Wednesday, March 25, 2013 - It was a big day for me. I have been in Europe for 3.5 months and I had been craving a nice sit-down meal of real Mexican food. But in Germany??? I imagined any restaurant in Deutschland with the label "mexican" would serve jarred salsa, stale corn chips, wienersnitzel with a dollop of guacamole and call it the Mexicana Spezialität.
So I googled for any local Mexican places with reviews and perused their websites. Surprisingly, about eight popped up within a 20 minute drive - though one of them is closed. One of the eateries is called "Pollo Campo". They offer things like chili cheese nuggets, taco wraps, chicken wings and grilled chicken - not really what I was looking for. Then I came across another place called "Cantina Mexicana". At first glance the website looks like a typical Mexican place but they don't list their menu so I couldn't take a chance. Finally I saw this restaurant that had a familiar menu on their website and got decent reviews: Azteca Mexicana.
I was pleasantly surprised when we arrived at the restaurant. It was packed with people (good food right?) and we were greeted immediately (In English when they can tell you dont speak German). We we looked at the drink menu during the ten-minute wait for our table and ordered two Negro Modelos. The atmosphere was great - cozy, not too loud, and vibrant. The menu was in both German and English and had pretty typical Mexican fare. I was expecting the waitstaff to look like a bunch of swiss misses but they actually spoke Spanish and I'm guessing they were not native Germans. I ordered the Enchiladas Roji Verde - with a notation saying it was hot (thinking German standards of hot are different). After ordering, we were given a small bowl of chips and salsa. They were actually pretty good and the salsa was homemade. My only complaint would be that they didn't use cilantro or limes in their dishes which I think is pretty essential to authentic Mexican cuisine, BUT other than that the food was very good (and it was actually pretty hot), portions big and the prices reasonable -my dish was about 9.5 Euros - about $12.50.
So there you have it - Mexican food in Germany can be good - almost comparable to the restaurants in San Diego. I already plan on going back to get my fix. I might even try some of the other Mexican places in the area...or am I pushing my luck?