07 August 2008

Tombstone Mexican Restaurant


While the title of this blog would indicate that it is about all things Beaufort Street (and, well, it is), we thought we would comment quickly on a little gem the BSBers stumbled across last week.

Tombstone on Walcott Street (which incidentally intersects Beaufort, lending a skerrick of legitimacy to this post) had been regularly carpet-bombing the area with pamphlets announcing their arrival and various specials. Booto, Stinky and the Sponge found themselves at a loose end last Thursday (having been passed over by the balance of the BSBers in favour of bridesmaid duties and general tooling around respectively) and accordingly decided to see what these paper-wasters were all about.

Tombstone is an eclectic place – set up in the former grand foyer of the Menora Theatre, it shares premises with a squash court (though you would be none the wiser for it until needing to use the loo). While ostensibly billing itself as Mexican, the interior is a garish mix of a dozen competing themes and styles, from Clint Eastwood posters to a large screen showing early-80s dance clips to 50s diner-type booths along the walls, all overhung with the ornate drapery and trimmings left over from its cinematic days.

Like the surrounds, the service was excellent because of, rather than in spite of, its unpolished edge. Staff and owner were very attentive – noticing the Sponge’s predilection for all things hopped and frothy, the owner made a point of offering him a particular new beer from the owner’s personal stash. He also very politely, but firmly, steered Booto away from the super-hot burrito sauce, a fact she was most thankful for as the "medium" proceeded to melt her fillings…

Which leads us to the food: Despite a Mexican theme running through the menu (with the standard burritos, enchiladas, nachos etc on offer), there are plenty more traditional meat and other options for those not willing to venture south of the border. Shared chilli con carne dip was very tasty, Booto’s beef burrito was tender and spicy, and the Sponge’s meal had to be seen to be believed: the $28 surf’n’turf steak procured a delightfully large and tender steak, a mound of garlic mussels, prawns and scallops, a log cabin of wedges and a side salad.

Stinky, sated with milk, slept through proceedings and only roused now and then to flatulate his approval.

In all, Tombstone is the ideal place to come for a cheap and casual meal with a bunch of friends intending to eat and drink the evening away.

In summary:

Service: Went above and beyond.

Food: Fantastic quality and value Mexican/steakhouse fare.

Ambience: Dizzying. Despite sitting there for 2 hours, we still can’t tell you.

Highlight: The surf’n’turf (seriously, has anyone ever seen scallops on a steak before?)

Lowlight: Not entirely sure what it wanted to be (not convinced this is necessarily a lowlight though)

Rating: 4.2 distended bellies out of 5.

Will we be back? Hell yes, with an appetite, a thirst and a table full of like-minded punters.

Details: Tombstone is at 344 Walcott St, and can be contacted on 9443 8888 or email at michaelriseley@hotmail.com. 2 (enormous) courses and 2-3 drinks each cost around $80 total. (We defy our readers to produce tales of better value!) Tombstone is fully licensed, and offers an array of dazzlingly cheap margaritas and assorted treats.

23 comments:

The Worst of Perth said...

Sounds great. I've always wanted to go into that building.

Brad said...

We've passed this place so many times now and each time I can't help but think it looks like a 'front'. A front for what though, I'm not sure.

Organ theft operation has sprung to mind.

Anyway, thanks for putting those suspicions to rest...

Mel said...

Wow - I sometimes play squash next door and from the outside I assumed the place was a dive. Got to give it shot now!

Alli said...

I lived around the corner for many years and as far back as I can remember it has always seemed to have a Mexican theme, I know the decor was always a bit dubious.

I will have to get mr grendel to take me out to dinner, I love surf and turf

rockape said...

I've eaten there and thought it was terrible! The worst sort of microwave tex mex, average ingredients, etc etc. I really wanted to love it too that room is amazing.

Angie said...

Glad to know a place called Tombstone was actually really good! Bit of an odd name though, I'd have thought Tombstone would have emo/goth cuisine there... if there even is such a thing as emo or goth cuisine! lol

Also, I threw out a challenge on my blog a while back about getting local Perth F&B Bloggers together for a meal/drink somewhere. Would you be interested?

Jen@Palate said...

Sounds intriguing. Odd name tho..like the food might kill you. Didn't there used to be a ciggie brand called Tombstones once?

Anonymous said...

I think you'll find that Tombstone is a town in Arizona, not far from the New Mexico border. It's not far from the famous O.K. Corral (of the famous shootout fame). This should give you a clue as to the Tex-Mex cuisine.

Anonymous said...

I went there the other night and the mains are tasty. The surf and turf was a total gem, definitely worth trying! I only managed to finish it cos I am greedy...

