Oh Popo, what have you done? This used to be such a great place, with great tasting Mexican classics, just like you'd expect, plus a few other things to explore, in a wonderfully characterful and colourful environment. It was top of my list of dependable places in Haarlem. Now, the Mexican-ness has been watered down so much it seems you're actually ashamed of it.
My fajita last night had more carrots in it than meat. Now I'm all for having a healthy amount of vegetables with my meal, but the point of a fajita is you get all the bits separately so you can decide how to have them. This was essentially a very oily carrot matchstick stew with a few scrapings of pulled pork mixed in plus some coleslaw-style salad, guacamole and sour cream. Sure, it tasted OK and the coleslaw thing was very good, but for the main part it's no longer what I go to a Mexican restaurant for.
Over the years I have noticed the menu gradually dumbing down. Looking around, there were a lot of burgers and chips being served. The food is becoming less Mexican every year. If I want a burger, I'll go to a place that specialises in burgers. I come (or should I say came) to Popo for that distinctive Mexican zing. It's just not there anymore. You've become a general café which happens to have a few Mexican inspired dishes, with most of the flavour stripped out to satisfy the unadventurous Dutch pallet. But not those of people who actually love Mexican food. It's now only slightly more Mexican than Albert Heijn's 'Mexican' salad.
And what's wrong with giving people plates now? It appears the new protocol for fajitas is you have to hold the tortillas in your hand to construct them. And since when were enchiladas served in a bowl? With the accompaniments in even smaller bowls on the side? You've actually made the food really hard to get at. It's just not a relaxing way to eat.
Oh, and that brings me to the building redesign. All the character and colour stripped away in favour of a pleasant but completely ambiguous space. It actually felt like it should have been a non-specific lounge bar rather than a Mexican restaurant.
I'm really, really disappointed that one of my favourite places effectively doesn't exist anymore. Sadly, won't be coming back :-(
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