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Sample amazing Mexican fare at this restaurant in Fort

Tijuana Iguana’s name hints at a widespread culinary influence from the Ameri-Mex region. While the apt name easily rolls off the tongue, here’s a look at how it fares on the palate and the eyes

Tijuana Iguana 
Food: A winner
Service: Efficient
Ambiance: Peculiar

Situated in a not-too-quiet lane off a busy main-street in Fort is Tijuana Iguana — a restaurant, lounge and bar, which is soon to add a nightclub tag to its many avatars. The logo, a caricature of an iguana in a hat holding up a cocktail, greets us at the door. As we stepped in, there were more. As we glanced around, from the bar to the walls — they were everywhere.

The Tres Amigo Taco SaladThe Tres Amigo Taco Salad is humongous in size. Pics/Sameer Markande

The doors opened onto the restaurant section, which features comfortable high chairs, dark wood tables, and Turkish ceiling lamps. Adjoining this section is a well-stocked bar, with a handful of bar stools; on a mezzanine floor is a cosy lounge for small groups; another set of staircases leads to another mezzanine area where a nightclub is set to open.

The Brownie Bottom Pie
The Brownie Bottom Pie though traditional was lip-smacking

We picked a spot in the restaurant, and realised that the name holds clue to the menu. Tijuana, a Mexican city falls within the International San Diego-Tijuana Metropolitan area. This border territory gives the restaurant its Ameri-Mex cuisine. The menu is extensive, divided between mini-bites, salads, soups, sandwiches; fajitas, quesadillas and more.

The interiors are bedecked with iguanas giving it a young  vibe
The interiors are bedecked with iguanas giving it a young  vibe

The bar menu is also exhaustive with beers, champagnes and wines. We started with the value-for-money appetiser, Never-ending Chips and Salsa (Rs 250). The tortilla chips came hot and crispy, with fresh salsa, albeit the latter was limited. We appreciated that the staff was attentive, yet in no hurry to push us to order more, even as this was our only order for 40 minutes. This allowed us to enjoy the Arabic music (a strange choice) that was being played.

Next, we order the Tres Amigos Taco Salad, (Rs 700 with chicken) which comes with a portion size large enough for two. A crispy taco shell comes filled with broccoli, lettuce, red cabbage, tomatoes, red beans and other vegetables. Rice covers the bottom of the shell, while tender chicken bits mix with the vegetables and feta cheese. Guacamole serves as a delicious garnish.

Stuffed by now, we couldn’t resist desserts with names like Simply Sinful Snicker’s Pie, Flantastico, Pastel de Tres Leches, and Bananas Foster Tango. As only two desserts are available that day, we go with the Brownie Bottom Pie (Rs 370). The sinful treat is a a traditional yet irresistible chocolate brownie that comes with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and generous topping of hot chocolate sauce, with mint for garnish (as opposed to the cherry mentioned on the menu). Tempted, we concluded with a take-away of a Vegetable Quesadilla (Rs 375), which when tasted a day later was still fresh with flavourful vegetables. All in all, the iguanas deserve company another day.

MAP

At: Plot no 37, Bombay Mutual Annexe, Rustom Sidhwa Marg, Fort. 
Call: 22695756

Tijuana Iguana didn’t know we were there. the guide reviews anonymously and pays for its meals.

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