Beijing, Global Taco Hunt

Mexican Food Tour: Beijing

Summer Palace in Beijing

Before I left the U.S., I spent a few Saturday afternoons in bookstores reading through the travel section. I picked up all the heavy weights; Fodors, Lonely Planet, Frommers, and found a quiet little space to sit down and spread out. It was in that tiny corner that I first read about Mexican Wave. “Margaritas and beer imported from Mexico” was the opening line that first caught my eye.  I decided then that while in Beijing we would have a little fiesta at Mexican Wave.

Fast forward two months and three continents and we arrive in Beijing.  After spending the first full day trying to find the Great Wall and then taking a long bus ride home, we were more than ready to sit back, relax and sink our teeth into some tacos. Luckily for us, Mexican Wave is about a ten minute walk, right off the subway.  We were in such anticipation, that every store front that had Mexican colors we kept saying, “oh, that has to be it”! (You wouldn’t believe how many places were decorated this way- like five different places- Mexican Wave being the last one.)

We immediately fell in love with our server, who spoke pretty good English, and who was the happiest Chinese guy we met. After talking over the menu with us, we ordered some Mexican beers and chips and queso.  Now, as you know, queso has a sweet spot in our hearts.  It’s seems like the easiest thing in the world to make, but somehow no one in California has mastered it.  (Which is such a same, but cheesy goodness should be ordered for the table to share!) Chips and two different salsas were put down, followed by the beer and queso.  We didn’t hesitate and all three scoped up a huge amount of queso on our chips and chowed down.  The queso hitting my tongue was like seeing the light of heaven.  Every taste bud was stronger than ever and open to all the flavors that were packed in, what just may be, the best queso- EVER.

Next came our entrees. We all ordered different tacos to share and a quesadilla for the table.  We should have order seven quesadillas because, again, this was the BEST QUESADILLA I have ever put in my mouth.  The cheese to meat ratio was perfect. (Don’t understand what I mean?- The cheese was melted enough to hold all the meat inside but not too much where I couldn’t taste the delicious, tenderness of the meat.) The meat was seasoned, not too spicy, not at all bland, and tasted like it had a pinch of queso in it.  Am I kidding you?!  No- It was perfection.  Definitely took home top prize.

And, I’m not forgetting about the tacos.  They were all equally tasty, with minimal toppings which only enhanced the seasonings.

Mexican Wave was so good, that we returned the very next night! (And don’t give me that look- we tried real authentic chinese food, several times, but life in the Hutong is hard.  We needed comfort food, and we knew where to get it!) And that night our same server shared some Chinese sayings and slangs and we translated them in both English and Spanish for him.  Our personal fave: for something being “so, so” or (in Spanish) “mas o menos” = (in Chinese) you’d say “mamma who who”.  But not to worry, there was nothing “mamma who who” about Mexican Wave.  We wouldn’t only suggest it as a good Mexican place, I’d put it right up there with “What NOT to miss in Beijing!