Saturday, 16 February 2008

Pepe's Mexican Restaurant

For Valentine's Day, DD and I went to dinner at Pepe's Mexican Restaurant at Coorparoo (their website is currently under construction). Pepe's is located on Old Cleveland Rd in Coorparoo. It has both inside and outside seating and does offer a takeaway menu. They are licenced and carry a wide range of imported beers, but they do allow BYO bottled wine (corkage fee applies).

Since it was a work night, we made our booking for an inside table at 6pm and arrived to an empty restaurant so we seated and provided with water and menus nice and quickly. The menu has all your typical Mexican dishes with some dishes which seem to have a bit of an Italian influence.

We chose to start with some garlic bread, then DD ordered the sizzling fajitas and I chose the fettucine del mare. Our bread arrived nice and quickly - four small baguette slices with a nicely flavoured garlic butter. It is hard to make bad garlic bread, and my only complaint about these was that they were toasted a fraction too long.

We did have a small wait between finishing our entree and our mains arriving, but while we were eating our bread, three other parties arrived and I imagine that was the reason for the delay.

DD's fajitas were indeed sizzling! The beef was cooked with a hefty dose of onions and capsicum, which made it absolute heaven for DD, who will ask for anything to be cooked with onions and capsicum. The rest of the meal was served on a very very big square plate, with four tortillas, a line of shredded iceberg lettuce topped with grated cheddar cheese and four dishes of condiments - sour cream, quacamole, salsa and a spicy tomato sauce.

My fettucine is poorly pictured above (I only had my phone with me). I love seafood pasta and this dish had the most beautifully flavoured prawns and scallops that I've had for a long time. There were lots of them too, which was refreshing. The pesto, cream and white wine sauce was lovely. The pesto was not blended fine, and still had little bits of pine nut throughout the dish. I know that some people would not agree, but I loved the texture that it added. The pesto flavour also was the star of the dish and kept it exciting, it didn't get stodgy or heavy as some cream-based pasta sauces do. I really enjoyed it, however, it was quite filling and I didn't finish it. Our server was quite concerned that I hadn't liked it and it was nice to see them take such pride in what they served.

Our meals and a jug of Coke cost us all of $50. We were nicely full and the meal was very enjoyable. The only thing that was a little off-putting was that the restaurant was fully booked for Valentine's, and they had seated all the early bookings in one corner. I guess this is so they can easily seat people as they arrive? However, this meant that there were four tables (us, another couple and two six-person parties) all crammed into a corner to the point that the people next to us could not pull out there chairs without hitting us while the rest of the restaurant was empty. Next time, we'll book an outside table.

There are quite a few pretty bad reviews about Pepe's on the internet, although these tend to be more about the Milton and Jindalee restaurants. We found that the service was prompt, friendly and helpful. The meals arrived at a nice temperature and were well presented, everything was cooked properly and was not swimming in fat or anything else unacceptable and did not taste microwaved.

Pepe's is a good choice if you're looking for a casual dinner with a Mexican flair.

Pepe's Mexican Restaurant
3/433 Old Cleveland Rd
Ph 07 3395 1328

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