It was the best of Mexican, it was the worst of Mexican, it was good service, it was bad service, they were tasty tacos, they were bad tacos, it was full of flavor, it had no flavor.
If you can get the reference you earn bonus points… points get you nothing but they are fun to have.
OK so in truth this post is about 4 different options for Mexican food in Bangkok but will focus on the two places i visited on this trip. It seems that a question I was always asking is “where can I get good Mexican in (insert place)”, and Bangkok was no exception. On my first trip here many years ago I was told to try Sun Rise Tacos, “it’s the best Mexican in Bangkok” well that assessment was somewhat far from the truth and I would say Sun Rise Tacos is basically the Taco Bell of Thailand, for those of you unfamiliar with Taco Bell it is basically the Sun Rise Tacos of America. Next on my list was Coyote a Tex-Mex chain you can find in different places around Thailand. The food at Coyote was somewhat better but it was not the Mexican I was looking for. Coyote and Sun Rise Tacos will receive no further attention in this post as I have not visited either of them in well over a year.
On this trip I have visited two establishments (hens A tale of two restaurants); La Monita Taqueria, and Charlie Browns. In an effort to be fair in my assessment of both places I had the same basic meal at each location with one small variation. I started out with chips and guacamole (at La Monita) and chips and salsa (at Charlie Browns) followed by one pork and one fish taco.
First up La Monita. I would describe La Monita as the best Mexican I have found in Bangkok though it is a little hard to find. Located just off the Pholen Chit BTS station on the Sukumvit line it can be a little difficult to find as it is nestled in among the shops, beauty parlors, and other assorted businesses but it is well worth the effort to find. I only found this because one of our Bangkok offices is located near by. As I said I started off with chips and guacamole, sadly chips are not included with the meal. The chips were home-made and the guacamole was fresh but nothing to write home about so I will not write about it here either, I will just show you a picture.
For my tacos I had ordered the Al Pastor, red chili marinated roast pork, and Pescado, grilled fish (Andaman Sea bass). The tacos, though a little lightly stuffed for my taste were very well seasoned and full of fantastic flavor. The pork had a nice bite to it from the red chili and was succulent and juicy; the fish was well seasoned and lightly fried to golden perfection that just fell apart in your mouth. Both tacos were finished off with lettuce, tomato, onion, and sour cream. All in all this was a great lunch meal and I look forward to my next visit.
Next up is Charlie Browns; this restaurant barely made it into the post and I almost decided to forget about them after my first experience with them on this trip. It was Friday evening and I was on my way back to my hotel after an evening wandering around the city and I was feeling a little hungry so headed to Charlie Browns (located close to my hotel). When I got there was only one open table outside setup for 4 people and the AC was blasting on the inside making it too cold to sit in there so I asked for outside seating. I was told that I could not have the open table because it was reserved for larger parties, I asked again if I could be seated there and when told no I just turned and walked out the door heading over to Snapper and had some good fish and chips. The entire time I sat at Snapper I could see that the table I was refused remained empty. A couple of days later I decided to give them one more chance and had a late afternoon lunch, this time I sat inside as it was very hot outside and I was near heat exhaustion.
The first thing they brought me was the complementary chips and salsa, again the chips were home-made and the salsa was very flavorful with a slight bite to it.
Again I ordered one pork and one fish taco, but unlike La Monita these tacos were rather flat tasting and both tasted about the same. The tacos were a little more stuffed, again with;h lettuce, tomato, onion, and cheese but missing the sour cream topping that tends to bring all the flavors together. I think that on my next visit to Bangkok I will avoid Charlie Browns and just stick with La Monita from now on out.
That’s it for my tale of two restaurants, I hope you enjoyed and look forward to sharing more stories with you.