16 September is Mexican Independence Day, and London's Mexican restaurants and bars are marking it with some parties and a few special offers. At any of the four Benito's Hat restaurants, show up with a Mexican passport — or your passport with a Mexican stamp in it — and you'll get a slice of tres leches cake free. The Goodge Street branch is also hosting a party at 7pm on Saturday 15 September. Down in Charing Cross, Lupita is bringing in a mariachi band for Saturday night and cooking up some limited edition dishes. And in Euston, Mestizo are hosting their own party, with a pretty stacked looking set menu (including an introductory margarita) for £55. Finally, Los Pastelitos bakery in Bethnal Green is hosting a party on Sunday, with tacos, aguas frescas and homemade pastries (thanks to Kate B for that last tip-off).
Sticking with this theme, Shoreditch newcomer Death by Burrito is "an exciting contemporary Mexican grill and cocktail bar concept", and arrives courtesy of the Rebel Dining Society's Shay Ola and Sipstir's Ryan Chetiyawarda. As a "concept", it's not exactly a risk — burrito 'n cocktail joints have been a tried and tested formula in London for years now. DbB is located at Cargo on Shoreditch High Street.
The new Zagat's London guide was released this week. In the annual crowdsourced survey, The Wolseley maintained its place as Most Popular restaurant, while Pitt Cue Co. was named Best Newcomer. Oh, and London's favourite cuisine? Italian. However, some critics were unimpressed: Marina O'Laughlin reckoned that it was too focused on central London and aimed at a diner who was "male, 50-something [and] with an expense account the size of Mars."
Sad news for Dalstonites: Friday 14 September is the final day for the Street Feast, which has been enlarging the palates and waistbands of E8 residents these past months.
Finally, in what could be a new angle for food criticism, Jay Rayner spent Sunday night live blogging a meal at the Oxo Tower. He did not have a particularly good experience, but the results were entertaining (albeit less so for the restaurant's management).
Photo / Stephskimo