Haragan Mexikanisches Restaurant
Hours: Monday - closed
Tues - Fri 1100-1400 & 1700-2300
Sat - Sun 1100-2300
Setting: Parking: a few spots are directly in front of the restaurant; otherwise it's street parking. There's a nice outdoor patio with a small amount of seating. The restaurant is quite small, with seating for about 50. The restroom is on the left hand side in the back (it's not super obvious as the door isn't marked but the decorations inside are truly...um, interesting).
Menu: the regular menu's appetizers run from 5-7 euros or so and meals cost in the range of 7-14 euros. The children's menu offerings are 4.50 euros and desserts are less than 4 euros.
As are many expat Americans, I'm always on the prowl for good Mexican food, especially near where I live. There were some rumblings online that a new Mexican restaurant would be coming to Bruchmühlbach-Miesau, which is west of Ramstein and Kaiserslautern, just off the A6. Those rumblings grew until word came out that the restaurant was opening today.
Of course I had to visit! I stopped by the restaurant, which seems to be in the lower part of what had been (or still is?) a house. One walks up a few steps and enters a sunroom with tables. Behind that is the main dining room and bar. The restaurant is small and painted a cozy, dark red; it probably seats about 50 people at maximum.
As I was seated, a pleasant waitress came up and handed me a menu, asking if I spoke English or German. I just went with English. She informed me that for this weekend during the opening, they only had a buffet option for 15 euros but starting on Tuesday they would be serving their normal, plated menu. I liked that idea; after all, it's a great way to sample a restaurant's options in a buffet without committing to one dish. She also offered a free glass of champagne or a Corona beer, part of their opening celebration.
I sampled a small amount of everything from the buffet. Meat eaters, I totally took one for the team so give me a virtual high-five because I even sampled a little bit of chicken and beef (I usually don't eat meat, especially those two).
- Chips: these were the type without salt on them. They were crisp but not super flavorful.
- Salsa: made with fresh tomatoes and actually somewhat spicy on the German scale. Made with fresh ingredients, including cilantro. I'd say it's about a spice level similar to medium in commercially prepared American salsa.
- Green sauce: good, homemade as well.
- Beef with vegetables (mostly peppers): this might be what's put in fajitas normally. The sauce it was in was too sweet and reminded me of something similar to Chinese food.
- Rice: had peas, carrots, and (oh no!) corn in it. It was also too sweet and reminded me more of Chinese food.
- Refried beans: not super flavorful, but were possibly homemade.
- Tamale: not great either. Way too much masa harina in it and formed a thick tamale with too much "dough." Chicken inside; a little heavy on the salt.
- Pozole soup: the hominy in it seemed a bit chewy and unfortunately, the soup stock seemed a bit greasier and blander than what I've had in the US.
There is a bar that offers cocktails, a small variety of beers, and alcohol-free drinks too.
As I was eating, I was reminded a bit of US restaurants, but not for a positive thing. The music was blasting quite loud and the diners were even louder as a consequence.
Service: the staff at the bar were wearing t-shirts printed to look like tuxedos. I found this amusing. My waitress was friendly and willing to answer questions. I was impressed that, when I was leaving, she thanked me for my visit and said she hoped I would visit again.
I left the restaurant, happy with the friendly service, but nonplussed by the food, unfortunately. I'm going to visit again once things have calmed down and it's not the opening weekend and will make an update on that experience. I'd say that if one is curious, one should check the place out, but don't expect knock-out Mexican food.