new Things I Ate in Cambodia: Alley Cat: Mexican food in Phnom Penh, Go Figure

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Alley Cat: Mexican food in Phnom Penh, Go Figure

Alley Cat Cafe
#42, off Street 19 (before National Museum)
Phnom Penh

A brief review for a brief day. I'm headed back to the US - more specifically, New Orleans - for a three week long and somewhat sorely needed vacation. Many many many food photos to follow. For now, here's PP's Alley Cat, a pretty good little Mexican/burger joint in a somewhat weird spot.

That up there is the pork chili Colorado, a surprisingly good variant on a classic Mexican stew. It's pork chunks with onion and green pepper in a nice, smoky sauce - hit it with some hot sauce and you can almost imagine you're somewhere in North America. The Navajo fry bread is excellent and a bit of a curiosity, as it's hard to find this stuff in the US outside of Utah and areas around Indian reservations. They should do the right thing and serve it with honey, sez my lovely dining companion, and she's probably right.

The menu has fajitas, tacos, enchiladas, tostadas, good ol' beef chili and a number of other Mexican Restaurant Type Things. Haven't tried the salsa but will report back promptly. Hurley at Cantina makes good salsa, if you're jonesing, you poor sad West Coast expats.

As someone who's spent time living in California, I think I miss Mexican food the most - though then again, at least we have Alley Cat and Cantina, two pretty decent Mexican spots - in downtown PP. Shame that it's a bitch to get half decent avocados, though.

The other thing Alley Cat is known for is burgers, and it does these very well - and on a large scale. You can get them to put somewhat poorly advised amounts of stuff on it. This here is a bacon cheeseburger sans-super-sizing - and they do use good bacon. The fries are awful, which is a common plague in Phnom Penh. Just get a side-salad or something.

Alley Cat is a teeny little place that's cooled by fans and features a surprisingly large bar for such a hole-in-the-wall. It's a bit basic looking but is a nice place to hang out and talk about stuff that may be slightly too offensive for the middle-age-aid-worker saturated spots around town. It's one of my favorite lunch-meet up spots. There's a sign outside the alley it's on, so keep an eye out for it - you'll miss it.

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