Le Coin du Mexique: Report
I had a chance to eat at Le Coin du Mexique with a few other Hounds the other day, and here is the report:
Le Coin du Mexique is a friendly restaurant with a very homey and casual décor. It is jus the place to go for soul-reviving Mexican food. It is on Jean-Talon east, just across from the Iberville metro.
We started with an appetizer of sopes. These are small rounds of deep fried masa dough covered with a thin layer of refried beans, cream and queso. You then garnish them with onions and cilantro, and your choice of salsa, a spicy red intense salsa, and a slightly milder green tomatillo salsa. I threw on both salsas. These were the big hit of the night! I could have eaten several platefuls of these little beauties myself. You really can’t go wrong with fried dough.
We then shared several main courses. My favorite was the tacos al-pastor, flat tortillas covered with seasoned pork and pineapple chunks, again dressed with the onions and cilantro and your choice of salsa. These tacos brought me right back to the taco truck we found in North Carolina several years ago, to the moment I realized that Taco Bell wasn’t a very authentic purveyor of Mexican Cuisine. The pork was delicious! For these tacos alone, I will be back at this place soon.
We also shared the chiles rellenos, battered poblano peppers stuffed with queso and deep fried, served in a vinegary tomato sauce. Sides included rice with peas, and refried beans and salad. The rice and salad were good, but not particularly memorable. The refried beans were much better, and had a rich taste of home made beans, they were much better than the stuff I get our of a can. The rellenos was very good, and the sauce quite lovely. But unfortunately, it could not compare to some chile rellenos I had made last year. You really need to eat rellenos fresh, as soon as they have been fried, and this is a luxury that not many restaurants can afford (due to the labour intensive nature of the recipe). So while it was good, I wouldn’t order it again. Still, if you don’t have the patience to make your own rellenos, this is a reasonable version.
We also shared a platter of chicken enchiladas in chocolate mole sauce. The enchiladas were again good, but not memorable. The chocolate mole sauce lacks the depth of flavour that I have had in mole down south (in the States or in Oaxaca). It is very smooth and tasty, but I expected more flavour. This mole is like a string quartet. The mole I had in Oaxaca was an symphony orchestra. Again, it is a reasonable dish, and I would order it again, since it doesn’t look like I’ll get to Mexico soon. But I’m always going to think, oh I wish there were more to this mole.
For dessert we had fried banana and a dessert that consisted of canned peaches in a custard sauce, liberally doused with alcohol. Both were tasty, but not exciting.
On the other hand, the horchata was amazing! This is a rice based drink that is like drinking rice pudding, but with a nice smooth texture. It was delicious, and nicely tempered the heat of the chiles. YUM!
Overall, our experience at Le Coin du Mexique was very good. Although it has its flaws, the food is very good, authentic and reasonably priced. I shall definitely continue to go here when I need my Mexican cuisine fix.