Today on the Dining Diaries….

A grumpy waiter does his best to spoil our experience
Nachos!! Nachos!!! Nachos!
Authentic music and good Sangria make everything better

gallery_venue3_Zapata's_800x500.jpgDiners today we were at Zapata’s Mexican Restaurant in North Adelaide. They claim to be Adelaide’s oldest Mexican restaurant and probably are, being established in 1975.

We walked into an almost empty restaurant as dinner service had only just started and a waiter came up to us with no smile and gave us a sense that we had interrupted something really important that he was going to do. It almost made me want to walk out but I’ve wanted to come back to this place for years so we just followed behind him to our table.

FullSizeRender (99).jpgHe sat us by the window and actually it was nice because we could see what was happening on the street outside and it felt a little more intimate.

The disinterested waiter gave us some menus and asked if we wanted to order something to drink. I really wanted to try their sangria but I hadn’t seen it on the drink menu so I asked if they did Sangria. He rolled his eyes and using as little words as possible said chastisingly “front”. I turned to the front of the drink menu and yes, there it was. Silly me. So I ordered some Sangria and tried not to cry.

I have to say, I LOVED that they had Mexican music playing. Loved that! It puts you in the mood. I love the way it’s decorated too. If you’ve been to Montezuma’s you’ll know what I mean when I say it’s not as gaudy as the Montezuma decorations but a more elegant modern Mexican style. (FYI Montezumas is a guilty secret passion for me and gaudy does have it’s place!)

So back to the menu; I thought there were a lot of what you’d expect to find in a Mexican restaurant in Australia, as well as  couple of Mexican inspired dishes. What I should have researched more was the fact that they have half price nacho’s on Wednesday’s! I had heard people saying these serves are really big and when we ordered a large serve to share as an entree, the disinterested waiter’s eyes grew big (Effort) and said “they’re big” and I shut him down with a “we’re big eaters” and he turned away.

Turns out he was right. They were big, but I hate when people say that because my expectation of “big” is not the same as others. Still, they were a big serve and hubby and I easily shared a plate. You’d have trouble getting through this on your own I think!
But remember people, although these nacho’s are definitely worth coming here for, make sure you come on a Wednesday because they’re not cheap.

I couldn’t pick what photo I liked better – I should have had something else in the photo to give you perspective of how big this plate was. There was nothing to complain about that’s for sure! They were delicious!

A different waitress came to take our main order and she was lovely. I was so relieved.
Hubby went for the Carne a La Tampiquena – Combination plate of barbecue fillet Steak with onion and capsicum, a Chicken & cheese Enchilada coated with hot mole sauce, frijoles & salad.
I ordered Chilli Colorado – A typically Mexican dish of hearty beef chunks in a spicy sauce of red chilli served with rich, frijoles and fresh garden salad.

Mine (Above) was just delicious. It might not look so pretty on the plate but the beef was tender and just so full of flavour. The sauce was a little spicy but not overly so that you lose all taste in what you’re eating. The rice was cold which was a little disappointing and the salad wasn’t dressed but I enjoyed this dish anyway and it was perfect on this cold Winter’s night.

FullSizeRender (98)Hubby’s dish was equally interesting…

I’m not sure what he was expecting but when he bit into his steak his eyes glazed over. When he was able to, he told me that it was an excellent cut of steak and one of the most tender steaks he’s ever had.

The tomato and avocado on his plate was so heavily salted that he couldn’t eat it. He kept begging me to try it but why would I want to eat something that I’ve been told is over salted?
No thank you. I’d rather reserve my taste buds for things I’m hoping to like.

FullSizeRender (95)The chicken and cheese enchilada was an interesting item on his plate too because it was coated in a mole sauce.

We didn’t really know what this was.

He got me to try it as he said it had a sweetness to it. Now sweetness is something I don’t mind and I definitely did taste sweetness.

I’ve since looked it up and know what’s in a mole sauce.

It wasn’t unpleasant, and it was good to try something different but I’m not sure that hubby will go for it again.

So to sum everything up, we enjoyed our time here despite the efforts of the grumpy waiter – and let me add that the rest of the staff were really very lovely, warm and friendly.

The menu was varied, the food was good, the sangria was excellent and the nachos were great (Even better on a Wednesday)

Have you been to Zapata’s
What did you think?
Let me know in the comments below!


Till next we chow…

9 thoughts on “Zapatas

  1. Tequila and Tacos at Port Noarlunga for me. Zapatas had a golden era which is long past because of lack of enthusiasm. Salt is what you put on yourself and most Adelaide places understand this. Agree with you about big and how that can be interpreted. They should use the word huge. I can demolish big. Huge not so much!!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I just finished watching the old original Iron Chef:Mango battle. A Mexican chef from Japan versus Iron Chef Italian. Between that and your incredibly tantalizingly portrayed post, I now am sure I know nothing of good Mexican food. Thank you for sharing and getting me to get up and find some good authentic Mexican one day.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I share my comment (on Zapatas) just posted on my Blog. I’m still working out/learning how to use this WordPress platform properly so please forgive me if I put things where they shouldn’t be! ‘I share this post because it bring backs such fond memories of 1984 in Adelaide and eating at Zapatas. It was a great place then and still is! When I left Australia for the USA in March 1984 my farewell dinner was at Zapatas. Somewhere there are photos of the night, the old style photos. When I came back to Australia, 17 years later, it was still operating and still a place of fine food, a taste of Mexico a la Adelaide’s take on it. To this day I crave for the Mexican food in the USA. Zapata does a great job though and I highly recommend and, yes sitting at the front near the window is always nice. Great, great place and you won’t go hungry and oh for the margaritas! My all time favourite drink is margarita, that’s the frozen margarita, a ubiquitous drink in the USA and served everywhere at cheap prices by the jug/pitcher or by the pint if you want. The frozen pint is served in over sized, extra wide, champagne type glasses. Shouts for Tequila especially if its got the worm in the bottom (of the bottle)!’

    Liked by 2 people

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