on June 16, 2006
By May, the fourth month of our study abroad experience, my friends and I were all craving Mexican food. Not homemade burritos from the few Old El Paso products found in Coles supermarkets, not food from New South Wales (since Queenslanders call New South Welshmen Mexicans—because they live south of the border), but real Mexican food. We found a little restaurant called Pepe’s in Milton, which was a short train ride away, so off we went.Pepe’s wasn’t in the heart of the Park Road restaurant area in Milton, which is on the river side of the train station and the XXXX brewery, but instead is just past the brewery in the opposite direction. It is in a tiny strip centre and visible because of the brilliant colors the entire place is coated in—there are oranges and yellows everywhere!The menu didn’t have a whole lot of choices, but seemed better in general than Montezuma’s, Australia’s largest Mexican chain. Sadly, they did not have quesadillas—which I had really been craving—although this is probably a good thing because nothing can beat a Taco Cabana chicken quesadilla at 2am! I ended up ordering beef nachos and my friend ordered a burrito. She was a bit curious when they gave her a list of toppings, most of which normally come on a burrito as a standard, like corn or sour cream, and asked her to choose one. She just ordered beans and hoped for the best. I don’t remember what my other friend ordered but it was one of the limited choices for people allergic to wheat.Boy, did my friend get a surprise when her burrito came out. It truly was a bean burrito, consisting solely of refried beans and a tortilla wrapped around them. She managed to eat it—somehow—but point out that not only did she feel like she was eating a can of refried beans, but she could have eaten this exact same thing for much cheaper at home (I don’t remember the exact price, but it was at least $9 vs. a $2 can of beans). She ended up going home and not eating beans for quite some time.I enjoyed my nachos. They were a heaping pile of chips, shredded beef, sour cream, and other condiments that cost me around $10. With a bit more Southwestern flavor, they would have reminded me very much of Hard Rock Café nachos—some of the best I’ve had (its odd to say that about any food at the Hard Rock). They were really quite tasty and satiated my Mexican craving for the time being, even if I did order the hottest salsa (on a scale of 1-5) and it was still barely a Texas medium.The service was decent—not terribly quick, but not slow either. We can’t blame them for not knowing anything about Mexican food because, well, they were in Australia. We paid our bill and headed out, at least two of us happy with our little taste of home.
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