Category Archives: Mexican

Mesa 14

As mentioned in my (unfortunately negative) review of Burritoville, I prefer Mesa 14 when it comes to getting my Mexican food fix in the Concordia area. I figured this would be a good time to explain why.

Mesa 14's first-floor dining/lounge area

Mesa 14's first-floor dining/lounge area

Mesa 14 used to be called Mexicali Rosa’s (part of a Toronto-based chain of restaurants), but in 2003 it changed over to the independently owned Mesa 14. The menu seems, to me, to be very similar to the old Mexicali Rosa’s menu, though the Mesa 14 website says that they are committed to using the finest fresh ingredients and making their own salsas and sauces everyday. Indeed, their complimentary bowl of chips and salsa is quite delicious, with a lot of cilantro.

As I’m usually at Mesa 14 for lunch, it’s important to note that they offer a lunch menu that’s slightly cheaper than their evening menu, with about six of the options found on the regular menu. My favourite is the Bandera Mexicana, which features two enchiladas (one cheese, one chicken) with one side smothered in red sauce, the other in green and a stripe of sour cream down the middle. All of their dishes come with generous portions of Mexican rice and black refried beans (yum!), so they’re quite filling. My second favourite is the Burrito Barrio, which comes with different fillings to suit most tastebuds, including chicken, ground beef, shredded beef, pulled pork, shrimp or a vegetarian chili.

With two levels of dining and lounging areas, Mesa 14 also boasts a great space to relax, enjoy your food or drinks, and stay for as long as you like. I tend to end up here at least once a week, and the staff are always super welcoming and know the order for both my companion and I off by heart. It’s this kind of touch that endears the place to me, and the food is delicious, so obviously I keep coming back for more!

Mesa 14 may not be the cheapest eats in town, but their meals are always delicious and hearty, and the staff is very friendly. If you’re craving Mexican, this is the place to be, as they definitely won’t serve you leftovers the way they do at 3 Amigos (what do you think those 49-cent tacos are made out of, darling?), and they’ve got a fabulous martini menu for those that indulge!

ADDRESS: 1425 Bishop
METRO: Guy-Concordia
PHONE: 514-284-0344
ONLINE: mesa14.com
HOURS: Mon-Thurs 11am-midnight, Fri-Sun 11am-3am

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Burritoville

I hate to post bad reviews, as this site is about promoting little-known gems, but sometimes I suppose it just needs to be done. Case in point: Burritoville.

The original Burritoville, in NDG

When I lived in NDG, I would often pass the doors of the original Burritoville restaurant on Sherbrooke, wondering whether it’d be worth it to peek inside and give their burritos a whirl. They never really looked open, so I didn’t bother to investigate. Now, however, they’ve set up shop just across the street from my usual Concordia haunt at the Co-op Bookstore, so I’ve got no excuse.

I finally had a chance to sample Burritoville’s goods on Wednesday, when the Co-op hosted its “Not In Our Office” office party there, and I’ve gotta say… I wasn’t much impressed.

There could be many reasons for my dissatisfaction. Granted, we did arrive fairly late in the evening, but it kind of seemed that they didn’t have much in stock. The menu is pretty slim, though they do offer an amazing variety of salsas as well as different kinds of chips (corn, chipotle and black bean, I believe). They’re also a vegetarian/vegan joint, so although I am not hardcore about meat being included in my every meal, I wasn’t sure what they’d put in a bean burrito besides, well… beans.

As it turns out, their spicy bean burrito is mostly brown rice, which is a major Fail in my book. Rice is crap; it’s carb calories that spike your blood sugar and, in the end, contribute to making you fat a hell of a lot quicker than eating straight up lard. (As my husband likes to point out: if it’s higher than 30 on the glycemic index, then you shouldn’t be eating it. Brown rice weighs in at 50.) Vegetarians like to think of rice as a healthy filler, but I would disagree with that notion.

Needless to say, I was displeased by the rice content of my order, particularly given the fact that there didn’t seem to be nearly enough beans for something called a Spicy Bean Burrito!

The chips ‘n’ salsa were tasty, though I should’ve paid the extra for some guacamole.

I think what really bugged me about Burritoville, though, was something beyond their control. When I lived in New York, I regularly ate at a place called Burritoville that had what I have come to identify as The World’s Greatest Burritos. There’s no way to make the comparison anymore, as they’ve tragically gone out of business, but my god, their burritos were huge and tasty–and full of delicious beans! (Okay, so they were on a brown rice kick, too, but at least their rice was properly cooked.)

Standing up to the delicious memories of NYC’s Burritoville, Montreal’s Burritoville simply didn’t stand a chance. Which is too bad, as the owners and staff seem like really nice people who are trying to contribute a healthy option amongst all the fast food garbage surrounding the Concordia ghetto.

Sorry, Burritoville, but I’ll stick with Mesa 14 (just down the street at 1425 Bishop) for my Tex-Mex needs.

ADDRESS: 2055 Bishop
METRO: Guy-Concordia
PHONE: 514-286-2776
ONLINE: burritoville.com
HOURS: Tues-Sat noon-9pm