Showing posts with label Mexican food. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mexican food. Show all posts

Thursday, July 14, 2016

La Calavera in Douglas. Let Pablo Power You Up!

La Calavera in Douglas.
Let Pablo Power You Up!
Marinated meat slow cooks for 12 hours. Nothing artificial here 
La Calavera, the new Mexican restaurant/takeaway in Douglas, is proving very popular, especially with young people and athletics, owner Shuting McLoughlin told me when I called for lunch during the week. “I’ve been working in Asian all my life but Mexican is lighter and healthier and customers come three or four times a week. The athletes, including rugby players, love our Power Bowl with double the meat and brown rice instead of white to increase the protein.”

There is quite a choice here and Shuting’s husband Ray said they intend to add a fish option shortly. At present, you may enjoy a Burrito, or a Naked Burrito (without the Taco), a Fajita, Tacos (3 small Tacos with 3 meats), and that Power Bowl! And the fillings available include Chilli Con Carne, Barbacoa, Carnitas, and Vegetarian. You may see the details of each filling on the photo of the menu board (at end).
Naked Burrito

I had chicken in my Fajita and Shuting explained that the chicken comes daily from Clonakilty. They have so little storage space here that virtually everything comes daily and the suppliers have no problem doing that because there are so many restaurants and food outlets in Douglas. That means more competition as well! 

And it’s not just the chicken. All the meats here are Irish and, on the vegetable side, local produce is used when seasonally available. Read more about their sourcing policy, “better food from better sources” here.

My chicken, marinated in Citrus Adobo (a stock used in Spanish and Latin American cooking to enhance the flavour), was delicious and the peppers and onions that came with it in the Fajita were outstanding as well, a lovely dish, quite substantial too, all for €6.95!

Soft shell corn tacos. You can have
three different meats and they are gluten free

Halfway through, I did a swop with CL. She had been singing the praises of the Naked Burrito. I soon found why out for myself. Her filling was the Carnitas, free range pork served shredded and she specifically ordered the beans. Quite a different experience to the Fajita but another delicious combination of flavours and textures. And again, just €6.95.

Shuting and Ray had been studying the ethnic restaurants in Dublin where there are so many compared to here. And they thought that Mexican would be a good fit here in Cork and, with experienced chef Pablo at the helm, La Calavera seems to be going down well. The restaurant space is quite small so there will be a big emphasis on the takeaway side.
Fajita. It's big and beautiful!

You have great choices here, just look at all those bowls in the bar. And another important thing, you can ask for your preferred level of spice. Pico de Gallo is mild, Roasted Chili Corn is medium while Salsa Verde is medium to hot.

Back to those health benefits. I usually advise, always will, that you check those out for yourself. But here are a few points. Essential vitamins and minerals can be found in tomatoes, lettuce, and other vegetables that are commonly found in Mexican food. Protein, from the meats (the leaner the better) is important because it improves energy levels and keeps muscles and tissue healthy. Mexican sauces, such as salsa and chile, contain spicy peppers and that may help lower blood pressure and cholesterol. And those beans can be a good source of fibre. Looks like a good choice and not just for the young!

And where did they get the name? La Calavera means skull and in this context refers to the sugar (sometimes chocolate) skulls used (often presented to children, sometimes left out for dead relatives) during festivities surrounding the Mexican Day of the Dead also known as the Christian All Souls Day. For more on the practice, see here.

La Calavera
Douglas West, Douglas
Tel: (021) 489 0011
Twitter: @lacalaveracork

12:00 pm - 10:00 pm
12:00 pm - 11:00 pm
12:00 pm - 10:00 pm

Friday, June 5, 2015

Siesta Time in Princes Street

Siesta Time in Princes Street
Quesadillas, Nachos, Fajitas, Guacamole, Tamale, Enchilada, Burrito, Chimichanga, Tacos are all on offer at Siesta in Princes Street. The restaurant opened just over two months back and here too you may have sweet things such as Churros.  Drinks, including Margaritas and Sangria, are available and, of course, beer and wine too.
Don't know very much about Mexican food but enjoyed the offerings at Siesta where Tamara is a very informative and courteous front of house and will help you out as there is quite a large menu to go through, with many variations on all the basics.

The list of starters includes quesadillas and nachos, spicy chicken wings, guacamole, stuffed jalapenos and so on. Thought I might like the Chicken and Bean Nachos (6.95). Didn't expect such a substantial dish where the crispy corn tortilla chips were smothered with refried pinto beans, chicken and cheese topped with Mexican salsa. Delicious mix of colour, texture and flavours and that chicken was pretty good too.
That same chicken featured in CL’s starter. Her Quesadillas Chicken (above) consisted of four crispy envelopes of baked flour tortilla packed with spicy chicken and with a salad on the side. Not quite as big as mine but just as full of flavour. Besides, we had three bowls on the side, one to cool, and two for heat! Red, green and white, just like the Mexican flag.

These bowls would stay on the table through the main course as well. If something wasn't hot enough, you could dip into the red, if you really wanted to up the spiciness then add from the green and, if you added too much go to the white sour cream.

Chicken and Bean Nachos
The mains list offered mainly chicken, beef and pork dishes, the meat often enclosed in one of the envelopes. That wasn't the case with our favourite on the night, the Chilli Con Carne (13.95). This consists of Premium Irish Minced Beef, cooked with red wine and pinto beans and served with rice (or French fries and salad). Great dish and very well priced.

Aside from the Mexican dishes, you can also have Fillet Steak, Burger, Baked Cod and a Seafood Paella. And they also offer three healthy salads, all featuring quinoa.
Tamale Pork
The dessert list is short but you just have to try the Churros, Mexican doughnuts served with Cinnamon, Chocolate Sauce and ice cream. Yum! Next time, maybe I’ll try the Dulce Leche cheesecake or the Lime Pie. Maybe not! Might be the Churros again!

The restaurant supports local suppliers and lists Barry O’Connor (meat), Keohane (fish), Sam Donegan (fruit and veg) and English Market (eggs) on the menu.
Siesta is open for both lunch and dinner. See the full menus here. Contact details and map here.