Remember when Mexican food was a packet of corn chips, some grated cheddar and a jar of salsa? Those days are loooong gone. Ain’t no Tex Mex around here padre.
Mexican waves were raised all ‘round when a Canuck and a Melbournite opened a Mexican Cantina in tropical Port Douglas. Conveniently named ‘The Mexican’, it certainly does what it says on the bottle.
Owners Jon and Sarah Lovett - aka Head Hombre and Miss Margarita - are a couple of serious food professionals who wanted to bridge the gap between excellent quality restaurant fare and your average hard shell taco. And boy, do they deliver.
At The Mexican, you can get regional specialties utilising local tropical produce, vegetarian dishes that almost outshine the rest of the menu, and home made hot sauces with enough fire power to send you to the moon.
Using any locally grown chillies they can get their hands on for aptly named Medium, Hot, and Ridiculous sauces, the restaurant also grows their own stash of Scorpion & Ghost chillies (obvs for the Ridiculous fans).
Then, for those who aren’t so brave or stupid, there’s Mango Ketchup, also made inhouse from the abundance of local mangoes and a secret Canadian recipe.
As much as it’s tempting to nosh on nachos and tackle a face-full of tacos, it’s definitely well worth venturing to the rest of the menu for some seriously tasty snacks.
The Tuna Ceviche is perfect in its simplicity - cured with lime juice and finished with avocado & coconut, there’s rioting in the street when seasonal changes mean this dish takes a break.
The grilled Kangaroo Loin with Pumpkin Mole is a winner, but it’s the Fiery Crocodile with Habenero and Green Apple Taco that scores the winning goal. I know – we said venture beyond tacos, but with varieties including Fiery Crocodile, Baja Barramundi and Soft Shell Crab, the writing’s on the wall. Don’t fight the (taco) feeling.
And then there's the margaritas. Classic and shaken, mini (if you’re takin’ it easy), house infused Pink Grapefruit with a brolly (because #tropics) or the holy toledo Jalapeno, there’s a margarita for everyone. And if you’re a serious aficionado, simply tell them what Tequila you like and they’ll make you the margarita of your dreams.
For the more hardcore ‘I’ll take my tequila in shots, thanks’, Miss Margarita infuses her own Tequila of choice with a different flavour each week, including Buttered Popcorn and Blueberry Bush Lemon.
It pays to book or get here early (just like all the cool places in Port Douglas).. Tables rotate quickly from 5pm onwards and can you blame ’em? The Mexican is a whole lot of bottled fun with a side of enchiladas.
Of course, we’re a little biased at Port Douglas Uncovered, but it really is Food & Drink heaven up here - maybe it’s the climate, the local produce, the relaxed vibe, the friendly staff, or all of the above!
43 Macrossan St,
Port Douglas QLD 4877
(07) 4099 4441