Erica is a writer and yoga teacher based in Melbourne.
Published July 15th 2011
A recent arrival in Croydon Main St, Viva Mexico is a comfortable family restaurant offering fresh Mexican cuisine. Walking through the doors, you're welcomed into the brightly painted dining area and seated amongst an eclectic combination of chairs. They want you to feel at home here, or as they like to say, 'MI CASA ES TU CASA' ('my house is your house').
If you arrive with your belly crying out for food, you can tuck into the crunchy corn chips and salsa conveniently waiting for you on the table. Be warned though - the salsa has a little kick.
Viva Mexico's food is made fresh in the kitchen and is free from artificial colours and preservatives. They also cater for food intolerances and have a gluten free menu available (request it on your way in). Vegetarian? No worries - there's a range of options, featuring fresh market vegetables, frijoles and guacamole.
For starters (Aperitivos) my tip is the taquitos – shredded beef-filled corn tortilla fried and topped with salsa on a bed of lettuce. You'll also find the classic nachos and tacos, as well as dips (think guacamole, chile con carne and frijole) with corn chips.
Moving on to mains (Especialidades De La Casa), take your pick from a range of enchiladas, burritos, fajitas, tacos, carne colorado or a quesadilla. The servings are generous, and if you go for the fajitas, they'll gladly provide you with extra tortillas.
To round out your Mexican feast, you can wash it all down with a margarita or try one of their Mexican beers. They also have a selection of soft drinks and you can bring along your own bottled wine.
If you manage to save room for dessert, you might like to indulge in chocolate mousse served with cream, or try the warm Mexican fruit cake, complete with home-made caramel sauce and ice-cream or cream.
The service is friendly and if you have questions, the staff will happily guide you through the menu. Plus, they give you plenty of time to simply sit and enjoy the food.
Viva Mexico specialise in group functions, offering Birthday Club specials and a banquet/function menu for larger groups. They're even happy to split the bill.