128 Mitchell Street, Maidstone
Phone: 9318 5289
There’s been a bit of buzz about this place recently. It was reviewed in The Age, and also Lauren reviewed it recently, too. As a result, the bloggers on twitter have been eager to visit. Now normally, Penny, Anna and I will go to places out West together, because it’s local and well, we like similar things. But as her mother is in town, she couldn’t make it on the date Anna and I had set, so we went without her. Penny’s a sneaky lass though, and she went with her mum the night before us! Talk about being scooped!
Anyway, we drove through the suburban streets of Maidstone – I was sure I had taken the wrong turn somewhere – to find Los Latinos. It’s in a little strip of neighbourhood shops, which includes a requisite Chinese takeaway joint, opposite a rather banal park. As we walked in, the place was already bustling, and we were greeted first by the smells of fresh tortillas and grilled meats, and secondly by one of the friendly waitresses who were wonderfully charming all night.
I was at once disappointed to learn that the restaurant isn’t licensed – no cerveza!? – but excited to see Jarritos drinks. It brought back memories of my holiday in Mexico. I tried the Tamarind flavoured one, while Anna had a drink called Kolamshampan (the drink of El Salvador, if branding is to be believed). We reasoned that it must taste like champagne, with a name like that! Sadly, it tasted like creamy soda. Mr D had a glass of horchata, which was very sweet, but also had a hint of cinnamon and other spices.
We started off with some arepas, because there’s a bit of hype surrounding this dish. Mostly because you don’t find it at many restaurants in Melbourne.
We also ordered the chicken quesadilla. Basically a chicken and cheese sandwich with tortilla bread, this was topped with more cheese and guacamole, and came with a salsa-esque salad. Like pizza, quesadillas are something of a forbidden fruit with me – I love them, but the hefty amount of cheese often leads to moments of regret. I’ll just say – again – lactose, and leave it at that.
I had ordered the Pastel de Choclo, a ‘hot pot with chicken, beef mince and boiled egg’. Double meat surprise? Hell yeah!
Thankfully, we were all rather curious, so we agreed to share our mains. Mr D ordered the Carne Asada ala Guanaco.
Anna ordered the chicken tacos, which were fresh soft tortillas stuffed to overflowing with chicken, salsa and guacamole.
Mr M ordered the pupusas, which are tortilla parcels filled with frijole and cheese. I’m not sure, but I think you can actually specify what you want in the pupusas from four different fillings, but the waitress didn’t ask which one/s we’d like, so I think frijole con queso is the default option.