Montezuma’s Mexican Restaurant & Bar Williams Landing, T23/102 Overton Road, Williams Landing
This year, CTS has indulged in a couple of meals at Melbourne Mexican restaurants with reputations for authenticity.
Such are the continuous, unstoppable, nifty ways humans operate that “authenticity”, when soberly analysed in just about any setting (food or otherwise), is seen to be something of the ultimate straw man.
Origins of pasta, anyone?
Still, we were surprised just how little “wow” we found in those meals.
Maybe true blue Mexican is simply not for us?
And, gosh, tacos that amount to little more than a couple of mouthfuls can, over the course of a hungry meal, add up to more dollars than expected.
We were forced to acknowledge, somewhat to our surprise, that we actually may prefer the hybrid food usually referred to as Tex-Mex and as served rather well – we think – by our local.
So we are quite happy to rock up to Montezuma’s at Williams Landing.
It’s part of a franchise deal that has close to 20 eateries around the country, though this is the first in Victoria.
It’s located around the corner from the Williams landing shopping centre itself, and right next door to an also-newish Chinese place we have yet to check out thoroughly.
Montezuma’s is decked out, inside, in a predictable fashion and looks inviting in a familiar way.
But it’s a nice sunny day so we choose, for once, to go alfresco.
Bennie’s full pulled pork nachos appear rather hum-drum and are up there in price at $19.90.
But they work well and he enjoys his meal.
And there’s a heap of very good pulled pork – better than served in many non-barbecue specialist places – under all the usual trimmings pictured.
A side serve of guacamole ($4.90) and corn chips ($3) are just OK, but we are surprised we have to request hot sauce for our table when we have become so used to having a range of saucy bottles already provided – at all sorts of eating places.
The Montezuma’s menu is extensive and there are many combinations to be had.
Mine, the #17 Speedy Gonzales, costs $19.90 and comes with a beef taco, chilli con carne, corn chips and salad.
It is dull.
All is perfectly edible, but there’s simply no zing.
The chilli con carne is particularly lame.
Maybe it’s from a fresh batch, but the beans, meat and gravy in no way coalesce.
Worse, that gravy tastes all tomato and no seasoning; no appreciable tang of salt, pepper, chilli, cumin, lemon or anything else.
My taco is of drab food court standard, while the salad is the best of my meal.
A couple of bottles of Jarritos soft drink have pushed our lunch-time bill out to the $60 mark.
And that seems quite a lot for a meal that will be hastily consigned to the most deeply buried files in the CTS memory bank.
Maybe we arrived with unrealistic expectations.
Check out the Montezuma’s website, including menu, here.