Eating Mexican in Beijing


During my most recent trip to China, I decided to branch out a little, culinarily speaking.  After all, when I’m at home, I tend to rotate through a whole bunch of different ethnic cuisines.  Given the explosion of dining options in Beijing, I thought it would be interesting to do a bit of the same.

Mexican Wave In one ten day period, I managed to sample Iranian, Thai, Vietnamese, Asian-Fusion, Mexican, Scandinavian, Tex-Mex and two French-style bakeries.  Of course, there was plenty of Chinese food too, including Beijing specialties (duck, of course), amazing dumplings, and delicious ethnic cuisine from the southern province of Guizhou.

Of the non-Chinese food, some of it was good, some of it was mediocre.  And some of it was a bit disappointing.

For some reason, I was most excited to test out Mexican.  Mexican Wave has been in business for at least a decade, and probably more.

It looks the part, and has more than a few enthusiastic supporters.  It was also only a few blocks from my hotel, which made it an easy pick for lunch.

And I will admit that my sandwich was perfectly fine, and quite enormous.  But the salsa was mild!  That’s right- in a nation where the use of chili peppers in cuisine is an art form, the salsa came across as bland.  Lesson learned.  The next time I’m in Beijing and need a spicy fix, I should stick to Sichuan restaurants.

Chips and Salsa at Mexican Wave

Kira Matus
Kira Matus is a sustainability expert who caught the travel bug as a child from her father (and fellow blogger, Roger Matus). A native New Englander, she has done a thorough survey of the region's lively student culture while earning her ScB (Chemistry, Brown University), SM (Technology and Policy, MIT), and PhD (Public Policy, Harvard). With her studies finally at an end, she has been working as a Senior Policy Analyst at the Center for Green Chemistry and Green Engineering at Yale University.

Despite her employer's location in quaint New Haven, CT, Kira has been living in exile from her beloved NE, delving into the DC policy scene while residing in Northern Virginia.

Her focus is innovation for sustainable development, and she studies and writes on the development of green technologies and products in the chemical sector, along with innovation, environment and S&T policies in the US, China and India. This work has allowed her to visit some of the wonders of the world, like the Taj Mahal and the Great Wall. It has also allowed her to spend time in some of the most polluted industrial areas these places have to offer, which gives her an unusual perspective on her travels.

When she isn't touring industrial sites, Kira is likely to be found deeply engaged in complex cooking, baking and brewing projects, hiking, biking (or being a gym rat when the weather refuses to cooperate) or reading just about anything she can get her hands on. This fall, she will embarking on her first long-term international relocation, taking up residence in London.
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0 Responses to Eating Mexican in Beijing

  1. Yang Kun August 16, 2010 at 2:12 am #

    Mexican Wave is disgusting. I’ve lived in Beijing for 4 years. I’ve ordered tortillas twice with my fajitas and a dead insect has been in them. I’m not kidding. I don’t know if you noticed but the health rating on the wall from the Beijing Health Bureau is a “C.” That is EXTREMELY low for Beijing. Even “A” rated restaurants in Beijing do not match the standards of Western restaurants. I’m sorry you went there. It’s been able to stay in business because it’s the classic tourist trap: close to the Silk Market, English-speaking staff, and people who don’t know the city. Local expats never go there.

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