Sunday, 28 April 2013

Fajitas, enchiladas and fish fingers

So. Husband's birthday earlier this week. A midweek birthday is always a tough one to work out what to do - when the children were younger, we'd have arranged a babysitter and just gone out for the evening, but they are much more aware these days. God love 'em - they even managed to keep a secret so well, they didn't even tell him we went to pick up a present from one of his favourite shops.

The children are not for being left out any more. A family meal out it had to be, so it was more than lucky that Chiquito Mexican Restaurant offered us a voucher to give them a try. When I lived down south, I'd been to quite a few of their restaurants but when I first moved here, there were none. In the last couple of years, we have made one or two trips to the newer local branches in the area. In the meantime, we've been to newer chains like Las Iguanas which offered greater variety of food options.

Monkey staring aimlessly at the Reebok
We went to the restaurant near Bolton Wanderers' stadium, which impressed Monkey as our table had a panoramic view of the ground . Wednesday early evening was never going to be a busy time and sure enough, it was half empty when we arrived so the service was very attentive. The guy that showed us to our table had some good banter going with the children.

Checking out the menu, I liked that they had two children's menus - Monkey has a voracious appetite whereas Missy Woo is not as hungry. The "young adults" menu was also more adventurous than the kids menu, again reflecting their respective food personalities. Whilst we demolished a couple of bowls of what I think was sour cream and chive flavoured popcorn, Monkey chose fajitas with chicken in tomato sauce, which is one of his favourite things to eat, and Missy Woo? She went for fish fingers! As it was that or their standard choice of pasta, I wasn't going to fight a battle. They both chose a milkshake as their drink, which cost a little extra than those that are part of their meal deal. The adult menu was huge - far wider than I remember it and I struggled to choose because it was like reading a book!

We skipped starters on this occasion and went straight to mains. It meant, along with the fact that it was quiet, that our food arrived pretty quickly after we'd ordered. Like Monkey, I'd gone for fajitas and we both received substantial portions, so I was glad I'd skipped starters. Husband chose enchiladas which he demolished fairly quickly and actually had some of my fajitas. Mine was pulled pork which was  gorgeous - the barbeque sauce was a great mix of sweet and sour. My only minor criticisms of the fajitas were that I had no plate so no place to lay out a tortilla, fill it and roll it and that my tortillas were rolled so tightly that they had all torn in the middle. That did not detract from the enjoyment of the food. Monkey enjoyed his fajitas although he didn't touch the salsa. Missy Woo enjoyed her fish fingers but they were fish fingers and chips, nothing fancy.

My fajita filling - pulled pork and veg
Knowing that there was chocolate orange cake at home, we were going to skip dessert too. However, the children's meals both included a dessert so husband cracked and ordered one too. Missy chose strawberry sundae and Monkey went adventurous again, choosing churros that he has never had before.  Both of them got substantial portions so although I hadn't ordered anything, I got to snaffle a fair bit and very nice they were too.

All throughout our visit, the service was friendly and attentive. If I were to have a criticism, it would be that because it was quiet, it was a little too attentive at times, and they did that thing where they asked us if our meals were OK almost seconds after we got them as we were served by a number of people. Apart from that, it was good and we were certainly made to feel welcome and there was no pressure to finish our food quickly so it was nice and relaxed. Being a fairly new unit, the layout is good so you're not on top of all the tables and the children love the light fitting made from beer bottles.

We left, carrying birthday balloons with full tummies and smiles on our faces. We had a great time and with the increased variety on the Chiquito menu, we will definitely be back soon.

(Chiquito kindly sent us a £50 voucher to use in one of their restaurants and were aware in advance of the approximate time and location of our visit. We were also asked to tell the staff on arrival that we had a voucher. All pictures and opinions are our own.) 
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