Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Tex-Mex in London

Two years we lived here in London, searching for some good Tex-Mex of the quality we enjoyed in Houston. We took excursions and short day trips to several places suggested by the locals, including the Texas Embassy, but always ended up shaking our heads in disappointment. Was it too much to ask for some good fajitas and burritos in a city this size?

And then this year, our prayers were answered in a big way with the opening of two places we love. For our burrito fix we now go to Chipotle's on Charing Cross Road. Adored by Americans, this chain of almost 1000 stores, has now launched its first European store here in London, with hopes of others to follow. 

You, too, can stand in line to order, where the ingredients are laid out in front of you so that you can order a burrito, bowl, salad, or taco to be prepared just like you want it.

Did you know that there are 60,000 possible ways to enjoy your meal? Will it be pinto or black beans,  their yummy cilantro-lime rice, carnitas, steak or chicken? Along with all the sides--guacamole, sour cream, cheese and sauces? 

We opted for a burrito (extra cilantro-lime rice please) and a burrito bowl. 
I've had the pleasure of meeting "Mrs. Chipotle" who is now a friend of mine, and whose husband is responsible for opening the European stores, and she tells me that other stores in Europe are now in the planning stage, so stay tuned.

For months we had heard rumors of Cantina Laredo making its entrance into the UK food scene, so I corresponded with the "movers and shakers" who made it happen, and lo and behold, it finally opened this spring.

Located near Covent Garden, and more importantly, right down the street from my husband's office, we have eaten there several times. Actually, truth be told, my husband has eaten there more times than he can count, even eating there as many as 3 times in one week. He thinks it's his role as an ambassador of Texas to introduce his colleagues and out of town guests to what good Mexican food should taste like.

We've enjoyed fajitas, of course

chicken enchiladas,

soft tacos,

and enchiladas. My fellow Texas friends, what do you think--looks pretty authentic, don't you think?

And one of the best perks, is that you can get a "doggie bag" for any food you can not finish, as well as free refills on soft drinks--very unique for a European restaurant. I count them as winners in my book, for sure, and look forward to our next visit.

Many thanks to Mya who gifted me with this award last week. In the midst of no internet service and being on holiday, I was not able to acknowledge her kindness. Jump on over to her blog and find out for yourself just what a great gal she is!


  1. Wow, Debi. The cilantro-lime rice looked wonderful, and those burritos! I'm glad you've found some good Mexican food in that very British city. When I lived in London, I went to a little place in Leicester Square. The restaurant was just fair on the dining scale, but it reminded me of home. Of course, that was 18 years ago, and I'm sure things have changed. Have a great mid-week!

  2. Ah, Chipotle. It is indeed very yummy and I find that as a Longhorn through and through I must confess that the original and most delicious burritos made to order with fresh ingredients is Freebirds first opened in college station, TX (aggieville). We do actually have a Chipotle in Waco, but after one visit with very bad service (not the chains fault) and some cold sub par ingredients (probably the odd time we went) I just haven't had the urge to revisit it. But if I was craving Tex-Mex in London I would certainly give it a go. I hereby promise that if EVER I get the opportunity to visit you in London I will glady treat y'all to some homemade Tex-Mex flavor from me a true Tex-Mex/American. Hee hee. Cantina Laredo looks tasty and apparently with all the international flavors outside your doors y'all can have it all.

  3. Jenny,
    I'll take you up on that offer of the Tex-Mex treat when you come! I agree--in the States, Chipotle is not my first choice. I do have a Freebirds near my house in Houston also. They're yummy.

    Let's go to lunch someday soon!

  4. Oh, the joy of finding good TexMex in a home away from home.

  5. I would have loved to try out Cantina Laredo when we were in London! Maybe next time! :)

  6. This food looks sooo good. I have never had cilatro lime rice, but even the sound is making my mouth water. Chipotle we have, many of them, but I am afraid that we do not have a Cantina Laredo. The closest one I believe is in Jacksonville, Fla. Glad you can now dip into some home comfort food.

  7. Hi Debi, I found you via Mya's blog :)

    These pics are making me hungry and its only 8:30am here. I love burritos from Tortilla and also not sure if you've tried Wahacas? Tortillas is more laid back but yummy; Wahacas is an upbeat place with new twist on old favourites. *whispers* they have nice art work*. ;)

  8. Buongiorno Debi, I love Tex-Mex, I also eat your photos!!!

  9. Looks good to me. What's even better is the idea of refills. That is one of the things I miss when we travel abroad. You have to learn to sip and make it last!

  10. I'm not familiar with mexican food but this looks delish!
    I hope you really enjoy your trip over to Paris this week-end Debi ~ and I'm wondering what new places you will visit ~ keep us posted!

  11. I have not really had too much Tex-Mex before. We tried some amazing Mexican food in Arizona once but I would love to try some of the yummy dishes you mentioned! I am thinking of trying to visit either London or America next year so now I know of two yummy places to try!

    Best wishes,

  12. Um, so true about the lack of good Mexican restaurants in London. I remember looking and looking when I lived there. But it's great that it has now changed – these are wonderful recommendations, Debi! Thanks so much. – g

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