Take a look at what just a few people say about El Mexicano
Excellent Mexican food
Decided to come here whilst wandering around the sights of Brighton during the day. Went back on the evening and got the nice table in the window on arrival. There were a few people in, but it wasn’t busy – but then none of the rest restaurants nd taro undo were busy. Friendly staff here. Decided on the starter plus main for £9.95 offer. Nachos and quesadillas to start – the nachos were really good. Enchiladas and burritos for mains. Really good portion sizes. All the food was really good. Tasty, juicy and really enjoyable. We really enjoyed our meal here and would come again.
johnboySheffield – March 2015
Tuesday bargain foodgasm
Pre theatre Tuesday night tapas deal for £9.95 is fantastic. Three good sized tapas from the menu with bread plus a glass of wine is very good value. We shared churros for desert which lived up to high expectations. We’re not big eaters so sharing was perfect for us. Salsa music in the background making a wonderful start to the evening.
MechanoLeg – 31 March 2015
Perfect from start to finish
We came across El Mexicano whilst looking for somewhere to eat before seeing Muse in the Brighton Dome. What a find! We shared Quesadillas and Queso Fundido for starters, wonderful dishes! So tasty and well cooked. We then had chili con carne and chicken enchiladas. Both dishes were amazing, my companion commented that it was the best chili he’d ever eaten and my enchiladas were delicious! We had 3 alcoholic drinks each, one being a mojito cocktail, and still the bill was only just over £50. A real bargain and a very tasty one at that! If we are ever in Brighton again we will be sure to visit again as the food was superb. Thank you!
jellybaby_7 – March 2015
The Independent on Sunday – “It’s chilli down South”
Unauthentic burritos and fatty fajitas are usually the staple of Mexican restaurants in this country, but KARINA MANTAVIA finds the real deal in Brighton.
Britain is famously inept at Mexican food – even in the capital’s multi-ethnic restaurant scene. You can cater to the darkest of the kinky foodie whims, whether it’s crispy fried goat’s brain or wobbly sea urchin genitalia, but if it’s a good Mexican Mole you want, leave the country.
What’s called Mexican food here is actually Tex-Mex food, and bad Tex-Mex food at that: an ingenious, double bastardisation of two cuisines for the price of one. I was once dragged to a packed so-called Mexican restaurant in the heart of London, with assurances that here was the real deal and offered a plate covered in sweating pale yellow melted cheese, crowned with jalapeno chilli. Literally – plate, cheese, chilli. Perhaps I was meant to eat the plate.
This culinary tic is partly to do with snobbery. Just as Indian food was for years synonymous with lager, Tex-Mex grub is unheard of without jugs of Margaritas, Tequila slammers and beers, preferably all at once. It’s booze fodder. But while Indian restaurants had a drunken moment of clarity and reinvented themselves, the Tex-Mex equivalent is still standing on the table singing about its big hat.
Brighton’s El Mexicano could be the beginning of the end for these crimes against Mexican food. The menu is designed by Mexicans who came to town, not via the US or London, but straight from Mexico and it shows. The décor looks authentic. A large, arched room with lazy ceiling fans is painted neutrally, with various decorations bearing the marks of a Mexican origin.
Food is good, generous and, with a few detours, very much the real enchilada. Alongside the nachos ‘n’ dips, tacos and quesadillas, which in Mexico are only eaten between meals, some genuinely weird and wonderful dishes can be had at pretty good prices: starters and desserts are around £3-5, mains range from £7-11. Cactus salad, which was apparently a serious source of protein for the Indians, is unbeatable. Reminiscent of softened, less sweet peppers, it’s dressed with lime, shredded tomato, onion, and coriander. A side order of guacamole is the best I’ve had: creamy, garlicky, with a chilli hit, all in the right proportions.
Prawns in tequila sauce is excellent, huge shell-on prawns made smokey with the trippy liquor and accompanied by intensely concentrated fried onion garlic mix. One for kissers who like to live dangerously.
But the real test of course, is the Mole; the grand mustachioed dame of the Mexican menu, which uses unsweetened chocolate for richness. Somewhat over cooked chicken is compensated for by a spectacular sauce glossy, dark tasting of cinnamon, nuts, chillies and garlic.
