Sunday, March 23, 2014

Mexican Food: London vs. Scottsdale

On one very chilly day on my recent trip to London, after spending the day walking from one end of the city to another, I was hungry and very cold when I found myself in front of a restaurant called Cantina Laredo in the Covent Garden area.  It was new and modern looking and most of all, looked warm inside so in I went.

The inside was indeed warm and also friendly and the menu looked very interesting with a lot of familiar dishes.  I started thawing out, unwound my neck scarf and settled in for relaxing meal.

The first thing I ordered was the house made guacamole, made table side just like at many Arizona restaurants.

I watched the server mash the whole avocado and add all the familiar ingredients and when I dug in, I felt warm all over.  It was a little taste of home so far away.

For my entree I ordered the Chicken Mole enchiladas and I was eager to see if those too were as good as the food I'm used to eating in the U.S. southwest.

I was pleasantly surprised.  The enchiladas were beautifully presented and every bit as delicious as those in my favorite Arizona Mexican restaurants.

When I decided to write a post about having great Mexican Food in London, I went to their website to gather some details, I noticed at the very bottom of the site's pages a link to "US Cantina Laredo".  I checked it and discovered that there was a Cantina Laredo in Scottsdale.  That's when I decided I should do a comparison.

The restaurant is located in far north Scottsdale in a very busy shopping area.  The outside is very attractive in a much more southwestern looking building than the location in London.  That I expected.

The inside was warm and modern like the restaurant in London with very tasteful decor and art.

I decided to order the same thing I ordered in London, the Chicken Mole enchiladas but, I skipped the guacamole.

I was just a bit surprised when the plate was placed in front of me with just one enchilada on it but, I thought maybe that was because it was lunch time.  The presentation was nice looking but I thought it was just a little less attractive.  The enchilada itself was good but it didn't wow me like the one I had in London.

In the end I decided that the London restaurant was by far the superior dining experience.  Imagine that, I found a Mexican restaurant in London that is much better than it's sister restaurant located so close to the national origins of it's cuisine.


Anonymous said...

How interesting, just shows how different kitchens/chefs have different interpretations of the same dish!

Thérèse said...

I would have guessed the restaurant in London not to be as "Mexican" as the ones in AZ. How wrong I would have been... and how brave you were at the first place to try it.

Thérèse said...

Beautiful pictures too.

PerthDailyPhoto said...

Well how about that hey Sharon.. I guess the London restaurant might have to pay more attention to detail as it's not a typical English way of eating whereas in Santa Fe they might get a little too relaxed about it all.

Steve said...

I imagine the cost of the meal in London was more expensive. Nice comparison.

Judy said...

Interesting. Nice job on the food pictures! said...

In view of the reputation of English food,, some might say that London is a perfect place to enjoy Mexican food.

Of course that is unfair, as there are some outstanding restaurants in the UK.

Kate said...

What fun! I love the comparison and the outcome. Guess I am going to have to visit Perth and give her some advice on restaurants in SF!!

Kathy said...

I woulda never thunk it!

Steve Reed said...

I'm so glad I read this. Dave and I have talked about how hard it is to find good Tex-Mex or Mexican food in London. Now we know where to go!