Monday, 5 July 2010
Viva Mexico, Edinburgh
Keeping the holiday-food vibe alive!
Before I went on holiday, I needed that little extra kick to put me in the holiday mood. As I was raving about the importance of holiday food the other week, I immediately bypassed Subway, Baguette To Go and Baguette Express and trekked up historic Cockburn Street. Pooh-poohing the Italians (I was to be bombarded with Penne Arrabiata in Malta soon enough), Viva Mexico leapt out at me like a ray of sunshine and its contrast of old building/sunny atmosphere was reminiscent of The Unbeatable Mexican. The Unbeatable is Liverpool's 'holiday destination' El Macho, the Mexican that has kept me sunny since 2000 and hence my nickname for it, I haven't managed to find anything to beat it.
Little did I know that Viva Mexico was to be a stiff competitor for El Macho's crown...
The staff are bubbly and sunny, my kind of people, and I felt instantly welcomed. In general, I find that restaurant staff have a bit of an attitude in this part of tourist trappy town but these people were lovely. The decor is imaginative and original and appearances can be deceptive here- from the street, it looks like a small bistro. It was only when I went to the toilet that I discovered a cavernous network of tables, fantastic artwork and ornaments and a whole lotta atmosphere. Cosy yet not overbearing, this restaurant is my new hidden paradise. I have to give the toilets a special mention too- the sinks are beautiful and remind me of summery tiles in Andalucia! They have a floral pattern- what more could a girl want?
I'm doing it again, aren't I? I'm reviewing a restaurant and have not mentioned the food yet! It was a Friday lunchtime and chose the lunch menu. At £5.50, a selection of delectables were at my disposal and us veggies are well catered for. (By the way, you can 'upgrade' to two-course for £7.50 and get a yummy soup- I had a big breakfast though so didn't take the offer up). I chose a burrito stuffed with potato and chickpea which was absolute heaven. It came with a beautifully prepared rice interspersed with veg and a fresh,crisp salad. Wow. Viva Mexico, you have secured a place in my heart and on my roster of restaurants. And yes, I did sample the coffee which was so good, it knocked points off its rival in Liverpool.
This restaurant has something to offer for everyone- privacy for lone diners, romantic ambience, party mood, good for groups. Now that I am working weekends again (yippee) I will definitely be dedicating more time to midweek lunch specials.