I’d say this little Bearwood eatery was a hidden gem, but that would be a lie. A La Mexicana has been there, quietly serving amazing food for a few months now, literally ten minutes from my front door. Then suddenly, it got discovered, and everyone and their cat has been shouting about how great it is. And rightly so.
Always late to the party, I finally got round to trying it out. Considering how close it is to my flat, it is inexcusable that it’s taken me so long. Still, better late than never, I met Bite Your Brum there for a lunch date.
A La Mexicana is family-run and as about as authentic as you can get without leaving Smethwick. Inside, you’ll find brightly coloured, plastic-covered table clothes, straw hats on the walls, and a small, but perfectly formed menu of Mexican classics.
I was a little over-excited to spot an array of neon coloured Jarritos (£2.50) soda lined up in the fridge, although I perhaps shouldn’t have admitted to the waiter that my previous experience of them is in the Mexican Pavillion at Disney World’s Epcot. For those not in the know, Jarritos are natural, fruit flavoured sodas very popular in Mexico. They’re delicious and super refreshing.
We asked the waiter for advice on what to order, and interestingly he suggested we go off-menu. It’s definitely worth having a chat before you order, in case they’ve got something else interesting in the kitchen that they can offer you. I followed the off-menu suggestion of Shrimp Tacos (£9).
My three tacos were jammed with filling, so much so that I struggled to keep it all in the wrap. The shrimp was clearly incredibly fresh, as was the salad, making a light, zingy, flavoursome lunch. I LOVE tacos and have often complained about how few places serve good ones around Birmingham, so I’ll be moving into A La Mexicana shortly.
We also opted to share some guacamole and chips (£5), which comes with a side of house-made salsa. You can choose from a range of heats for your salsa, and the medium we chose had a nice kick, without being too hot. If they’re not bottling this stuff to sell to take home, they’re missing a trick, because it’s gorgeous.
The chips are the best kind of crunchy and salty, making the perfect vessel to shovel bright, buttery guacamole into my face.
A La Mexicana might not be a hidden gem anymore, but you should absolutely join the hoards to eat there. I’ll fight you for a table.
All prices correct at the time of writing. All opinions are honest and my own. Nobody knew we were bloggers, and we paid in full.