***Sadly this Restaurant is Closed***
It’s no secret that Whitey is the pickiest eater that we know. She doesn’t eat anything from the sea, she doesn’t like meat except chicken and beef (we’ve tricked her with veal a few times), no tartare, no creamy pastas, etc. Most restaurants that we take her to she simply shrugs after her meal, and tells us that “it’s just okay.” And then something horrible happened, Whitey was diagnosed with celiac disease, making her gluten intolerant. GREAT! All we ever did with Whitey was go out for pizza and the occasional pasta dish. She’s too picky for anything more exciting. She’s the girl who goes to a sushi restaurant and only gets the vegetarian options…no fish, ever! So now what? All she ever loved was good beer and a dirty ol’ La Belle Province hot dog… poor kid had to give all that up too!
When Whitey was diagnosed with Celiac disease we considered never speaking to her again, it was just too hard to choose a restaurant to accommodate her disease and pickiness. But fret not dear readers, we have remained friends with Whitey! She informed us that she could eat at most Mexican restaurants because their taco shells, tortillas and chips were all made out of corn, therefore gluten free. So we decided to stay friends with her because of our mutual love of Mexican food…for now! So Diva #1, Whitey and Bellatrix got together for a gluten free soirée.
Casa de Mateo is an authentic Mexican restaurant, it has been around for years and it offers a very traditional experience. We chose their Old Montreal location, but they also have a restaurant on Monkland in NDG. We started with the guacamole for two and it was quite a treat. A man arrived with his guacamole making cart and prepared this delicious Mexican dip right in front of us. He asked us how spicy we wanted it and prepared the creamiest guacamole that we have ever tried. He also killed Whitey by making it spicier than we expected…
Still a little chunky, as it should be, it was made to perfection. We truly aren’t sure where you can get better guacamole in Montreal. We loved it and it went perfectly well with the usual red salsa, and a delicious salsa verde that was already on our table when we sat down. And since our guacamole was more than a little spicy, we started ordering pitchers of margarita to help wash it down. It was delicious, as were the margarita pitchers, but we learned that we definitely prefer our margarita on the rocks, as opposed to the slushy variety.
Whitey loves queso… in a real kinda way. We actually came to Casa de Mateo for the queso, we heard it was fabulous, and it really was! It was cheesy, gooey decadence. The queso nachos were slathered in melted cheese, with a tomato sauce like salsa on top and then a drizzle of sour cream. This dish came with more guacamole and we were soon licking the plate clean. We are coming back just for this dish and their guacamole, it was THAT good.
We don’t usually comment on service, but at this point we began catching on that everything was taking a rather long time to arrive, there were only two other tables in the restaurant and our waitress was less than attentive. But the food was very good so we were distracted.
Whitey liked the queso so much that she ordered chorizo con queso which was a dish that mixed melted queso with chorizo sausage that was taken out of its casing. This time it was served with soft shell tortillas and that same perfect little side of guacamole. The chorizo and queso combination was very salty but Whitey loves anything with queso so she was pleased, but she couldn’t finish her dish because it was so rich. She always grumbles that nothing compares to the queso in the US, but she was satisfied at Casa de Mateo. She really is the pickiest eater!
Although the ambiance isn’t particularly riveting, it’s relaxed and it provides you with an authentic Mexican experience. The service was slow for a restaurant that was almost empty but at least everything tasted good. But they noticed that the service was exceptionally poor, and they made up for it by giving us a 25$ certificate for our next visit. Restaurants don’t often remedy their errors, we were impressed!
Casa de Mateo sent out a Mexican platter in error. We didn’t catch on right away, so we tried it! It was a paltter with guacamole, ceviche, nachos, cactus hearts, black beans, green beans, etc. We stole a few bites before we caught on that we definitely didn’t order this, and that our waitress had made a mistake. Remember,. Whitey hates fish, we would have never ordered this! So the dish was quickly whisked away. Albeit the waitress seemed annoyed… but we didn’t order it, so there was nothing that we could say to her.
In true Mexican fashion we ordered the fajitas but with filet mignon instead of chicken. Delicious and simple, they arrived to the table sizzling and with plenty of cheese, sour cream, lettuce, grilled veggies, etc to stuff into that soft tortilla shell. We ordered the single portion which was generous, and though we shared it in three, we had eaten so many delicious appetizers that we were full nonetheless.
Tacos, nachos and Mexican food have become the new cheap eats that’s trending in Montreal, unfortunately it’s still hard to find something authentic and simple. Casa de Mateo is just that, you won’t come here for whacky burrito combinations, or crazy tacos, but you should check them out for that authentic Mexican experience.
Our Rating: Splendid
Tagged: 438 Rue St-François-Xavier, Casa de Mateo, Casa de Mateo Old Montreal, Ceviche, Chorizo, Corn Tortillas, Fajita, Gluten Free, Guacamole, H2Y 2T3, Margarita, Mexican Food, Mexican Restaurant, Montreal, Montreal Mexican, Montreal Restaurant, Nachos, Old Montreal, Old Montreal Restaurant, Queso