There is indeed a paucity of decent Mexican eateries in the Greater Vancouver area and Charlie's in Port Moody does, I hesitate to say, nothing to change that impression.
Upon entering the establishment this evening we were greeted reasonably soon by an affable gentleman whom I presume to have been Charlie. At any rate, he promptly seated us and took our drink and appetizer orders. We ordered beef and cheese nachos which arrived warm, not hot, and desperately lacking in sufficient cheese, a deficiency which seems to consistently plague Vancouver restaurants advertising themselves as 'Mexican" eateries. The beef was of adequate quality but insufficiently spiced. Overall, the offering was but mediocre.
I ordered a fish dish and my wife a Mexican platter. Both were mediocre although my fish dish was somewhat better. As a saving grace, the accompanying salsa was good.
We ordered a pitcher of sangria and if there was any alcohol whatsoever in the sangria that would be news to me, so watered down it was.
I have eaten Mexican cuisine in Mexico, California and Texas and the various eateries in the Vancouver area which bill themselves as such simply do not measure up. What's more, they are consistently and uniformly mediocre to bad. I have yet to find one which could be actually called good although I am anxious to try Poncho's on Denman to see if it lives up to a decent standard.
Even the chain restaurants in Texas such as El Fenix and El Chico are worlds ahead of the local fare, not to mention the truly exemplary Cantina Laredo. What is wrong with these local joints that they simply cannot deliver on decent Mexican food???
If a really authentic Mexican restaurant ever does come to Vancouver it will make a killing because it will have no competition!