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Pacifico Mexican Bar Restaurant, Beirut
Pacifico: A New Setup, Mexican Vibes and Good Food
Some places are meant to last. Pacifico is surely one of them, this Latino gastro-bar, one of the first to introduce the Tex-mex cuisine to Beirut is surely one of those places. Surviving the test of time, Pacifico has proved over and over again its popularity, due to its professionalism, good food and amazing ambiance. The same success will be relocated just a few meters up the street from where it is today.
Pacifico, nestled on a small street on Monot will be relocating soon. If you still, and I doubt that, haven’t experienced the infamous spot, you should. It’s a must see, must experience… It’s part of Beirut’s nightlife.
Having heard of the move, I wanted to check it out after three years of absence. Trust me, everything was as perfect as I last remember it. The food was delightful, the service was very professional and the ambiance will always be remembered…
Enter through the wooden door, which opens to a house like spirit, a warm and cozy space that doesn't feel like a restaurant. An old house with its high ceiling and colorful walls, the bar occupies the left side while the dining area filled with wooden tables welcome a couple of dozen guests at a time. The rugged wooden tables are decorated with special placemats and surrounded with wooden chairs.
While we enjoyed the high but not noisy Latino music, I took another look at the place, remembering the details. High ceiling is supported by wooden bars, the floor is covered with old style blue design tiles, a large mirror set behind the bar makes the place look much bigger, walls are painted in yellow with some writings and designs in a space all lit by candles and warm soothing lights.
Meet Paul: Paul is a pillar at Pacifico. He is a professional, smiling and welcoming waiter who has been working at Pacifico for over a decade. I'm not sure long Pacifico has been open, but surely Paul has enough experience to tell you about the thousands of customers he has met.
Let the margaritas flow. Lemon lime and triple sec with tequila in a mix of crushed ice. Some salt… and let’s enjoy. A good drink that's not too strong yet not too light... Not too sweet and not too sour. A flavorful mix…
- The bar
Let's enjoy some nice Latino food: Tonight's meal was really good. I had forgotten how good the nachos are, how flavorful that quesadillas are… Fresh fajitas and tasty shrimps.
- Nachos: The plate doesn't look too appetizing. It isn't covered with vegetables and colorful bits and doesn't have the accompaniments to impress... But wait until you bite into the first one. Warm nachos produced in house crunchy and fresh, generously topped with melting cheese. Each explodes like dynamite while the cheese gives it flavor. Some diced tomatoes and bell pepper add the freshness. They are one of the best nachos I've had in Lebanon.
- Quesadillas: A tasty fresh loaf of tender bread, juicy chicken, melting cheese and some fun. A flavorful bite... Dip in the sour cream and enjoy.
- Breaded Shrimps: As good as you expect them to be. Non oily breaded shrimps, fresh and tasty, crunchy and tender at the same time and served with guacamole sauce.
- Enchiladas: You have to be a fan to appreciate them. Three soft tortillas bathing in lots of sauce. They’re like crepes in fresh cream stuffed with tender chicken. I enjoyed them but I don't recommend ordering them after a hefty meal, they're heavy.
- Fajitas: We ordered two pans, one for the shrimps and the other for the mix of meat and chicken. Generously filled pans of meat and grilled vegetables bathing in their respective sauces. These are good, really good, maybe better than the ones at Habana.
Before moving to desserts, we were offered a drink, a special cocktail; Hugo: St. Germain and Prosecco. Fizzy and aromatic, I enjoyed it.
Everything was great. The music, ambiance and service and for sure the food. I was honestly not expecting it. But I wish I could say the same about the desserts.
- Creme brûlée: The creme brûlée had a blend of cold and hot feelings combined. A good taste but a bizarre feel in texture.
- Cheese cake: This cake feels heavy and missed the crunch a cheesecake promises.
- Mud cake: This chocolate cake offers a good taste but is not consistent. It's too airy and can't be eaten with a fork or even a spoon. It needs to be more condensed and full-bodied.
The only minus is smoking... Heavy smoking sticking to your clothes... and it lasts. I remember hearing about an anti-smoking law in this country, no?
I had a great experience and if you want to enjoy the “good old location” as well, do so soon before they relocate.