Monday, 21 November 2011

Las Iguanas - Leeds

*chain restaurant alert*

Unlike some foodies out there I don't mind chain restaurants. You know what to expect and you can go back time and time again and get the same food (good hopefully) and experience no matter which staff are in. I particularly don't mind chain restaurants who change their menus either seasonally or just to give it a bit of a mix up.

Las Iguanas often change their menu and so I don't mind going there every now and again. They also do a bargain lunch deal and two for one cocktails during happy hour. On this occasion I hadn't been to Las Iguanas for a fair few months and had noticed that they had mixed up the menu a bit.

We were shown to our seats and given menus. We both decided to go with the lunch menu as it's £6.90 for one course and an additional £1.50 or £2.50 for a starter. You can also add a glass of beer or wine for £1.50 or a soft drink for just a quid. However we decided to get cocktails. There are 6 non-alcoholic cocktails to chose from and my friend chose the Virgin Pina Colada. As it was happy hour I was going to go for the two for one cocktails and have two to myself, but looking at the ones you can choose from on the happy hour list... and noting you can no longer get Sangria I didn't bother and just got a glass of Sangria. My friend loved their Pina Colada and I felt that my Sangria was OK, it wasn't great and I'm sure they used to be better, I think they need to go back to their old recipe.

For starters my friend ordered the new Chicken Wings Vivo flavour.

They weren't that hot although they are advertised as 'Flaming hot hot very hot habanero'. They did come with a finger bowl which is nicer than a wet wipe which you are often given in other establishments.

To start I was my boring old self and chose the Chunky Fungi Champinones (I'm sure they like to change the name of this dish but it always tastes and looks the same). I love this starter and although I was tempted to try Sopa de Calabaza (spiced butternut squash and coconut soup) I just couldn't resist.

Creamy and spicy it comes with good hunks of mushroom, served alongside are tortillas which are great for getting the very last morsel out of the dish. I think they need to invest in some soup spoons however... note the dessert spoon. I will continue to order this time and time again; in many locations and it never fails, another thing I like about chain restaurants.

The starters came out as fast as lightening, OK maybe I'm exaggerating but it barely felt like 5 minutes. They even came out before our cocktails, the waitress was very surprised and apologised profusely for our drinks taking so long as she set down on the table, we told her it wasn't a problem and asked for a jug of water.

For mains I decided to try the Enchilada with spicy chicken, I haven't tried this here before I'm not sure it was on the lunch menu previously. I have had the burrito and Peri Peri chicken soooo many times I didn't want them again although they advertise both dishes as something new to the menu but I think they have just altered them a bit.

The portion doesn't look huge but there are a lot of carbs on this plate. What I did like was the crispy strips of nachos on the top. It wasn't filled with taste and it wasn't that spicy although I did really like the refried beans. Next time I will probably go back to the burrito or Peri Peri chicken. I was feeling very hungry on this particular day having skipped breakfast so I ordered some curly fries too. Eyes were bigger than my belly this time and I didn't finish it all.

The chips came with Peri Peri mayonnaise which I couldn't get enough of and my friend pinched some too, much to my annoyance. The chips were awesome, obviously deep fried but I really didn't care as that's a treat as we don't deep fry at home.

My friend ordered the Beef Cuban Sandwich... Their description was 'It's good shit, it was huge and awesome, I was getting to the end of it and I thought this is never going to happen and I just had to finish it it was so good, I thought I was going to be physically sick.' So eloquent.

They didn't like their beetroot coleslaw though and left it all.

Great for a cheap lunch and cheap cocktails. They tend to cater well for large groups too if you ever want a cheap after work munch, I've done that more times than I can count. The staff are generally friendly too, even more so on a quiet afternoon. If the restaurant is busy you can sit and wait in the bar area sipping cocktails until there is a table ready.

The pictures were taken on my iPhone as I didn't have my camera with me on this day, so sorry about the poor picture quality!

Quick links to the menus: Food Menu             Drink Menu            Kids Menu           Lunch Menu

Las Iguanas on Urbanspoon