Mad Mex Fresh Mexican Grill

QV, Red Cape Lane, Cnr Swanston & Lonsdale St, Melbourne Victoria
Date visited: 23rd November 2012

Mad Mex is a "gourmet burrito and taco" chain store that has already opened up many outlets in Melbourne, including Flinders Lane, Melbourne Central Food Court, Southern Cross Station, Windsor and QV.  We dropped by the QV branch today for lunch.  

There was a long queue already formed inside - totally reminded me of a military canteen LOL.
Counter when the crowds had cleared
Cool light feature with empty bottles
The food at Mad Mex is made to order.  They let you choose your "base" from burritos, nachos, quesadillas, grande melts, soft or crispy tacos (why not have both - porque no los dos?), then you choose your filling of meats/ vegetarian and add fresh salsas or guacamole.
I was a bit confused by the above menu, though.  

For example, I had the Nachos - and from the above sign, it looks as if it's "tortilla chips with melted cheese, black beans, sour cream and jalapeƱos" for $10.90.  I told them I wanted the Nachos with Guacamole but as I went along the glass counter, the girls there asked if I wanted each of these ingredients?  Bewildering.  When I asked doesn't the nachos already include the stuff written on the board, they just looked at me with an equally puzzled look.  @_@  Okay...  So if I didn't want any of the ingredients, does it still cost me the same?  Like I said, confusing.

We had a Mexican Soda in Mandarin.  Nice.  It tasted like real oranges.
Mexican soda $4.20
There were instructions on how to eat a burrito on the serviettes.  Just in case anyone was ordering one.
 MerlinFan chose the Grande Melt with Beef and Tomato Salsa.
The "Instructions of Maximum Burrito Pleasure" probably applies to the Grande Melt too and I told MerlinFan this but she deliberately defied me so that we could take pictures of what it looked like inside.  
Quesadilla rolled like a burrito and toasted!
MerlinFan said that from someone who had been starved of meat (living off supposedly "chunky" no meat canned soup and muesli bars) for four days away, the soft, succulent beef and substantial chewiness of the quesadilla together with the yummy cheese totally hit the spot.  It was really, really filling - by the end of it she just got so full she had to leave out the beans. 
Generous filling of juicy, soft meat
I had the Nachos with grilled chicken and mild tomato salsa with guacamole.  They looked great, but they weren't the best nachos I've ever had.  I was disappointed that the sour cream was incredibly runny, so it seemed to disappear into the nacho mound.  I would have liked the nachos served hot with actual cheese melted over it instead of melted cheese that was so watery I couldn't even taste or locate it.  I love texture and I would have loved actual melty, stringy cheese and a lump of sour cream I could dig my nachos into, so I felt it was like something was missing in this element.  As expected the runniness of the sour cream and cheese made the nachos at the bottom incredibly soggy.  The grilled chicken was nicely seasoned though.

Not bad for a quick meal.  Ordering is a tad bit confusing and it is not the cheapest eat out there with an overall fast-food feel.

Mad Mex - Fresh Mexican Grill on Urbanspoon
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Mad Mex on Urbanspoon


  1. Mad Mex is just like Subway for Mexican food, and ordering is simple. Ignore the set menu and put whatever you want on what you order - the only things that will cost more are double (or extra) meat/filling and guacamole. If you want to be locked into a set menu, go to Guzman y Gomez, where any alterations to your order provided on the side and charged accordingly. Mad Mex won't charge and will include whatever ingredients you want in your meal when they make it. Mad Mex is basically a clone of Chipotle from the US.

    FYI - Cheese should never be melted directly onto nachos so it can get hard and stringy as it cools. Nacho/queso cheese needs to stay melted, which you can confirm by looking up virtually any nacho recipe online. This doesn't mean it needs to be runny or thin. Sadly, most Aussies, and even restaurants here, feel that it's ok to sprinkle grated cheese on tortilla chips, heat it up, and serve it. This seems to be reflected in your comment.

    1. Thanks for your comment - I rarely have Mexican food or make nachos at home but yes, I agree I do see a lot of grated cheese melted on tortilla chips (keeping in mind that they're mostly fast food) and have actually become quite accustomed to it. I have yet to find a place with melted cheese that actually stays melted without sacrificing it's gooey, creamy texture.