I have something a little different for you lot today. I would like to officially welcome a new addition to the Berrytravels family! Two new additions actually – my two good friends: Violet and Jimmy. They are starting to learn the beauty of food, so what better way to share than to blog about it?
Today’s post is written by Jimmy, and seeing as it’s mexican food, I think he is definitely the expert! Hope you enjoy.
Mad Mex – Fresh Mexican Grill
(03) 9663 7010
Level 2, Dining Hall, Melbourne Central
Mad Mex online
Have you ever been walking through a food court and thought “man, I could really go for Mexican, but I wish it was prepared on an assembly line like at Subway!” no, me either, but as it turns out this is a fantastic idea and I’ll tell you why.
I’m a picky eater…a reeeaaallly picky eater, but I have a good reason. I’m allergic to fruits and veg. No, really, I am. It’s because of this allergy that I have become a master of eating around things, but when I go to Subway I don’t have to worry about it.
“Any salads at all?”
Well Mad Mex has incorporated a similar ordering system. First you choose from a selection of seven Mexican dishes including tacos, burritos and quesadillas. Then you continue in the queue and choose your fillings, such as chicken, steak or vegetarian and you can add extra meat for another $2. Then the last part of the queue, choose which salsas you would like. This is where the queue system really shines for picky people like me. I said, “Just a very little bit of capsicum thanks” and he said “Would you like me to put in a container on the side for you?” *enter bright lights and a chorus of angels* That is EXACTLY what I would like thank you very much.
This isn’t just great for picky people like me either! They offer a range of very spicy options and if you are feeling adventurous but don’t want to ruin your meal, you can ask for just a little bit of the picante habanero chilli or have it on the side in a little container! It’s all done right in front of you, so you have complete control. Mad Mex has a team of 5-7 people working behind the counter and each one is responsible for each station. The whole process is very efficient and so as we queued, even though there were around 10 people in front of us we were in and out very quickly. This ensures that the food is fresh, made to order, but still fast so you don’t waste your lunch break waiting for someone to make your food.
So how’s the food? Well let me tell you, I grew up in Texas and for those of you who don’t know American geography, that’s one of the states that borders Mexico. Also I’ve been to Mexico. I’ve only had Mexican here once, Montezuma’s, and I have to say, I wasn’t impressed. The food was SO heavy and oily, not very nice. You get halfway through it and feel like you’re going to explode. Mad Mex uses locally sourced ingredients for things like lettuce and corn, but they also import things like tomatillo’s and Mexican spices and peppers by the container full from Mexico. You can really taste the difference. Even the tortilla chips are made by a Mexican family in NSW using an old family recipe. For $2 extra you can add guacamole to any dish and while this may seem a bit expensive at first, but my dining partner Violet said the herbs and spices they add to the specific type of Avocado make it the best she has ever had. Verdict: totally worth the extra money.
The staff? Couldn’t be nicer. We weren’t sure if it’s just because we were reviewing the restaurant or if it’s just because they had only been working for a few day but when we went back a few weeks later they were still incredibly friendly. The first time we dined there, despite the fact that they had only been working for a few days, they knew all the proper names of the ingredients, could tell me what level of spicy things were and didn’t mind dealing with my pickyness. You can even watch the chef cooking through a window at the side of the restaurant.
What would I recommend? Everything. But on a more realistic note, the pork was amazing. All the meat was incredibly tender and juicy but the pork is slow roasted for hours, marinated with garlic, onion, lime and cumin and literally just falls apart. The beef is also slow roasted, but the chicken and steak are all grilled fresh on site. The menu was clear and very easy to follow.
I had the chicken Quesadilla which comes with sour cream and two salsas. The salsa’s (something I can’t usually eat) were phenomenal. So much flavour and yet not overpowering. Violet had the vegetarian Burrito (free guacamole) and her only complaint was that it was too big so she couldn’t finish it!
What else? DELICIOUS churros with chocolate sauce of course! I would say that the chocolate sauce was a bit too rich for my taste. It seemed like it was made with dark chocolate and I prefer milk, but that’s just my taste. The churros were light and fluffy with a slightly crispy crust, which are what I grew up on. Violet didn’t like them as much because she prefers really crispy crunchy churros. For you booze hounds they are going to start importing (by this point they might already have) authentic Mexican tequila as well as already providing a few other alcoholic beverages and for those who aren’t big on the drink with lunch they also import a delicious Mexican soda called “Jarritos” which comes in either “Tamarind” or “Guava”.
The prices were pretty reasonable, ranging from $7.90 to $10.90 plus a little more for a drink and you won’t have any trouble finding the place, just look for the giant chandeliers made of empty Corona bottles or the huge mural of the Mexican wrestler! All in all, I’d have to say our experience at Mad Mex was muy bueno!
Violet and Jimmy dined at Mad Mex as their guests