The restaurant is in a separate room and, though we hadn't booked, it was early and they could fit us in (advice - book in advance as this place is popular, for reasons we were to find out). The room itself is casually stylish with stripped pine floor, tasteful decor and unobtrusive Mexican music playing. That's because this is first and foremost a Mexican restaurant, though you can get steaks if you're not of that persuasion.
We very much are and quickly selected a Nachos (£4.75) to share for starters. This was an excellent example, the tortilla chips liberally coated in a delicious cheese (West Country Mature White Cheddar, we were told). For main, Jane chose a Jalapeno Chicken Burrito (£11.95); the menu grades the hotness of dishes as one to three chilli and this was at the top level, but at Jane's request they were more than happy to tone it down a bit. I went for Sweet Chilli Con Carne (£9.95).
Both dishes came beautifully presented on huge square plates. Each had a mound of rice in the middle, the main feature to one side and generous helpings of guacamole, sour cream, green salad, refried beans and salsa sauce. Jane's burrito was wrapped round lots of succulent, spicy chicken. The freshness of the preparation and the quality of the ingredients were obvious - "just delicious" she said.
My Chilli was actually quite subtle, if that isn't a contradiction in terms. You're given bottles of hot sauces if you want to raise the heat level but I was more than happy to be able to taste properly the beef, spices and beans. Lovely stuff.
The generosity of the portions obliged us to share a sweet, this being Banana Chimichanga with Butterscotch Sauce and Ice Cream (£4.25). A chimichanga turned out to be a deep-fried burrito with lots of mashed-up banana inside. Despite our repleteness, we polished it off in no time.
An unexpected treat to follow was a free shot each of Strawberry Tequila - surprisingly nice, but I'll stick with ale.
Apart from the excellence of the food, what really impressed us here was the friendliness and enthusiasm of the staff. All three who dealt with us were completely charming, even though the place quickly got very busy and they were pretty rushed. With so many pubs around serving good food, it's aspects like this (and the quality of the ale) that are likely to bring us back here.