Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Santiago's at the Gatsby

Ah, Mexican food in Victoria. What a tough time you have. I will start this by saying that i hate Cafe Mexico. Not a fan at all. The way they treat the meat they are serving should be considered a crime. It's exactly like meat on the street in Mexico but the difference is that they have the means to use higher quality food (that's what they charge for) and they have the means to prepare it well ( a kitchen, not a cart). Still they suck more then most sucky places in Victoria suck.

But this isn't about them, it's about Santiago's. I am a little torn about Santiago's to be honest. I've gone twice now and feel like maybe I'm just not a huge Mexican fan. Everyone else likes it so i feel a little in the dark over my lack of enthusiasm. Not that i haven't enjoyed my food. I actually enjoy a few things about this place:
  • It's toddler friendly. That means paper table cloths, crayons for everyone, suitable children's menu (Plain Cheese Pizza!) and no nasty looks from the servers when your child is camping out under the table. Even is a large group, which is how i seem to roll to this restaurant, my little one is well taken care of and i can't express enough how appreciated that is.
  • The menu does nothing for me. It's one of those places where it takes you forever to order because nothing really gets you excited. Most people i have gone with have the thing that they always have but those thing all seem to have beans in them ( i hate beans) so i can't really go with their verdict. Also, this is a Mexican place that also has curry... very strange. In the burger section they say with each listing that the buns is buttered, making me wonder if this is De rigour in Mexico.
  • On my first visit I had the Ceviche. That's right, this pregnant chick lives on the edge! The ceviche is not just fish, but also includes shrimp and scallops. Surprisingly, my favorite part of this dish was the scallops since they were "cooked' to perfection. I think the issue is that all of the different fishes take different times to properly "cook" so the shrimp and halibut were a little past done but the scallops were perfect. It's was served on greens with some taco chips and guacamole. I also ordered some sour cream and i was glad I did. This time around I had a simple Cesar salad with shrimp. There were tons of shrimp on it and they were fresh enough (ie. possibly died this week) but the dressing was pretty meh. Nothing offensive or anything but just meh.
I guess my whole deal with this place is that it seems to have some kind of identity crisis. It's a Mexican place that serves curries and sangria? How do you do that? A mexican Place that doesn't serve Tacos? everyone seems to be into the quesadillas but I'm not a fan in general. Also, they feature mussels pretty prominently but being preggo, shellfish can get iffy. If it's not uber fresh, I will puke. that is a promise and a warning.
So, Santiago's You are confusing. Nothing more, nothing less.
If you wnt mexican, head over to Hernandez or the Los Amigos Cart. They'll fix you up good!

Santiago's Cafe on Urbanspoon

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