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Member Name: _Eskimo_
Advantages: Party food, loud, fun
Disadvantages: Only real Mexican chain at the moment, expensive for what it is?
I love mexican food. Out of all the possible food nationalities nothing comes close to the fun or atmosphere created by Mexican cuisine.
Chiquitos is (currently) the UKs largest and most obvious vendor for mexican food that's brought to your table. I say currently because Taco Bell has just invaded Britain and will no doubt become as large as KFC and McDonalds. Shame.
Chiquitos restaurants are usually very well decorated with a strong hispanic theme, i like the bright vibrant colours and the rustic decor - even the attention to detail such as 'cabelleros' toilets instead of gents. The music varies from restaurant to restaurant and I would choose some Rodrigo y Gabriela over Rhianna any day, but the place seems to be playing to the masses of birthday parties and stag dos that will no doubt flood through the front doors. Nevermind.
The Menu is pretty large and varied and caters for those who have never had Mexican before very well. Seperated into the normal starters, burgers, salads, mexican dishes and some rubbish from north of the border. Lets focus on the stuff that this place should be doing the best.
The Nachos are good, you get plenty of them and it's a messy affair, brilliant for fun for both kids and adults, they're always a no-brainer for a starter and Chiquitos does well with these. The Jalepeno poppers are also good but they feel a little over-priced.
Onto a course that requires some form of cutlery - or does it? Chiquitos is not a place to eat to be sophisticated or posh. Order a wrap or something out of the ordinary! The only reason for using a fork should be spreading the salsa over your meal some more!
It's always a bit pointless talking about anything on the menu at a Mexican, because no matter what it is, no matter how good the taste. There's always someone on the other table who's ordered the fajitas. The sizzling plate of meat and vegetables that leaves a trail of pure heavenly aroma that makes it's way to your nose everytime and reminds you that you made the wrong choice, even my girlfriend who is a vegetarian gets jealous over the most meaty of fajita combos!
If only the portions were of a decent size, I don't mind paying for a decent meal, but you really do expect to get what you pay for, in Chiquitos the portions for mains do lack a little. But then you're reminded that you brought that 25% off voucher! And all is well...
Mains are good if you order something Mexican, the taste is just as you'd expect. Make sure you try the Duck Wrap - a fusion of Mexican and Chinese cuisine that makes for interesting eating!
I won't bother with dessert because you should have got completely stuffed after the massive plate of Nachos and the Main course.
What do you drink at Chiquitos? Desperados. An imported beer with Tequila essence that goes down the throat extremely easy and at 5.9% should keep the stag party on the table next to you very loud indeed.
I go here often with my girlfriend because it is a cheaper alternative to my other local Mexican but please don't make the mistake of thinking it's a romantic venue. Meal waits can be large, and to some extent they should be since a party atmosphere is normal!
Summary: Good if you can endure the service