Spring is final here, you are dreaming of sun, and if you think about the sun you are thinking nice beach, hot weather and why not a magarita and some spicy food...mexican food!
the problem always been that so called mexican food in Helsinki was trusted by bad and expensive chains, not really an intersting option. Luckily since few months, a group a South American migrant had the good idea to open a new and real mexican restaurant 'Patrona'!
Well located on Annankatu, right ín the centre of Helsinki the place is pretty well decorated in a traditional mexican style (or cliché) with the tradtional skeleton painting on the wall and lively colours.
And as we already mentioned, good mexican food in Helsinki was a non existing thing before this place, which creates a problem here. On top of the buzz made by such a place, it becomes almost impossible to pop in the place and get a table. Reservation are almost al week long the only way to get a table. This is very good to hear for the people running the place, they are succefull, but personnaly when I think Mexico or even just 'latino' I have a more spontaneous idea in mind. It is perfectly fine to have the opportunity to book a table in a restaurant, it is even an asset, but perhaps the place is missing something if they don't pay attention to passing by customers who just would like a table now, if there is room. Well maybe this will be improved in the future, the place is still pretty new.
The owners are Finnish-Mexican couple. The staff is mostly south american (Mexican, Chilean...) and a bit Finnish. Appart from this detail the staff is extremly friendly and helpfull explaining you about every dishes, giving you advices on which wine to choose with your meal, which is really nice plus.
But let's talk about the food!
The place is perfect for a nice dinner so why not starting with a cocktail, like a nice margarita. Probably some of the best in town.
The starters are very tasty and served in a perfect size. We went fro guacamole and nachos on one side and a metled cheese and mushroom place on the other. Nothing to say here except 'yummy'!
Then went the main course. As one of us is vegetarian, the basic 'Enchiladas de Pollo' (chicken) meal was changed to Enchiladas de Queso' (cheese) meal, if you can say so. It was pretty good, even if perhaps a bit too cheesy. On my side I was curious about one specialty the 'Enchiladas de Pollo al Mole', a chocolate sauce based dish with chicken.
Well I have to say that after the fireworks that were the margarita and the starters both these main courses tasted a bit like a disappointment. But still don't get me wrong, the place is probably the best mexican option the Helsinki.
One last thing, the wine list. We tried a Californian red and a Italian one. Both were pretty good and suiting pretty well our dishes. Nevertheless, in a environment friendly mind, it feels a bit bad to see a wine list which only had 1 European choice (this Italian). It is understandable that as a South american you wish to propose wine from your home, as most likely French or Italian restaurants in America might propose a large list of European wine. But still, there are good and bad wines a bit everywhere nowadays and perhaps we should all go for the most local production.
Anyway as a conclusion we definitely recommend you to book a table in Patrona, you will spend a very nice evening!