Fairly Average Mexican But A Good Vibe - Santa Maria

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Travel to any city in the world these days and Mexican food is all the rage. Burrito bars spread across the world faster than Americans intercepting electronic communications. Of course the food we all call "Mexican" is very unlike the food they eat over there and has been bastardised within an inch of it's life. The likes of cheddar cheese piled on top of everything has more to do with Tex Mex food where the Mexican culture has spread across the border and mixed with some American classics. What we have now across the world is real comfort food, so I was excited to get stuck into one of the best known and busiest restaurants in the heart of Kreuzberg…

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I'd actually been down to Santa Maria about three times before in the evening but every time I'd popped by the place was just too packed with people spilling out onto the streets looking at menus. I was told every time that it would be at least 30 minutes so I headed off to check the many other great spots in the area. With the sun splitting the stones one day as I walked through Kreuzberg, I took my chance and dived in to the relatively quiet open room for a late lunch. The windows were open and I started with an epic glass of lemon water to help quench the thirst.

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As with most Mexican spots, nearly every dish on the menu looked the exact same to me with a choice of beef, chicken, pork or veggie. Pretty much everything comes with beans and you can throw a bit of avocado on the side for an extra fee. You don't need to be a rocket scientist to order in most Mexican establishments! I had a few corn chips, beans and avocado to start. I'd say they were decent without being outstanding. The mains are also so big that unless you are intent on becoming a fat bastard you really aren't going to need two courses here.

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My main was fairly decent. Loads of good flavours but the tacos were a little soggy under the weight of all the toppings. I wanted it all to have more of a fiery kick but it was fairly bland. I wouldn't say it was bad but I've defo had way better Mexican in other cities. I think the main thing was that I probably set the standards too high after seeing so many people eating here and the place always being packed. I wrongly presumed that the food must be outstanding when in reality it is more about the buzz of the place, the cold beers and the savage cocktails. If you are on a night out with a few buddies and want to get a few drinks in while having a good time in a relaxed atmosphere this is the spot for you. Then again I don't need to tell you that because you probably already know seeing as how busy it is and how hard you'll find it to get a table. Decent Mexican but could do better on the grub.

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Written By

Niall Harbison

Niall founded Lovin' Dublin with a few fairly simple aims: discover new places to eat in Dublin and share simple recipes cooked up in his kitchen.

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