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Chiquito - good food - simple service
Member Name: rackerss
Advantages: good value, good deals, lots for vegetarians
Disadvantages: service isn't the best of the best
Chiquito restaurant and bar is a chain of Mexican restaurants around the country. I often find them at those industrial sites with cinemas and pizza huts, but they're not only found there. In total there are 68 restaurants across the country.
The whole atmosphere reminds me very much of Frankie and Benny's. I've been visiting Frankie and Benny's for years - way before I visited Chiquito and I was surprised at how similar they felt inside despite being completely different cuisines. I have since found out that they are both from the same umbrella company known as "The Restaurant Group" which really shows. They are nothing if not consistent!
I went to the York restaurant which is situated outside of the City. It was a very quiet Thursday evening, but even so it took a while to be seated. Neither of us were drinking, but I enjoyed looking at all the cocktails - there was a huge selection! I personally hate tequila, but there was a very impressive selection of margaritas and I saw a few go out from the bar and they looked pretty good!
I was a bit dubious of going because I'm a vegetarian and in my head all that would be on the menu would be chicken and ground beef! I also wasn't sure how spicy it would be for my friend, but I love spicy food. In turns out the food isn't overly spicy and there is plenty for vegetarians! We were brought nachos free of charge with a great salsa dip which was a nice touch - it makes a change from the traditional complementary bread in most restaurants.
We chose to eat off of the evening menu which is available from 5pm Monday - Thursday. It's two courses for £9.99 which can be either starter and main or main and desert. Unlike a lot of set menus, there was so much to choose from - 7 starters, 11 deserts and a lot of mains! The mains include salads, chicken (with a choice of sauces and sides), American inspired foods like burgers and wraps, tortilla lined bowls with a choice of fillings, Chiquito favourites including Chilli and fish and the 'Mexican Cantina'. The Cantina has four styles of dish (Enchilada, Burrito, Chimichanga, Soft Tacos) with a choice of three fillings (Veggie Chilli, Beef Chilli or Spicy Chicken). Like I say, so much choice - it's a bit overwhelming!
There is also a similar lunch menu which is £5.99 for one course, £7.99 for two and £9.99 for three which is available from 11am - 5pm Mon-Fri. You can add beer, wine or a soft drink for £1.50 - bargain!
The main menu which is the only menu available at the weekends is a bit more extensive and the prices aren't too much more expensive. The fajitas are on this menu and one day I will definitely splash out and try them! There always seems to be vouchers for Chiquito online and this is the only menu you can claim on - the special menus are already discounted and therefore you can't use discount codes. All the menus are available in full online so you can take a look before you decide to go. We didn't book; the restaurants are usually quite big, but if I was going on a weekend or with more than two people I definitely would ring ahead.
My experience at this particular branch wasn't overly fantastic - we felt really quite rushed to leave, despite it being fairly early, but the food came promptly and it was delicious and cheap. I would definitely go again, even to this branch because there are still so many things on the menu I want to try. For me, that is really unusual as most places only have one vegetarian option! In the UK we really don't have many Mexican restaurants so it feels like a change from Italian and Chinese.
Summary: great for a bite to eat, maybe not for a special occasion