Tortilla chips and salsa, chili con carne, and fajitas are now typical European bar food. Rare is the English pub that doesn’t serve “nachos.” The influence of Tex-Mex on world cuisine fascinates us here at Texas Eats. So when our correspondent, Julia Walsh, moved to Manchester, England in January 2017, we asked her to chronicle Tex-Mex influences on the local English fare. Here is her latest report:
On one rainy afternoon while running errands, I stopped for a swift pint at a local Weatherspoon’s, which is a chain of pubs which are known as the destination for “cheap and cheerful”. Imagine my surprise when I saw this paper placemat on the table!
Nachos! Quesadillas! I thought I’d hit the Manx-Mex jackpot! But alas, my luck was not to be. I ordered off the Mexican Monday menu and I have to say that my experiences were sub-par.
On my first attempt, I ordered the BBQ pulled pork and cheese quesadilla. (BBQ pork is not exactly Tex-Mex, but it’s a definite favorite among the English since I see it almost everywhere!) The plate came with “Mexican-style” rice (I think we’d call it Spanish rice. Tomato-y with bits of onion and a hint of cumin), sour cream, salsa, and guacamole. I was pleased to see some good looking grill marks on the tortilla and eagerly dove into my food.
The rice was about what you’d expect for mediocre Mexican rice, and the salsa tasted like Picante or a grocery store equivalent, but that was fine with me. The guacamole didn’t disappoint and the pepper slices on it made me smile. But after my first bite into the quesadilla, I knew something was terribly wrong. I opened up the tortilla to see…
…no cheese! NO CHEESE! How can they call this a quesadilla if there’s no queso to it?! I checked the menu again to make sure this wasn’t some bastardized spin on a quesadilla, but the text confirmed there was definitely supposed to be cheese on it. I heaved a sigh and spread my condiments over the pieces to try and save it, not wanting to make a scene at the bar to get it fixed. The BBQ pork was nice and there was enough in the tortilla, bit a ‘dilla is just a ‘dilla when there’s no cheese.
Tune in next week to hear about another puzzling tale of Mexican Monday at Weatherspoon’s!