The Finikoudes strip in Larnaca has long offered a selection of bars, restaurants and cafés. More recently it has added a new Mexican restaurant called Esco Bar. Paintings on the walls in the inside seating area are vibrant and colourful – you’ll see a Warhol-esque picture of Pablo Escobar himself, even though he is Colombian! One of the walls has been painted to look like the outside of a traditional Mexican house and is decorated with flowers to give it that extra bit of colour. The lampshades are upside down wicker baskets which only add to the authentic feel.
However, visiting on a beautiful sunny day we opted to enjoy the outside seating area. Despite the traditional, upbeat Latin music, tempting me to dance, I was somewhat underwhelmed with the lack of effort given to this area of the restaurant. Plain green walls and a couple of sombreros hanging on the wall seemed like a half-hearted attempt and definitely failed to give off any authentic Mexican feel.
After seating ourselves, as there was nobody around to welcome us, we waited longer than you would expect to be given menus. This was because there was only one waitress tending the entire restaurant which meant she was having to dart from table to table to kitchen to the bar so, through no fault of her own, the service was somewhat lacking.
We opted to share fried prawns as a starter. The prawns were served with a small amount of salad and a little tub of salad dressing. They were meaty but the breadcrumbs on them lacked flavour; the little tub of salad dressing was the saving grace as it really complemented the prawns!
To accompany my meal I ordered a non-alcoholic cocktail that sounded quite exotic! La Santa Maria’s description sounded like it was bursting with flavour but unfortunately, it disappointed and failed to impress, tasting rather like a watered down berry cordial.
For main I had Chimichanga and my dining partner opted for beef fajitas. Although we again had to wait it proved worth it as we were very impressed with what was put down on the table. Very generous servings were pleasing to the eye and we couldn’t wait to tuck in! The fajita came with the regular accompaniments of sour cream, cheese, guacamole and lettuce. However, it was not served on a sizzling pan as promised on the menu which meant that it became cold fairly quickly. But it was extremely tasty. The beef strips were tender and succulent; good enough to be eaten by themselves!
The Chimichanga was filled with beef and chicken. Served with rice and refried beans, it had a generous amount of cheese melted on top. It was also very large and extremely tasty. One defining characteristic of a Chimichanga is that the tortilla is supposed to be deep fried. The one I had was not which made it more of an Enchillada. This didn’t turn out to be a problem as I was more than happy with the well stuffed and delicious tortilla which left me completely stuffed!
I would re visit Esco Bar purely because the food turned out to be better than expected. If you can overlook everything else and simply want to enjoy good food at a reasonable price, I would definitely recommend giving it a go.
WHERE Esco Bar, Athinon Avenue, Larnaca (Finikoudes)
HOW MUCH €15-20
CONTACT 96 061186