Finding somewhere for Mexican food in Brisbane is extraordinarily difficult, and I am not referring to the latest crop of takeaway places such as Guzman Y Gomez or Tuckeria. We are talking a proper restaurant here, and Brisbane really seems to lack somewhere half decent to eat in this department. The fear with Mexican and eating out is that you can easily grab an El Paso kit and make something that seems similar at home for much less. Well, this is true for a lot of Brisbane’s mexican places (a restaurant chain starting with M, anyone?).
We read a few good reviews about La Quinta and decided to give it a go based on the fact that it looked quite promising. We were in the mood for a light hearted dinner and so dined there on the Thursday night before we were married with one of our groomsmen Rob, who professes to love Mexican food.
La Quinta was absolutely packed out with not a spare table, and the atmosphere was loud and raucous. Don’t bother coming if you want a romantic dinner, thats for sure. The table system operates with a genius little flag that you can put up if you want service, and have down if you don’t.
Drinks to start included a bottle of sangria, which came with green sugar rimmed glasses for L and I, and a tequila shot and a beer for Rob. La Quinta have some unusual imported beers from South America and Spain as well as a range of Mexican beers. You can definitely branch out from Coronas here.
Fiery roasted salted chillies came out for the boys to share (I certainly wasn’t about to have any). Rob had one chilli, whilst L polished off the whole bowl and proceeded to become very red and sweaty. Still, he declared them as the best snack ever, and wants to make them at home.
Three dips were shared with tortillas and corn chips between us; a mild fresh salsa which was definitely needed after the chilli episode, Queso cheese, and Charro bean. The bean dip was a mixture of black beans, onion and chorizo and was most definitely the best dip, however we also loved the runny cheese of the Queso. Liquid cheese should surely be made into a beverage of some sorts.
Chicken fajitas were served hot and sizzling at the table with tortillas, cheese, sour cream and guacamole. The chicken had a tomato based sauce, and the whole thing was a make-and-roll-your-own at the table.
Beef enchiladas may have looked small, but I found them surprisingly filling, especially after the dips for entree, so they definitely didn’t need to be larger. They were reasonably spicy, so the side salad was welcoming as a refreshment, I am a chilli weakling though.
Chunky beef chilli was L’s choice and is definitely a must-order dish. Even I sampled some of this despite the heat, the flavours were delicious and the beef melted apart. Served with tortillas to dip into the sauce, or make a bit of a sandwich with, we definitely recommend this one.
La Quinta was enjoyable and a fun place to dine at as well as have a few drinks. We found the colour and vibrancy of the surrounds (and the sangria) put us instantly in a cheery mood. The meals are simple and certainly won’t win any awards but are fresh and full of flavour.
CLa Quinta Mexican Cafe Y Bar Shop 1/189 Oxford Street Bulimba Ph 07 3399 2800 Open Lunch and Dinner, 7 Days www.laquinta.com.au