67 Victoria St
West Auckland Central
Parking: Various Prices at Public Parking Lots
Daily, 5-7pm, $7 margaritas, $15 margaritas pitchers, $3.50 beers & glasses of wine, & select bites from $3.50-$8.50
Since I’ve entered the crazy world of TV production, I’ve spent almost as much time on the road as I do in LA. I always aim to live like a local, since I’ve never been one to play fanny pack tourist. (Fanny pack fierce, yes, but not tourist). I always want to know where to shop, eat, drink, & sometimes a native cuss word.
Whenever I travel to a foreign country, I always think it’s interesting when I find cuisine that doesn’t belong to that country. Italian restaurants in Brazil, Thai in Amsterdam, Burgers in Rome, & Mexican in New Zealand... I guess I just always assume that everyone else in the world is eating much healthier local food since I tend to eat up the fresh food of that particular country. In Auckland, I never encountered food that was particularly native. However, my coworkers & I were told that we’ll always have delicious meats so after our first real scout day, we decided that the Mexican Café couldn’t be too bad. Once again we lucked out and stumbled across a happy hour after a scout.
The happy hour menu offered single margaritas for $7 and margarita pitchers for $15. Naturally we ordered up a couple of pitchers for our party of five. In my travels, I’ve become accustomed to smaller serving sizes around the globe, but we were quite surprised at the size of the pitchers. They weren’t much bigger than the single serving margarita.
The pitchers also included two straws so we weren’t sure if we were expected to drink straight from it until the glasses arrived. We also soon discovered that the double straws were a drink trend at most Auckland bars. Not sure why, but it would have be quite awkward to have a Lady & the Tramp margarita moment with coworkers, no matter how close we are. Serving size aside, the margaritas were quite nice. They weren’t strong enough that you need to take your time like Malo but more light & chill like Cabo Cantina.
New Zealand’s Mexican food did not disappoint. Apparently, we were in one of the few Mexican restaurants in all of New Zealand. Like any Mexican restaurant worth a damn, we received complimentary chips & salsa. The chips were fresh and crispy. They tasted like light & airy Fritos, loved these since I love Fritos but not the greasy fingers they leave behind. We also ordered up a bowl of guacamole that we couldn’t get enough of. It turned out avocados were in season. We ordered a mix of entrees, and the table soon fell quiet as we all enjoyed our food.
We left well after happy hour was over and this place was jumping more than ever. Apparently, Mexican Café is a great place to be any hour of the day. I would definitely go back. However, since I was in Auckland for a limited time, it wouldn’t be a happy hour tour if I didn’t keep it moving. JG.
Rating: 3 Martinis