The struggle to find great food in the Somerset-Swansea, Massachusetts area continued to plague my wife and I. In a “throw-your-hands-up-in-defeat-moment,” we decided to try Fiesta Mexican Restaurant due to the good reviews it received. Our contentment at finding such a solid restaurant after so long was a nice surprise. It wasn’t that Fiesta was a good restaurant in an area lacking food talent, but more that it was actually really good even compared to similar small chain restaurants serving Mexican plate dinners like the acceptable Acupulcos or the completely inedible Margaritas.
Fiesta Mexican Restaurant
117 County Street
Service and Atmosphere
The interior of Fiesta has the same kind of stereotypical Mexican elements and architecture that one would expect to see at a mid-level Mexican Restaurant. Rather than being tacky, however, the restaurant atmosphere is comforting and familiar. The serving staff is always courteous, friendly, and willing to help out with menu explanations or suggestions.
Every meal starts out with a basket of what could be homemade tortilla chips and salsa. I say “could be” because I’m not really sure. The chips and salsa are good as well as complimentary, but they have qualities that resemble homemade and pre-purchased. The watery salsa is better than most jarred salsas and has some kick, but not quite chunky enough to solidify a declaration of homemade. The salsa might be store-bought, but then spiced up with some fresh ingredients. The chips seem better than store-bought, but are so perfectly shaped, that again, it’s unclear. Regardless, I’m not complaining about decent complimentary chips and salsa before a meal!
Over the course of a few visits, I tried a couple of different entrees. The first one I tried was the Chile Verde (“A sweet savory tomatillo sauce accents diced pork.”). The dish came out rip-roaringly hot as many dishes do from restaurants like this that put the entire plate in the oven to meld the flavors before serving. In addition to the temperature, the pork in the spicy tomatillo sauce also carried some good, but not over-powering heat. The rice and re-fried beans that accompany the dish are pretty standard staples at this kind of restaurant, but they did the job of breaking up the flavors of the dish.
The other entree I tried was the Carne Asada (“…a half pound of skirt steak perfectly seasoned, sliced thin…”) that came with the usual round of rice and re-fried beans. This dish was also really good. The seasoning on the steak was pretty excellent and the real thing that put this dish over the top for me is that it comes with tortillas and fresh guacamole. The tortillas allow you to built little fajitas from your plate and the guacamole is really just incredible. I have to hand it to Fiesta for their guacamole preparation and say that it’s a shame it doesn’t come with more of their meals!
Not to sound harsh, but there aren’t too many great restaurants in Somerset, MA. Luckily, Fiesta is a Mexican restaurant that outshines so many restaurants that seem very similar at first glance. I was surprised at how much I would enjoy eating here, but the simple truth is that they do put together a well done plate-style Mexican meal that is better than the usual small chain restaurant. I would recommend Fiestas for a solution to a Mexican food craving in the area.