After we closed on the condo in OC, we discovered that although it came furnished, there was no food in the place (WHAT?!?!?). We considered ourselves “on vacation”, so we certainly weren’t going to the local supermarket for food to cook. We decided to celebrate at the closest Mexican restaurant.
Tequila Mockingbird had been voted as the best something or other in Ocean City (I think it was restaurant #66 out of #440 on Trip Advisor), so of course, we needed to try it. And also, the name…so cool…my favorite book is “To Kill a Mockingbird”, so I loved the play on words. My favorite restaurant in New Jersey is Jose Tejas. Anyone who lives in Central NJ knows this restaurant—it’s famous for it’s delicious food, excellent margaritas, and incredible ambiance statewide. It’s also famous for its interminable wait times. I have come to assume that such wait just natural came with great Mexican restaurants. Imagine my surprise when we arrived at Tequila Mockingbird and were ushered right in to the busy restaurant. Yah! No wait!
The restaurant was crowded so the hostess sat us on the bar side of the restaurant. The first thing I noticed was that the decor was not what I was expecting from a Mexican restaurant—it had a “pub” flavor to it—big Steelers and Raven fans (they may lose points for this alone). Well, Heather, what did you expect at a bar? I don’t know…something more Mexican, I guess…a sombrero or maracas or something.
A basket of chips and homemade salsa were quickly brought to the table. Mexican restaurants must buy their chips in bulk from the same distributor because these chips tasted exactly the same as my beloved Jose’s. The salsa at Jose’s is NOT homemade as this salsa was—I actually prefer the jarred salsa, so I didn’t really care for their homemade salsa. Yeah, yeah, I know…preservatives and all that.
I had a pomegranate margarita—it was a little too sweet for my taste and kind of expensive. I know I can’t compare the two, but I can’t help it—Jose’s margaritas are around $7. This one was over $10 (I can’t remember the exact price…maybe it was more potent than I thought). Okay, I swear, I’ll stop comparing. Repeat after me, Heather: Tequila Mockingbird is not Jose Tejas.
The food was hot, and the ingredients fresh, but both Mike and I agreed it lacked the flavor of…the place we usually like. I think if you’ve never been to
Jose Tejas the great Mexican restaurant, you would find this place great (mostly because you wouldn’t know what you were missing). Honestly, it was fine, but not what I was expecting for “The Best Mexican Food in OC”, so that also colored my judgment as well. Definitely give it a try if you’re looking for a fast, clean place for tacos and other Mexican cuisine in OC.
Food: 6 🍴 out of 10 (drinks were also a 6)
Value: 7 🍴 out of 10
Atmosphere: 6 🍴 out of 10
View: 5 🍴 out of 10 (it looked out to a parking lot…they can’t all be gems)
*They have a kid’s menu, named “The Kiddie Rides”…cute.