Can I eat Mexican food in South Africa?

Many questions may come to the mind of the potential emigrant.  How would I pay the bills?  Will I fit in with others around me?  What means will I have for communicating with folks at home?  A pressing issue for me was the potential lack of yummy chimichangas seated in a pile of refried beans.  After a busy day at the office, I decided it was “me” time.  It was time for Mexican food.  Happily, the Cantina Tequila was on my way home.

I pulled into the lot and found a space right away, despite driving home in rush hour.  I climbed the stairs, and confirmed that they offered food (I could have been wandering into a bar, after all!).  The host guided me to a table on the outside deck.  The westering sun started out high enough, but soon it was in my eyes, and I moved to the other side of the table to get some shade.  The view from the patio was pretty amazing.  To the north, I could see Kanonberg, where I had shot some panoramic photos on my first week in the country.  In that direction I could see the roofline of Tyger Valley Shopping Centre.  To the left, I could see the cluster of buildings for Tyger Waterfront.  The hills of Welgemoed were a bit closer than Kanonberg.  Nice!

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The view from Cantina Tequila, Bellville, South Africa

When the waiter asked me what I wanted to drink, I decided on a Grapetiser.  It was warm, so a cold drink seemed like a good option.  I learned that Grapetiser is not the same thing as grape soda.  Instead, it’s carbonated grape juice!  It really hit the spot.  I pored over the menu for a moment.  It wasn’t the most comprehensive sampling of Mexican food I had ever seen, but at least fajitas, quesadillas, nachos, tacos, and burritos made the cut.  I thought that a chicken quesadilla might be just right for this evening.  I had drunk most of my Grapetiser before the food arrived, but it still made a nice ensemble, I think.

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I ate the quesadilla with enthusiasm.  I noticed right away that the cheese mix wasn’t quite the one to which I have been accustomed.  The peppers were nice, and I think the chicken was a pretty good grade.  The bottom sections got a bit humid, though, and they seemed a bit soggy.  The salad?  Well, it was lettuce, a bit of carrot, and some small slices of… zucchini?  The rice, though.  Oh, the rice.  Well, it was microwaved.  It would have to be pretty overt for me to notice it.  My total bill, including tip, was R112 (just under $7 USD).

Happily, I still have several options in finding the ideal Mexican restaurant in Cape Town.  There’s a carryout (takeaway) restaurant in Durbanville called “Tacoways.”  In the central business district I have at least a couple reasonable options: El Burro and El Mariachi.  For now, I know that I can have a burrito on the way home when the need arises!

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2 thoughts on “Can I eat Mexican food in South Africa?

  1. Pingback: Peaceful Sunday | Picking Up The Tabb

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