When it comes to authentic ethnic cuisine, street food is the only way for travellers to sample a country’s true flavours at reasonable cost. In Mexico, they have taquerias. Taqueria is the Spanish word for a casual taco shop or place that makes tacos. Traditionally, they came in the form of street vendors or food carts.
The quartet of buddies that brought us Cabrito and the much loved El Burro have opened a scaled-down, more casual version of El Burro that focuses on simpler dishes with bold flavours. The spot is perfect for an in-and-out dinner dash thanks to its fast kitchen, informal seating and individual taco servings.
The décor is unapologetically Mexican in its garish use of colour but, thankfully, without a hackneyed piñata or sombrero in sight – the overall aesthetic is a bright and chirpy kind of minimalism.
If you’re looking for the Americanised excuse for tacos, read “hard-shelled” taco, then look elsewhere, this place is all about corn-tortilla tacos. “Hard-shelled tacos and cheesy layered nachos don’t actually even exist in Mexico,” explains co-owner Nic Haarhoff.
Come hungry! I stopped by after work hoping to duck in for a quick bite before heading home. After having the fish, pork and beef tacos, I ended up feasting, albeit totally unintentionally, on a few esquites (warm Mexican street corn salad), chicarrones (a fried pork belly dish) and ultimately left the taqueria wondering if I shouldn’t have tried the chorizo quesadillas to top things off.
Fans will be delighted to know that the offering is not much different to El Burro, except it’s now on the hipster side of the mountain and you won’t have to scurry for a booking.
To start, they only had virgin margaritas – but before you gasp in despair, these will not stay virgin for long, they are just waiting for the all-important liquor license. And to end I had the Mexican hot chocolate which, while delicious, could’ve been a touch spicier for my taste.
Tacos start at R45 each. BYOB is welcomed. They don’t take bookings.
Open Monday – Friday, 11am – 11.30pm
Saturday, 10am – 11.30pm
Contact 021 422 3554