Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Tuesday, December 21th - Lunch Hernando's on Wellington Street

Sad Shrimp Fajitas at Hernando's Hideaway on Wellington
If you fancy a nice Mexican fix while roaming downtown Toronto, I'd recommend Taco Bell before Hernando's Hideaway.  It's places like this that give Mexican food a bad profile.  For this price range of 15-20$ mains, I'd expect a great deal better than this of any cuisine.  So when I pay 20$ for a meal I could have purchased in a foodcourt, I am not only disappointed but offended for my Mexican friends.  As well for this range, I was rather disappointed not to be served chips for table.

I'm not being a snoot either.  I have had Mexican street food in small villages and on the beaches of old Puerto Vallarta or the most awesome burritos in San Fran's Mission district.  I have also had lovely, autentico homecooked Mexican food made by an old flatmate.  He'd be disgusted and insulted by our lunch.

We hadn't planned on Hernando's obviously.  We were some of the few saddos in the office a few days before Christmas so we decided to step out for a nice lunch.  We were turned away from full full restaurants in and around the Old Town of Toronto. We even hit pubs where there'd be a questionable selection of meaty stews, and fried foods that now, I'd sooner have sat down to.

You walk into a gaudy painted and loud dining area that reminded me of bars I used to frequent university.  I wouldn't have been surprised if my feet had stuck to the floor.  Strange, given the area.

Two of us ordered the Fajitas and N ordered the Black Bean Soup and Chicken Nachos.  We were asked for our order a couple of times by different servers.  I was surprised and disappointed that I couldn't request a Seafood Burrito.  They had a Seafood option for most of their menu items but not the Burrito.  I reckoned they'd be somewhat accomodating and simply replace the strips of chicken with the sad little shrimp I later saw on my Fajitas.

They would not give me the sub.  Fine.  So I ordered the Fajitas.  I hate ordering bad Fajitas with work colleagues at lunch.  Bad Fajitas are normally all  socially challenging semi-raw Onions, as these were.  As well, they're terribly messy to eat which renders polite work convo/gossip pretty impossible or padded with dozens of extra napkins.   The sizzling pan came with that predictable, unseasoned, flavourless heap of Green Bell Peppers and Onions topped with 5 sad looking, small, shrimp.  They did not come with any refried beans so I ordered a side.  The Beans were bland and as loose as soup.   The other sides on the plate like the Guacamole was also bland and without personality.

Speaking of soup, N's Black Bean soup was closer to a Bean dip than a soup.  It had a gloopy and sloppy texture.  It was bland, under seasoned and under spiced.  Then she received her Nachos.  Her Nachos .... seriously, how can you get Nacho's wrong in a Mexican restaurant.  I've seen better Nacho's in TGIF's.  These looked like the type someone might do poorly at home.  They were sparsely topped with a few Tomatoes, a few dried pieces of Grilled Chicken and lots of greasy Cheese.  It did not come with any sauces or salsas.  We were not revisited by servers despite the half empty dining room so that she could order some.   It will not be seeing a repeat visit from any of us and I would not recommend a first for you.

Ambiance: Dive, loud
Service: Spotty, slow
Cost: $-$$

Hernando's Hideaway on Wellington
52 Wellington St E
Toronto, ON M5E
(416) 366-6394
Hernando's Hideaway on Wellington on Urbanspoon


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