Sometimes it’s not the food that really blows your mind in a restaurant, but the quality of the people that run it. That was absolutely my experience of Mexicano in Shrewsbury this week. I was marching around town on a variety of missions, aware that I was running out of time before my afternoon appointment. Wondering what to eat. Sunday lunch made sense, because it was Sunday. But as I wandered down Fish Street, I glanced at the sign for Mexicano.
“Hey! You want some Mexican food?” A woman called out to me from one of the two small tables inside. She didn’t work there, she was just waiting for her takeaway order to be finished off. But she was clearly a big fan so I shrugged and thought “Why not?”
Tucked away in an alley
It’s a small location, and easy to miss. Let’s face it, 99% of Shrewsbury‘s businesses are hidden away on a winding street somehow, somewhere. It’s clean and compact. Simple and unassuming. Paris, the owner, is warm and welcoming. I don’t think I’ve ever met someone who embodies the phrase ‘salt of the earth’ so much before. Expect kindness and an eagerness to please, but perhaps the odd muttered expletive when they get busy.
The food is perhaps not the most authentic Mexican you’ll ever get. But it is tasty and filling. Try the spicy minced beef in a burrito or quesadilla if you like it hot. Opt for the slightly more delicate, but still flavourful chipotle chicken if you prefer things a bit more tame. I was honestly surprised that no carnitas option was available, always my go-to in a Mexican joint because it is invariably always the best.
Inside my burrito, the beans were not black, but kidney beans. The salsa was pretty much just chopped fresh tomato. But it all tasted good and, as requested, I got extra sour cream on the side.
Mexico by Greece
The lack of some of the fine details of authenticity at Mexicano Shrewsbury is not hugely surprising, for this appears to be Mexican food prepared by, I think, a Greek chef (very happy to be corrected if I’m wrong on that though!!). He’s enthusiastic about feeding people well, that much is clear. He obviously enjoys cooking and making sure his guests enjoy their meals. I certainly enjoyed mine.
But while I ate, I also saw with my own eyes that this business is, quietly and without fanfare, supporting people in the area who are less fortunate. Offering real, tangible support in terms of food, but also advice and opening pathways to employment. I was genuinely taken aback to see such incredible generosity and for that reason, I encourage you to head to Mexicano for filling food at a fair price. Let Paris know how spicy you like it and he’ll see you right.