Not too long ago, I celebrated turning another year older. I managed to stretch the celebrations to a week; but the guts of the festivities kicked off on the Friday beforehand.
My birthday is June 7th. I’ll leave the year out. In terms of the date, I’m in great company! Read it and weep – Liam Neeson, Prince, Tom Jones, Anna Kournikova, Bear Grylls, Damien Hirst, Michael Cera and Piper Chapman from Orange is the New Black share my birth date. I don’t care if Piper is fictional. She revealed herself as my birthday twin in the first episode, and it felt pretty darn cool. I can sense this is all incredibly interesting to you…
Anyway, to kick off the weekend I had a dinner date with my best and closest pals at the new Mexican restaurant in Swords Village, El Chico Mexicano. It’s a great spot and has rekindled my interest in the area, along with the opening of The Attic Bar. It also meant we could all meet in one place easily, without long commutes home. Win-win.
As far as taking an outfit post goes, I’m not great at it! I am wearing mostly River Island stuff which is new for me, and of course my favourite shoes du jour, ASOS Satellites. Getting past that, I had my hair gussied up (which my generous Mother kindly paid for as part of a plethora of gifts) and got some copper in the ends to shake things up, birthday style.
Here are my friends, at our table. It’s a bit dark, but trust me; they’re a handsome bunch.
Here’s everyone with menus.
We started with bowls of Pico de Gallo salsa and tortillas. These come to the table anyway…which is always a bonus. The salsa is delicious, although at times it can be inconsistent. Sometimes it’s fiery, sometimes not. Buckets of beer were ordered (the first of many) and plenty of margaritas. They make an excellent margarita at El Chico Mexicano. Probably the best I’ve had. Ordering one is a necessity..ask Milan to make it, and you can thank me later. There’s one pictured above, if you were paying attention.
Out of focus buckets of beer..
At some point, I took a break from the best margaritas in town to have a mojito. Curiosity got the better of me.
These were very good too, and take a little while to make so you know love and care goes into them! I could smell the lime and mint before it arrived at the table. I’m digging the straws too.
The birthday girl started with Birthday Quesadillas. That’s quesadillas to all of you, non-birthday folk. They were stuffed with chicken, cheese, scallions and black olives, with more Pico de Gallo and guacamole on the side. They were wonderful!
Most folk ordered nachos. They have different types on the menu – the favourite seems to be the ultimate. They come with everything above; chicken, jalapeños, guacamole, sour cream and cheese. I think the difference between Ultimate and Supreme (a little more expensive) are peppers.
We were in the restaurant for hours, but it felt like no time at all. The atmosphere is great, you don’t feel rushed, and there’s plenty of space between you and your neighbouring table; so you can say what you want after a few cocktails and no one (apart from your dining partner) will be within earshot to judge you.
The staff are all incredibly kind and helpful, and feel more like friends. It’s a very relaxed place indeed. The prices are great; you won’t leave hungry. And every Sunday, there is traditional live Mexican music which is really, really good.
For the main course, there were plenty of Steak Rancheros (a 10oz sirloin with a fried egg, hot sauce and patatas bravas) It went down really well at the table.
There were also burritos here and there. Ordering a burrito that’s good and isn’t from Boojum is mighty tough these days, but these ones fit the bill quite well. They’re stuffed with plenty of rice, beans, salsa and sour cream; and they’re loaded with cheese. The beef used for the burritos, tacos etc. is really high quality and melt in the mouth.
I ordered my favourite, seafood tacos, which you can also order with chicken, beef or vegetables. I love all the fresh and punchy flavours and the seafood they use. You don’t get any sides but five soft tacos is more than enough!
Instead of having cake, Ramona (part of the El Chico team!) gave me a birthday margarita, and a shot of tequila for everyone at the table. I like her thinking. Everyone sang Happy Birthday, and very kindly treated me to the dinner and margaritas. I have great friends!
After dinner we headed out for some more drinks. It was obviously time to put the camera away…
When I arrived home very early on Saturday morning, gifts were waiting for me in the kitchen, including the sweetest card from my parents. I unwrapped wine, cava (I’m not what you think I am!) and my shiny new ASOS Solo heels.
I slept until a ridiculous hour the next day, after an evening of great food company.
Thank you all for the perfect night! I enjoyed it immensely. x
For the El Chico Mexicano Website, click here.
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