There’s room for around thirty in the main dining area, with further downstairs seating also available. It was a quiet Sunday, so I did the honourable thing and sat in the window seat.
It offers a lunchtime deal of two courses for £7.50, which seemed to cover all the classic Tex-Mex dishes so I was happy to choose from that. I opted for the spicy tomato soup to start followed by a chilli burger.
The soup promptly arrived, delivered by the smiley and attentive waitress. It was neatly topped with cheese and sour cream. It was really pretty good. It didn’t pack much punch, but had a well-judged balance of flavours, so hit the spot rather nicely.
The burger that followed was, again, really pretty good. Served in a bright, cornbread bun, the burger had good flavour and succulence. The fries weren’t up to much, but that seemed a perfectly acceptable corner to cut on a good value lunch deal.
Where nearby El Cartel (licking its wounds after a devastating recent fire – we wish all involved well for a speedy reappearance) is focussed on the “authentic” Mexican experience, this is definitely Mexico via the US, but I was comfortable enough with that. Others may find it a too familiar and well-trodden road, though.
So overall, I was pleasantly surprised by Chachalaca. Both dishes I had were better than good, the service was super friendly and the place is quite smart. I’d be happy to visit again.
Blythe scores Chachalaca
3.5/5 for food
3/5 for presentation
3.5/5 for service
giving an overall 13.5/20
I ate: tomato soup; chilli burger
I drank: water
I wore: blue
Total bill: £7.50