When my best friend Vegemite Girl reached a birthday milestone, she decided to have a party close-by to her home. Vegemite Girl lives by Commercial Drive, so it makes sense she choose a restaurant on the infamous block. Commercial Drive known for its friendly neighborhood and its abundance of choices for food, especially Italian food and Latin food.
So which restaurant did she choose? Me & Julio’s of course!
Me & Julio’s is a modern Mexican funky cantina known for it’s good and fun vibes and its delicious food made from scratch. It is known as the East Side sibling of Lolita’s South of the Border Cantina, located on Davie on the West End. Me & Julio’s stands out from its sibling due to its modern take on its Mexican plates as the flavors of the fresh ingredients jump out at you (creating more or less a party in your mouth) and its inviting and festive atmosphere.
I’m usually the person who doesn’t arrive late, but on that day, my ol’ partner in crime, Grease Monkey (aka. Dick), and I arrived fashionably late (aka running on Dick-time HAHA). Were we late? Nope, half the party came a bit later than us. *whew* Vegemite Girl and some friends had ordered some beer and appetizers already. They ordered Guacamole Classico, a layered avocado & black bean dip with warm chili dusted tortilla chips and Platanos con Crema, crisp plantain ribbons with fresh crema & salsa verde. Even though I managed to get a little sample of each (both were delicious and fresh BTW), I wish I had taken pictures of these but the appies had been wolfed down by the time we arrived.
Since Grease Monkey wanted to try out most of the items of the menu, we ordered some appies and entrées to share.
The first item we ordered was the Ceviche Habanero. With a name like this, you’d expect this ceviche to have a citrusy burn in my mouth. Surprisingly this ceviche wasn’t spicy at all. This ceviche was delicious. The shrimp was sweet, the scallops had a nice spring to it and the salmon and halibut were fresh and the citrus marinade did not overpower the taste of the seafood. The guacamole provided a creaminess to the citrusy marinade of the seafood. The Ceviche Habanero was a wonderful mix of textures and flavors that go together so well.
The next item that we ordered was the Beef Taquitos. The taquitos were rolled up tortillas the size of really huge Cuban cigars stuffed with slow-roasted beef brisket with smoky BBQ salsa and served with pico de gallo salsa and salad. The smokiness of the tender slow-roasted beef brisket and the crispy taquito shell provided a contrast of taste and texture. When eaten with the pico de gallo salsa, it added a refreshing component to the smokiness of the taquito.
Knowing Grease Monkey, he usually orders more than he can eat so the next item that came was the Julio’s Corn Tacos. As you can see, the plate was colorful and had a healthy serving of greens. The taco on the left is the pulled achiote chicken with salsa verde and crema. This taco was slightly smoky, mildly spicy and had a bit of a nice tang to it. The red cabbage along with the salsa verde and crema provided a creamy and refreshing element to this particular taco. The taco on the right is the crispy pan-seared halibut with mango salsa. The mango salsa was sweet and mildly tart and complimented the halibut. Altogether, it didn’t make the taco too fishy. The red cabbage provided a refreshing crispiness to the taco.
To finish off our meal, the last item that we ordered was the Gaucho Steak. It was served with grilled serrano chimichuri butter, mexican style cob corn with a lovely helping of oaxaca cheese & avocado red nugget potato mash, buttermilk battered onion rings. Doesn’t it sound great? These are the sides that I’d want with my steak. The steak was cooked medium rare by request and had a grilled smoky BBQ flavor to it. The onion rings were crispy and lightly battered. The potato mash had a great texture to it and was light, creamy and had a little cheese flavor to it. Now this is what I call a steak dish! 😀
All in all, the food at Me & Julio’s was delicious. The company was even better. What better way to celebrate with friends is with delicious food!
Value: Slightly expensive for Mexican food.
Ambience: Dark and cozy. Great atmosphere to hang out with friends for some drinks and steak!