Word of warning, though: skip dessert. The chocolate mousse is out of a packet, which doesn't bode well for the rest either. I love choccy mousse so I'm feeling a bit jipped about that....

Beaufort Street Bloggers said...

Lazy Aussie - the building is definitely worth a visit. You must take a stroll to the dunny when you go, it'll take you about half an hour but the scenery is well worth it.

Brad - while Tombstone's main operation seems to be as a restaurant, we cannot confirm that it does not double as a front for some kind of illegal activity. There is certainly enough room for an organ harvesting lab.

Mel - amazing, we didn't think anyone actually played squash there. It's good to know it still gets a run.

alli - we love that you love surf and turf. There are many people out there who don't believe in combining seafood and meat. Unless it's for religious reasons, we encourage those people to come up with a good reason why the 2 things don't sit perfectly together.

rocktape - we agree that the room could be much better utilised, but that somehow adds to the charm. We're sorry to hear you hated the food, did you try the giant surf and turf?

angie, jen and anonymous - we agree, the name is bizarre. Even though it is named after a town (thanks anonymous for that info), it's still not the kind of name that makes you desperate to try it out.

David Cohen said...

No posts for some time. Are you all fasting?

Anonymous said...

This really wasn't great. No we didn't try the surf and turf. The building is in the middle of nowhere and completely oversized and empty- there is NO ambiance. The guacamole was actually really good but the enchiladas were tiny and microwaved. The taco on the table looked good and was like double the size of the enchiladas. The drinks were totally overpriced and not good- the pina colada separated, and the marg's watery and tiny- for $14 as well! NOT CHEAP for a 'cocktail'. Service was good but the whole place needs more attention, more people, and better food. What is the New Age sign at the front door about?

Beaufort Street Bloggers said...

Hi anonymous, thanks for the feedback. The building is definitely in an awkward location, which probably explains why it has been about 34 different restaurnts in the past 2 years. We must say that after a second visit, our views were a more aligned with yours as the food was a bit disappointing. Perhaps things have got tougher for the owners, or perhaps we first went on a good day.

We're sure that the owners will appreciate the feedback. They're good folk and it would be great to see the restaurant turn into a success. Maybe they just need to sort out some teething issues and booze to water ratios.

Anonymous said...

This venue used to be the old "beefeater" steakhouse, i started my apprenticeship there back in 1980. (Some might remember the tacky beefeater manequin out the front.)
Nice to know the trip to the toilets is still an adventure haha.
Must go there again sometime.

Thanks Beaufort St Bloggers- im a Mt Lawley local and i'm loving all of your reviews. Warmest regards and best of luck with the "challenge". Glenn.

Beaufort Street Bloggers said...

Hi Glenn, thanks for your comments and welcome to the blog. We weren't in the area in 1980 so can't remember the beefeater standing out the front of the restaurant - it would be interesting to find out where it might have ended up. You still chefing?

Glenn said...

About 3 years ago i saw the old "beefeater" manequin outside Scurrs Antiques @769 Beaufort Street. It may still be there lurking in a dark corner inside.

I gave away cooking for about 20yrs. Took up DJing in nightclubs and became semi nocturnal. About 5 years ago i decided i was getting too old to party like a teenager every weekend and eased myself back into the kitchen, firstly at Paraquad, then a nursing home and now im at a busy tavern in Balcatta doing 1000+ covers a week.
Thoroughly enjoying the blog. Keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

Their chili mussels were great!

Anonymous said...

you guys are totally off point with this restaurant, it was the worst mexican experience i've ever had.
and the plasma flat screens & footy bullshit? the food was unoriginal, dry and bland. thank god we had a discount voucher. it's terrible.
for good perth mexican try that little mexican place.. or go to mexico and get educated!

Dave said...

I quite like this place and go there semi-regularly as I live close by.

I'm not a huge fan of tex-mex (which is what it is and doesn't pretend to be otherwise), but the chilli mussels are fantastic, as are the steaks.

I like the 'out-there' decor personally - doesn't bother me at all for a reasonably priced meal in casual surroundings.

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Anonymous said...

I agree that you guys are totally off your game with this review - Tombstone is shockingly bad.

Packet food which has obviously been microwaved, a big bogan TV with football and eighties film clips playing. The drinks were nasty - premixed margritas,flat coke. All these things add up to make Tombstone a complete waste of time and money.

Also, the staff were awful - we had a surly older lady who didn't smile once through the whole night.

Anonymous said...

back in the early 80's it was also a mexican restaurant. Can anyone rememeber the name. Please help as it's driving a few crazy!!!

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