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This is the place everyone has been talking about, El Mexicano, a Mexican restaurant, located at 1,300 meters high in Faraya.
This restaurant, which first started as a wooden kiosk on the main highway is now a full fledged restaurant located on the roundabout. El Mexicano banners are all over the place... a Mexican flag, a wooden pergola and an outdoors seating, so you won't be lost.
Welcome to El Mexicano, a casual restaurant serving real Mexican food. Come meet the owners, Edith and her husband Fernando. Fernando is Mexican, born in Mexico and lived there before moving to the US. A passionate and professional cook, who married Edith from Faraya. They both came back from the US to settle in Lebanon with a plan to offer people some of their hometown culture.
Welcome into a large space, which hosts a bar on the right and a dining area on the left side. Square tiles, colored walls, large square tables and red sofas… Colors everywhere that will transport you to the land of exotic food.
I loved the no smoking signs; Respect!
The menu is divided in to many sections:
- Choice of sides
You can come here for a drink at the bar or a Mexican dinner. The couple with large smiles that oozes positivity and life, promising fun ahead, welcomes you in…. Edith helps with the service and prepares the margaritas. Fernando back in the kitchen carefully creates one plate after the other.
Funny and full of life, he made me believe in my country even more; a Mexican in Lebanon, happier than we personally are.
The margarita is a must try. A cold margarita, pure and not mixed with crushed ice. An original round one enjoyed with a hint of salt left to hang on the glass. Lemon, tequila, Cointreau and equilibrated flavors.
A basket of nachos followed. A fully loaded basket of homemade Nachos with guacamole dip. The fresh full-bodied guacamole dip, that's homogenous and tender, was just ready to impress.
- Quezo Fundido LBP25,000:cheese, chorizo, mild spices, Caramelized onions and coriander. A porcelain plate loaded with melted cheese, cubes of tender chorizo and some caramelized onions on top. Spread it on a soft check taco and enjoy the wrap. A sandwich that's finger licking good. Wow: the aromas, the texture, the taste. I loved it.
- El Mexicano House Salad LBP16,000:Halloum, avocado, nachos, lettuce, cherry tomatoes with a light lemon mayo sauce. Simple simplicity and passion combined.
- The pork wrap LBP17,000:Extravagant to say the least. What an amazing sandwich. A tender thin wrap, non chewy but well combined filled with a fine pork that's so tender and not chewy alongside lettuce, thinly sliced tomatoes, radish and a homemade sauce that makes all the difference. Spicy, extremely spicy but not the way we know it. A spiciness that erupts in the middle of the experience before fading out in seconds before even swallowing; that's the jalapeños and mustard sauce.
- Meat Quesadilla LBP15,000:Two round quesadillas with a mountain of diced meat on each mixed with lettuce, radish, bell pepper and cooked onions. Add some sour cream, some homemade spicy sauce and enjoy. This is not any Mexican I've had before in Lebanon; this is a trip to the continent down under!
- The fish enchilada:That's a masterpiece. Two wraps bathing in saffron sauce and stuffed with juicy fish. A must try guaranteed.
What the... I'm so sad I didn't come here earlier. Mexican food like you've never seen t before, the real flavors of Mexico brought to Lebanon and worth the trip up the mountain to Faraya. Not only that, we had to try their desserts.
- Chocobananuts Roll LBP10,000:Rolls of warm Nutella with bananas. As simple as it may look, they are majestic. Tender dough, warm and not cooked Nutella with cold bananas all together covered with powder sugar.
- Torregas LBP10,000: Tasty and special French toast, the Mexican way...
The great stuff:
- The food in here inspires passion and trust. There is love in every bite.
- The plates are simple and very tasty. Nothing is too oily or too complicated but clean and clear. Every flavor is felt.
- I loved the thinly sliced radish found almost everywhere.
A must try! Worth a weekly visit to Faraya.