Volume 95, Issue 64

Friday, January 25, 2002
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Nothing is Blue with these dogs around

Disc of the Week

Under the Volcano lies heavenly sweet treats

Shits and Giggles

Under the Volcano lies heavenly sweet treats

Nicole D'Cruz/Gazette
Under the Volcano
300 Colbourne St.

Three stars (out of five)

By Andrea Chiu
Gazette Staff

Just south of the train tracks on Colborne Street lies the restaurant, Under The Volcano.

Although the quaint establishment may be in a different part of London than most students are used to, it's worth the change if you enjoy authentic Mexican cuisine.

The restaurant's warm colour combinations, traditional artwork and black and white photos of Mexico create a welcoming setting. The décor makes for an atmosphere that parallels a real Mexican experience.

To begin one's Mexican journey, no real meal would be complete without some fire.

At Under the Volcano, the Jalapenos Rellenoes ($6.95) are a very popular appetizer to kick-start your meal. Cheese, tomatos and green peppers are smothered over a bed of hot jalapeno peppers, making the perfect start for those who like spice.

For those with more mild tastes, the Queso Fundido ($6.95) may be an even better appetizer selection – a simpler dish of spiced beef, cheese and salsa served with tortillas for dipping. Unfortunately, the tortillas served with it are slightly dry in texture.

Under the Volcano offers a diverse entrée menu. Divided into four main sections – seafood, beef, chicken and vegetarian – diners should have no problem finding something to suit their specific cravings. All the typical Mexican dishes are offered here, everything from nachos to fajitas to buritos, along with some more original and rare dishes.

One of the unusual dishes is mango shrimp ($15.95), served on a bed of brown rice. Unfortunately, it arrived slightly on the cold side and for a dish that prides itself on its "exotic mango sauce," the rather bland flavour disppoints.

The seafood paella ($14.95) is only slightly better. For a traditional Spanish dish, one would expect more flavour bursting through the sauce. At least the seafood offerings were plentiful, with substantial servings of mussels, scallops, shrimp and calamari. However, the dish would have maintained more integrity if it was made without fake crab meat.

What Under the Volcano lacks in taste, they make up for with their generously-sized portions. Depending on your appetite, you may not be left with enough to take home with you, but you should save some room for dessert.

Although they offer typical desserts like cheesecake, the deep fried ice cream ($4.95) is by far the restaurant's most popular dish for those with a sweet tooth. French vanilla coated in a crunchy coating with honey, cinnamon and whipped cream, it's far too delicious to pass up, no matter how full you are.

If deep fried ice cream doesn't float your boat, Coco Loco ($4.95) is an equally fine choice. A little lighter than its deep fried counterpart, it's French vanilla ice cream rolled in toasted coconut and drizzled with a fabulous warm caramel sauce. Simply put: melt-in-your-mouth heaven and the perfect ending to any meal.

Few restaurants attract patrons with their dessert menus alone, but Under the Volcano is definitely one of them.

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