combination dinner (chilli con carne, chicken taco, chicken and sour cream enchilada, rice, $17.95) that looked pretty good.

Combination dinner - special

Because her dish was a bit delayed, she received complimentary corn chips with a good tasting dipping sauce.

When we all finished and were ready for the cake, the restaurant’s staff arrived with a sombrero for Rale and joined us to sing happy birthday.

Singing happy birthday

Singing happy birthday

After the cake and a speech given by the birthday boy with a strong Mexican accent, we finished our drinks and left, a few of us home, the rest to a nearby pub.

Birthday boy

Montezuma’s Mesa
51 Alexander Street
Crows Nest NSW 2065
(02) 9901 3533
www.montezumas.com.au

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