My sister Juji told me about That Little Mexican Place in North Perth ages ago and we haven’t gotten around to checking it out. But when we heard that a new That Little Mexican Place had opened up in Victoria Park, closer to our neck of the woods, we decided to get off our lazy bums and go for breakfast there a couple of weeks ago. I love my big breakfast fry-ups, but rather liked the thought of Mexican food for breaky.
Faced with the choice of sitting in the dark restaurant or in the glarey sunshine (the dilemmas of a food blogger :)), I decided glare would be easier to deal with, so we sat at one of the tables outside at the front of the restaurant. First, our hot drinks. Jac got a cappucino. I find that when I’m hungry and waiting to eat, everything makes my stomach growl, even the sweet smell of chocolate powder on top of a cappucino.
I ordered the papas con chorizo (AU$19), which is a generous serving of hash brown potato tossed with house-made chorizo, served with eggs (I chose scrambled), tortillas and salsa verde. The potatoes were really tasty. The chorizo was very finely minced – your first response when looking at the photo might well be “what chorizo?” There was definitely chorizo in there, but I’d have preferred it a little chunkier so I could’ve enjoyed a more satisfying sausagey chew and tasted its flavour a little more. The eggs were ok – but not like buttery scrambled eggs – just plain scrambled, I think. The salsa on top was nice, but not at all “verde” as described by the menu – this was not really a big deal for me. I thought the refried beans could’ve had a stronger flavour (more seasoning may have done the trick). I didn’t really like the tortillas – I tried eating them with the potatoes and beans but they just weren’t to my taste. I pretty much ignored them and focused all my attention on the eggs and tasty potato and chorizo mix.
Jac ordered the quesadilla desayuno (AU$12.50), which consisted of fried egg, belly bacon and jack cheese between two toasted flour tortillas, served with a spreading pool of refried beans.
I rather liked the look of the quesadilla, toasted to crispy, with fried egg and curly bacon peeking out. A nice bit of fat on the bacon, too.
In addition to the egg, bacon and cheese, there was chopped fresh tomato and red onion in the quesadilla.
I love cheese that goes stringy when it melts. It says “EAT ME” (again with the talking food! :P) Not surprisingly, Jac enjoyed the quesadilla. :)
That little beverage blip: unexpected silliness involving drinks
As we placed our order, Jac asked if they could make a Virgin Mary (regular readers will know it’s one of Jac’s favourite drinks). The waiter said he’d see what he could do but returned a little while later to tell us they didn’t have all the ingredients to make a Virgin Mary – would she like something else? He suggested, “But we do make a Virgin Margarita” and Jac said that sounded nice – she’d have one of those instead. A little while later he came back again and looking embarrassed, said, “Sorry, we’re out of Margarita mix – so we can’t make you a Virgin Margarita.” Call me old-school, but when I worked behind a bar I used to make a Margarita from scratch when someone ordered one, not from a mix. :) In the end Jac ordered a plain old non-troublesome orange juice instead.
We thought about the Virgin Mary later – at its most basic, a Virgin Mary is made from tomato juice, lemon juice, Tabasco sauce, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper (a Bloody Mary without the vodka). Garnish with a celery stick is a nice touch but optional. Out of all those ingredients, maybe they didn’t have Worcestershire sauce. Or celery. Oh well. They did have tomato juice on the drinks menu, and I’d presume lemons, salt, pepper and Tabasco sauce would be in the kitchen of a Mexican restaurant. Anyway, we weren’t annoyed they couldn’t do a Virgin Mary, but it was a little annoying to have an alternative drink suggested by the waiter and then be told it wasn’t available. Poor waiter – we know he was only trying to please the customer (we did appreciate that).
The drink issue aside, I really enjoyed my Mexican breakfast. I hope more people will try out the Mexican breakfast – it’s a hot yummy breakfast and really does make a nice change from usual breakfast fare (well, Jac did have bacon and eggs in her quesadilla – and my dish was a variation of corned beef hash :P). The restaurant wasn’t busy at all while we were there – maybe three tables at most. It would be a shame if they stopped opening for breakfast due to a lack of interest. The more places in Perth to eat interesting breakfasts the better, I reckon.
That little trip down memory lane
Speaking of interesting breakfasts, one thing I really miss from my childhood in Malaysia is being able to eat all kinds of not-typically-breakfast foods for breakfast. Well, I guess they are not-typically-breakfast foods in Western countries like Australia. Don’t get me wrong, I love bacon and eggs etc but what I’d ideally like is to have the option of Western or Asian food for breakfast when dining out. And while dim sum for breakfast is great, dim sum restaurants need to open earlier, when I am hungry! :P
As a kid in Malaysia, I loved going to the markets with my mum early in the morning before school so we could buy fresh fruit, vegetables, meat and fish – and have breakfast at the markets. I always struggled with what to choose: char siu wantan mee dry style or kway teow fish ball soup… or wait a little longer for the chee cheong fun man to set up his stall, but that meant less time to eat! Whatever I chose, I would lean in close to my plate or bowl so as not to splash my school uniform with sauce or soup. The kway teow fish ball soup was especially tricky to eat as the noodles were so smooth and slippery and the steam from the hot soup would fog up my glasses. Ah, the memories! :D We’ve talked about your favourite “unbreakfasty” foods before – I never get tired thinking about delicious unbreakfasty foods. :D
But let me get back to That Little Mexican Place…
As we went inside to pay, I noticed among the specials scribbled on the mirror that they also serve banana empanadas. I really want to try empanadas, and banana ones sound great! Jac remarked that the restaurant is really small – I pointed out that it IS called “That Little Mexican Place”, after all. :P We hope to return sometime for dinner.
That Little Mexican Place (Victoria Park)
279A Albany Highway
Victoria Park WA
Telephone: (08) 9472 0767
Open 7:30am-9:30pm Tuesday – Sunday for breakfast, lunch and dinner
The original That Little Mexican Place is at 382 Fitzgerald St North Perth.