Mexico Arriba. A-6020 Innsbruck · Innrain 2
Hours: 12:00 – 14:00, 18:00 – 22:00
For the majority of Americans living in Europe, there are a number of things that we sorely miss from our home country. Whether it’s the large ethnic diversity, the general friendliness of strangers or the abundant number of festivities (many revolving around food!), it becomes easy for Americans to get homesick. But there’s one thing that trumps all others – Mexican cuisine! It seems that this particular fare has failed to catch on with European taste buds. Mexico Arriba in Innsbruck tries to bring a taste of Mexico to Tyrol.
Though there are many interesting items on the menu here, like fajitas, enchiladas and ceviche, it is hard to wrong with the quesadilla (queso meaning cheese in Spanish). Largely popular in the Americas, this traditional Mexican dish consisting of a flour tortilla folded around a filling is simple and satisfying. A plethora of variations exist due to the numerous filling options. Cheese is the norm inside the tortilla, but normally there are extra ingredients added inside. Here, there are four available fillings in addition to the cheese – quesadilla de pollo con verduras (with chicken and vegetables), quesadilla de res con verduras (beef and vegetables), quesadilla de camarones con aguacate (shrimp and avocado) or quesadilla de verduras asadas (grilled veggies). Each comes served with a mash of black beans and cream.
The quesadilla de camarones con aguacate is the priciest among the quesadillas. This makes sense since shrimp is more of a luxury compared to meat. Starting with the basis for the quesadilla, the tortilla is excellent. Toasted to a perfect consistency – a delightfully golden brown crispness – the flatbread tortilla is clearly fresh, holds the ingredients together and simply tastes marvelous by itself. Inside, there is plenty of gooey, warm cheese sticking to the interior. Another highlight, besides the tortilla and cheese, are the grilled vegetables. Colorful and sweet, the grilled eggplant, zucchini, onions and bell peppers add pop and texture to the dish. There are a good number of tiny shrimps inside as well, but they do not really stand out.
Though the quesadilla is good, the dish lacks a proper side item to make it a complete meal. Though the cheese stuffed tortilla pieces comes served with a salad, the portion size is too tiny to be considered a real side dish. Too bad because the salad is great! The vibrant green shredded romaine lettuce leaves get an excellent coating of creamy dressing and comes with a few diced tomatoes tossed in. A couple sliced jalapeños really add a spicy Mexican flair that kicks up the dish. Unfortunately, though, two bites and everything is gone. The black bean and cream mash squeezed on top of the quesadillas, though optically unappealing, is easily the best part of the dish. The flavor is concentrated and has a small peppery jolt that really makes the mash a wonderful addition. It sort of acts like a dip. But once again, there is only a minute amount given. Finally, though it is stated on the menu, the quesadilla served today lacked any avocados!
At 11.20 euros, the price-value relationship is a far cry from being favorable. Naturally, the tiny shrimps in the quesadilla and the freshly prepared tortilla hike up the price. But the scant number of crustaceans simply doesn’t justify the exorbitant cost. Ultimately, though the quesadilla is a delicious, comforting Mexican dish that is both flavorful and tasty, it is hard to enjoy with the sky-high price tag sitting there in the back of your mind. Best shared amongst a group of friends, this finger food dish is better served as a starter than a true main course.