Going Local – Fajitas Restaurant, Moreton, Wirral

Refried Beans
Definitely The Real Thing

I have a thing about supporting local businesses. Why? Because unlike the big chains they  care more about the customer, can usually sort out any problems without the need to go through a call centre that is three thousand miles away and bring vitality and life to the local area.

In particular I have a thing for local independent restaurants because I really hate “facsimile food”. You know, the sort of food that looks like what it’s meant to be, sometimes smells like it’s meant to smell, but just isn’t; the sort of food dished up by the likes of Chiquito’s, Frankie and Benny’s and any one of a number of other themed chain restaurants that charge the earth for something that was delivered in a box by a lorry. I well remember a conversation with a waitress in one such place a few years ago:

Me: “I like the look of your slow baked potatoes rather than chips. But are they actually baked and not microwaved”

Waitress: “Err. Yes. They are freshly cooked here in the kitchen.”

Me: “Really? Wow, that’s unusual.Properly baked and definitely not microwaved?”

Waitress: “Yes…cooked in the kitchen here…ermmm… I will just check for you though”

<Disappears into kitchen>

Waitress: ” I have checked. Our potatoes are definitely freshly slow baked. They get delivered part cooked and frozen from the factory, we defrost them and pop them in the microwave to finish them off. Is that OK?”

Me: “I’ll have salad”

It’s not just the fact that the food is clearly over-priced, sub-standard and produced without any passion or care, it’s that the waitress thought that all of that was acceptable. I have long thought that it’s a sad reflection that there is a government scheme to rate restaurants and take aways on their hygiene standard (obviously important) but the actual quality of the food served is irrelevant. In other words, you can serve a well-polished turd as long as the surfaces it is prepped on are shiny and sterile.

So when I find a local restaurant or pub I like I think it should be supported in the face of the huge chain competition and general public lethargy….”Let’s go to <anonymous chain> cos you can park and you know what you are going to get”.

So repeated below is my Trip Advisor Review of Fajitas Mexican Restaurant in Moreton on the Wirral. I am afraid the photography is not up to much because it was my birthday and I was a bit tequila-ed!!

Warning. Mexican clichés follow….

“Incongruous Independent Gem – Highly Recommended and Worth Digging Out”

2016-05-19 19.45.42
Hey Gringo….!

I must admit I had driven past this place lots of times on my way through Moreton up to the office. As a lover of Mexican food it caught my eye as I whizzed past in the car, but the first few times left me a little confused… from the outside it looks like a fairly standard shop unit in a run of other standard shop units. Was it a mexican themed shop?!

After a couple more passes I made a point of slowing down to take a look at the signage… “Mexican Bar and Grill”. Bar? Grill? Maybe I was being a little obtuse but the emphasis on “bar” made me wonder…. so I thought “Probably not my sort of place” and left it at that.

Until my birthday last week; when I was asked what I wanted I said “A Mexican!” – by which I meant the food and not a bloke in a big multi-coloured hat (more on that later).

Now, Mexican food is my all-time favourite but for some reason often difficult to find in this country. I make a point of avoiding the chains like Chiquitos and Chiminchangas because if I want a microwaved meal and surly service I will go to Tesco, pay £1.99 and serve myself (!), not £11.99 at one of those identikit places. But independents are quite rare… which is when Fajitas in Moreton popped back into my head. I wonder……

So we booked and off we went early on a Thursday evening, parking behind the Heron Frozen Food (2 hours free). In short, we had a fantastic time – great food, nice atmosphere and good service. It’s a little bit understated compared to some Mexican restaurants I have visited but the emphasis is placed on the food as demonstrated by the fact that the small kitchen is open and in the middle of the dining room. And there are no fake bullet holes or cracked alabaster on the walls to create that slightly cheesey mock Mexican cantina feel. It is in fact quite modern inside. It’s just the signage that’s a bit anodyne.

There is a full a la carte menu plus between 5pm and 7pm there is the fixed price Early Bird Menu at £12.95 for two courses. The latter has many of the classics you will probably want (Nachos, Burritos, Chiminchangas, Fajitas etc) so is especially good value if you don’t mind eating early; it suits us because of the kids.
I ordered the nachos and the beef burrito from the Early Bird Menu, whilst my wife and daughter both had the fajitas and my son the child’s nachos. We also ordered a plate of barbecue chicken wings to share as another starter.

All the food was nicely presented and excellent quality. Lots of cheese, jalopenos and guacamole on the nachos and the chicken wings were superbly cooked in a rich but not overpowering sauce. The accompanying salad was varied and colourful with an excellent dressing too. Oh and the salsa was also particularly good with a nice spicy “kick”.

2016-05-19 19.06.02-1My burrito was enormous and well-filled with meaty beef chilli and came with mexican rice and very well made refried beans – they still had some texture and shape unlike many places I have been where they arrive as a modge of burgundy stodge….

2016-05-19 19.04.44However a special mention must go to the chicken fajitas. A very generous sizzling plateful of meat and veg perfectly spiced and flavoured and accompanied with salad and the usual dips. A nice touch is the little jug of tequila for splashing over the sizzling platter for extra flavour… although we drank ours!

Absolutely recommended and the next time we go (because there definitely will be a next time) it will be a hard choice between these and the straight chilli con carne (which I want to try on the back of how good the chilli beef burrito was).

We were too full for dessert but as it was my birthday I got a free tequila and the honour of wearing the multi-coloured Mexican hat and shawl. Brilliant!

Overall, nice understated environment, good open plan kitchen, excellent food and service. Oh and good value too…. our four meals (two of which had starters) plus drinks came to less than £60. I took the remains of my daughters chicken fajitas home in a doggy back and had it for lunch the next day; it was just as nice cold!

2016-05-19 19.50.16
Too Much Tequila and Chilli Beef Burrito?

Highly recommended. Just don’t drive past it for a few months like I did first, get in there and support a really good independent restaurant rather than one of those awful chains that serve what I call “facsimile food”. You won’t be disappointed!

The original Trip Advisor Review is here, with a few more photos.

 

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