Vegetarian review: Pepito’s Mexican Restaurant

Pepito's VegetarianAll this month, Another Food Critic is taking a special look at the vegetarian options on local restaurants’ menus. To learn more, click here. For the original review of Pepito’s, click here.

It’s amazing to me how quickly this whole vegetarian commitment has changed my perspective on dining out. It really limits the kinds of food you can enjoy. While it’s very easy to transition into eating vegetarian Asian cuisine, with its tofu and stir fry varieties, good luck finding good vegetarian barbecue. Some cuisines just lend themselves to subtracting meat easily.

Well, Mexican food is one of them.

Pepito’s has a vegetarian menu, true enough, but it’s four items. There are vegetarian burritos, chimichangas, quesadillas, the same sort of items on the regular menu. It makes me happy to see there’s no omission for the dishes there, but there’s also nothing really new or outstanding about the items. They’re just the same dishes without meat, and you could probably order them as such.

The main problem is they aren’t lighter or substantially altered dishes in any way. I tried the same dishes during my first review, with meat. The vegetarian stuff has the same share of vegetables and rice and everything, but they’ve just substituted the meat in the recipe for an equal share of cheese. It may lack the meat, but it’s no healthier. And that’s really disappointing to me. Mexican cuisine is easy to make healthy, because it’s based so heavily in delicious and fresh ingredients, the kind that go into the really good salsas and guacamoles. It’s a real missed opportunity to see that creative potential in the dishes isn’t there.

Pepito’s makes some great dishes, and I truly enjoy this food, but I came out with a new perspective in mind for the kind of menu I was looking for. Sorry to say that I didn’t find it at all.

Pepitos Mexican Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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