I was lucky enough to be invited down to Las Iguanas Newcastle this week to try out their amazing Latin American food. If you aren’t familiar with the franchise, Las Iguanas, was founded back in 1991 in Bristol and if you’ve ever been you will know why it has become such a success.
Newcastle is fortunate enough to have two locations within the city centre, the Quayside restaurant and the one I had the pleasure of dining in was the Grey Street location. We were seated in a gorgeous booth under the neon lights that overlooked the whole restaurant and given some cocktail menus to have a browse over. Something I love about Las Iguanas is that their extensive drinks menu offers 2for1 cocktails all day every day on the same drink. This is a great idea because realistically you won’t be drinking alone so if you didn’t want the same drink twice you could share with a friend and still get the deal. As I was driving, I went for a mocktail and chose the Raspberry Cooler priced at £3.95. This was a super refreshing combination of raspberry, Bottlegreen elderflower and soda which gives a lovely sweet drink. The alcoholic cocktail choice we wanted to try was a new addition to the menu called the Brazilian Grapefruit Spritz. For £9.95 this fruity drink is a combo of Las Iguanas Magnigica Cachaca, grapefruit soda and Freixenet Cava.
We had a little while to ponder the menu, but we had gone on a Tuesday evening since we had heard about the 2 for 1 deal, Tortilla Tuesday. The Latin American deal offers all the Las Iguana Mexican favourites single Tuesday with a choice from burritos, fajitas and enchiladas. I went for the Chicken Enchilada which usually costs an exceptionally reasonable price of £12.50 for a great size meal. Spicy chicken, pepper, onion and cheese is rolled in a tortilla with smoky chipotle sauce and top on a bed of spring onion rice with refried beans & topped with cheese.
Dad went for the £12.50 Chilli Con Carne which was a rich chunky beef and black bean chilli accompanied with a spring onion rice and blue crispy corn tortillas. There were three heat options from coca and ancho chilli (mild), smoky chipotle butter (medium) to habanero and cayenne chilli (hot). He went for the mild and said it was hotter than he expected but that was a good thing so if you are not the best with your spice, I recommend the mild flavouring.
If you aren’t dining on a Tuesday, there are plenty more options that Las Iguanas offer. Latin American dishes from many regions take sections of the menu well with regional meals from Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Peru and beyond. There are even tapas on the menu with a reasonable offer of three dishes for £16.50 or five for £26.50.
After delicious main meals our fantastic waitress Sam helped us out with some dessert options and recommended two of the new additions to the menu. First up was the Mexican Mess which consisted of mixed berries, whipped vanilla mascarpone cream and crushed meringue presented beautifully alongside prickly pear puree and hibiscus flowers. This dessert was a fantastic palette cleanser after some authentic flavoured Latin American food and really refreshing, exactly what we wanted. The second new addition which we were excited to try was the really reasonably priced Brownie, Cookie and Ice Cream combo costing £4.95. I loved the gooey warm chocolate brownie pieces and the a dulce de leche cookie sandwich was really flavoursome.
Overall, the atmosphere at Las Iguanas Newcastle was vibrant, friendly and definitely Latin American. Despite it being early on a Tuesday evening the Grey Street location had Friday night ambiances which shows just how well the bar and restaurant is doing. The food tasted really authentic especially for a franchise restaurant and I can’t wait to return and try some of the other Latin American dishes. Thanks again to Las Iguanas Newcastle for the invite!!