On Thursday I saw a Mexican night advertised on the Dores Inn Facebook page. Now mexican is one of our favourite cuisines, so we decided to go along. We have been along to the Dores Inn on a number of occasions and had a great meal, but not since it had opened under new management towards the end of last year. I took a peek at the Trip Advisor page for the restaurant (seeing as the old website is still functional with the old branding- maybe this is something for the new owners to address?) and it seemed that the new owners were keeping the standard very high indeed with great food and service. Along with these theme nights (they held a Chinese night at the beginning of the year) another new addition is the shuttle service they operate to Inverness – a great option if you want to enjoy a drink or two with your meal.
We arrived down at the Dores Inn – which is very nicely situated on the banks of Loch Ness just after dusk. It’s atmospheric down at the lochside no matter if it’s dry and fine, or wet and windy.
The Inn consists of a small pub room, and an adjoining two room restaurant. We were asked to arrive at 7pm and when we arrived the pub area was almost packed to brimming. After a short wait we got our drinks (which include a good range of ales on tap for the ale-loving readers among you) and were prompted to go through to be seated. A good idea here was that payment (£20pp) was taken before the meal, so all we needed to do at the end was settle up for our drinks. Instead of being on separate tables, all guests were invited to choose their own seats on the banquet style layout. It seemed that most people had come in bigger groups and were locals to the Dores area, so we just opted for a couple of seats in the middle-ish of a table. As the minutes ticked by and we received some appetiser nachos along with some dips and salsas, no one else came to join us, so there were 8 seats empty by us, so we didn’t really get that communal feeling of eating together. I’m sure the Dores Inn were maybe hoping for walk-ins on the night as well as the people who had booked in, so it was a shame not to have a full house in the restaurant. I guess a bonus for us was that we had the free opportunity to maximise the guacamole and sour cream!
Whilst the nachos were being nibbled on, out came baskets of potato wedges, jalapeno poppers and buffalo chicken wings which were distributed among the tables. There was so much food!
The poppers aren’t my cup of tea, so I enjoyed a few of the potato wedges (which we couldn’t decide if they were made in house or bought in – I hope the former!) which had a touch of smokiness, and the chicken wings which were really excellent. The marinade was sweet and smoky, and the meat just fell off the bone. Mr B loves hot peppers, so the poppers went down really well with him. They were breaded and there seemed to be a lot of cream cheese which no doubt cooled the heat of the jalapenos somewhat!
There was a good amount of time between the starters and main courses being served, which was just as well as we’d been enjoying nibbling on our mexican starters, and the water on our table was constantly topped up.
The main courses were served as a buffet, and there was a chilli (choice of mild or spicy) some chargrilled chicken and sizzling spicy beef. You could then choose between a number of accompaniments; tacos, tortillas, rice, peppers, onions and refried beans. I restrained myself on the carb front, settling for a choice of meats, peppers and refried beans. Unfortunately I must have been too full from the starters as I only managed a couple of mouthfuls of each element before admitting defeat!
The chilli (I went for mild) was really yummy. The quality of the meat was good, really succulent and smoky.
The sizzling beef was similar – good quality with lovely flavour. Only the chicken was a slight disappointment, being slightly dry.
All the other accompaniments were good and everything was piping hot.
To finish the meal, shot glasses of margarita sorbet were distributed. I am a big pudding fan (nearly always choosing a main and pudding over a starter and main) so normally I’d like something more substantial, but this was the perfect choice to end a meal that had been extremely filling- cold, refreshing and delicious. I don’t think anyone would have wanted a heavier dessert than that!
All in all, we were really pleased with our night at the Dores Inn. Service was good, we felt like we were having a really leisurely meal, there was plenty of delicous food. I’d definitely head on down there for a theme night again if I was a fan of the cuisine, and we’ll definitely be looking to head down there again to sample their regular menu!
This is not a sponsored post. We paid for our own meals and drinks and enjoyed our night so much that it feels a shame not to share it!