Last August 24, I crossed an age milestone. Technically, I am not "young" anymore. In most award giving events for the "youth", age 35 is the cutoff to qualify. So we celebrated my last year of being "young" in what I believe to be the Best Mexican Restaurant in the Philippines - Maya Mexican Restaurant & Tequila Bar.
Sasha asked me in the OAP Comments Section: "hi anton. happy new year! im reading your blog on a regular basis. i really like your features. im just curious if you know the mexican restaurant "taqueria chilanga". it used to be in metropolitan avenue in makati (near shopwise) then it moved to greenbelt 3 and branched out in shangrila mall. i dont know where they are now but i really really love the food in that restaurant and im just wondering if they're still around. hope you can help me find them."
Sasha, I'm happy to say that I finally found them. :)
Estella Blanco, the Mexican housewife who was cooking for Taqueria Chilanga, has been living in the Philippines for about 15 years already. She partnered with Lance to launch Taqueria Mia in the Saturday Salcedo Market, where they use all of Estella's Mexican recipes.
They also have an "outpost" now in the Power Plant Cinema Snack Bar. They serve limited Mexican favorites on a to-go basis there. I prefer the Salcedo Market stall, which offers fresh and homemade Mexican favorites (ex. burritos, tacos, quesadillas, etc.) vs the Rockwell outlet, where the food tastes frozen.
Manila is experiencing another round of Mexican Craze with Baja Mexican Cantina. It is the latest Mexican Resto to open in Greenbelt 3. It is getting disappointing reviews during its soft opening but people are willing to try and give it a second chance.
The promise of Baja is to serve authentic Mexican food like what you would enjoy in Baja, Mexico. Take the Burritos for example. The Carne Asad Burrito is served with just beef and vegetables wrapped in 7in. soft tortilla. The most frequently asked questions are: "Where are the rice and beans in the burrito?" and "Is this really how they serve it in Baja?"
Note: This restaurant is closed already and moved to Katipunan Ave.
Taquitos (P95). 6 pieces mini-tacos.
I miss eating in a good Mexican restaurant like Zapata in Angeles. So far, the best Mexican food in Manila is hidden in the alfresco restaurants of Robinson's Pioneer. The name of the Tex-Mex restaurant is called Chili Willy's. It serves Tex-Mex cuisine which is a cultural blending of Southern Texas and Northern Mexico usually found in San Antonio, Texas. Just think of it as Fajitas and Burritos meet Steaks and Burgers.