20 May 2016

Vegan-friendly restaurant review: Montezuma's and E for Ethel

For readers who aren't familiar, Montezuma's is a vegan-friendly Mexican-style restaurant located on Melbourne Street, Adelaide. Back in 2014, I wrote a review for Montezuma's and a neighbouring dessert cafe named Elephant Walk. Recently, Montezuma's changed their menu, opting to add some awesome new plant-based options to please their vegan customers. All vegetarian meals can now be ordered with vegan cheese and/or vegan sour cream. So, of course, I had to go back to review their new additions!

I'll start by mentioning the fantastic customer service. The woman serving me, Cam, was lovely, and was doing a fantastic job of managing the floor on her own. My grandma and I had a great chat with her and she was very helpful in pointing out all of the vegan options, including her own personal recommendations. Thank you very much, Cam!

I had some trouble deciding which meal to get because I'm not used to having so many options to choose from. I'm not complaining, though! I ended up picking an old favourite of mine - the vegetarian Montezuma's Delight. If you're after a vegan option, all you have to do is replace the sour cream and cheese with vegan versions (or just omit them entirely).

I'm not sure what brands of vegan cheese and sour cream are used, but the cheese looked and tasted similar to Daiya and the sour cream was probably Tofutti. Both brands are favourites of mine. I know a lot of vegans don't like Daiya cheese, though, so if you're one of them, the Montezuma's Delight is just as delicious without.

The meal was presented nicely. I love to see a motley of colours on my plate. The Montezuma's salad is the best I've ever tried and I often make my own version at home. It boasts an array of healthy raw veggies, including cauliflower, celery, broccoli, red cabbage, carrot and - the best part - green apple. It's a simple way to add a sweet and fresh crispiness to the salad.

Underneath the salad sits a corn tortilla smothered with frijoles, and it's all topped off with a hearty tomato-based sauce and some black olives.

Taste-wise, my grandma and I both thoroughly enjoyed our meals and will definitely order them again - but we're also keen to try everything else on the menu! The vegan cheese and sour cream were excellent choices and complimented the meals well. The servings were huge and so the food was very filling, but that's what I expect from Montezuma's! The prices are reasonable considering the size of the meals.

Montezuma's isn't a classy, high-brow restaurant with five star-quality meals, but it doesn't need to be. It's simply a fun, well-decorated and affordable place to grab a tasty and filling meal. If you're a vegan, vegetarian or omni looking for a fun place to eat with your family, friends or partner, Montezuma's is my number one recommendation.

On another note, if you like to drink coffee after lunch, there is a nice eco-friendly coffee shop around the corner that Cam showed us. It's hidden away but it's definitely worth going in - they have lots of milk options for vegans as well as some vegan desserts. Their coffee was great! They also sell homemade paintings, toys, sculptures and other little gifts. The cafe is called E for Ethel - check them out on Facebook here.

E for Ethel make great coffee!

If you're reading this, thanks for having me Montezuma's (and E for Ethel) - I'll be back soon (when I'm not too busy with Uni work!)