The boss waits tables and explains the menu, dispensing culinary wisdom like a benevolent Mexican godfather. He graciously apologies to a couple who are unhappy because the food “wasn’t really what we were expecting”. Melted cheese plate has a lot to answer for.
Casual clobbered clientele, from gassing girlfriends to silent couples all seem to be drawing the meal out, with the aid of vaguely upbeat Latin tunes. You’d be surprised how relaxing the surroundings are. With only one table table dedicated to the customary screech-and-shag party, Saturday night’s customers are remarkably sober.
“Beside the Seaside – The 50 Best Places in Brighton”
The Information (The Independent, supplimentary)
It’s Mexican, but probably not as you know it, for while Margaritas thankfully feature on the menu, most of the other aspects of contrived Tex-Mex “cuisine” do not. In place of nachos drenched with plastic cheese, you might find cactus salad, or courgettes stuffed with beans, while the signature dish is the chicken Mole, which is marinated and spiced with more than 100 ingredients, nuts and chocolate among them. The surroundings are as bright and brash as you would expect, and you can wash it all down with a Bohemia beer, just like they do down Mexico way.
“El Mexicano” – The Evening Argus
After an uneventful Valentine’s Day earlier this month my flatmate and I vowed to treat each other to a girly meal with loads of booze and gossip. Unfortunately, our fab night out was nearly ruined by torrential rain and chilly winds and it was with relief we stepped into the warm and inviting El Mexicano. A fellow food fan had tipped us off about the new Mexican restaurant in New Road, Brighton, and having exhausted most of the town’s eating houses, we thought we’d give it a go.
We arrived wet and windswept and a horrified waitress rushed to our assistance and whisked our coats away to be dried on a heater. We settled into our table for two and promptly asked for the cocktail list. Minutes later, a huge jug of Margarita with salt-rimmed glasses arrived and we indulged in our first drink of the day.
When the menu arrived we discovered we were spoilt for choice. First, we browsed through a long list of Mexican snacks, which included a wide variety of vegetarian options, among them black bean soup, shaped corn saucers with bean and chorizo and warm flour tortilla, folded with cheese and mushrooms. Our decision-making process was helped on its way but a generous portion of nachos served with three types of salsa which varied in hotness. My second glass of Margarita fuelled my longing for a taste sensation so I picked mushrooms soaked in garlic and chilli as my starter and it totally hit the spot. Emily chose the Mexican-style prawn cocktail which she described as the most exciting prawn cocktail she’d ever eaten. She said it was fresh, zesty, well presented and substantial in size. After more glasses of Margarita and a chat with the waitress about the cactus salad, we were ready to order our main courses. The waitress explained the cactus, used in the salad, was flown in from Mexico, so we thought we’d better taste it. I’ve eaten many vegetarian Mexican dishes before and was eager to try something different.
Within the menu I found a category entitled Mexican Curiosities and it was there I found Calabaza Rellena, courgette stuffed with beans and topped with melted cheese. It was the perfect choice. The vegetables were crunchy and tasty and the bean and cheese filling was the ideal accompaniment. Emily also decided to experiment and opted for Mole, which is one of Mexico’s most famous chicken dishes and is served in a traditional salsa made with more than 100 different ingredients including chilli, nuts and chocolate. The idea of a chocolate sauce on a savoury dish seems pretty odd to me but after a quick taste on the end of a spoon I had to agree it was delicious. Emily rated it highly and said it was the best and biggest breast of chicken she had ever seen. She agreed the sauce had an unusual tang but she gave it the thumbs-up although she couldn’t manage the enormous amount piled on her plate.
We ate our main meals with cactus salad and we were amazed to find that the normally spiky plant tasted a lot like a gherkin. We polished off our nachos with dollops of creamy guacamole, emptied the jug of Margarita and awaited the dessert menu. My stomach was ready to burst but I still managed a portion of Mexican creme caramel and Emily tucked into a mango cheesecake. It was an odd, interesting and thoroughly tasty meal and we left satisfied that our replacement Valentine Day celebration was one to remember.
7 NEW ROAD, BRIGHTON,
Mon-Thurs: 12:00-14:30, 17:00-22:30
Fri: 12:00-14:30, 17:00-23:00