I’m generally a well-behaved chap but there are a few places where I have committed “youthful indiscretions”. I’ve admitted to such things in reviews of Annabelle’s and Nanna Flo’s and, dear readers, I have one more to add the list.
The place in question was the Central chippy which is now trading as the second branch of popular Mexican specialist and taqueria, El Cartel.
If memory serves, I was ejected for some irregularities in my approach to queuing, but it is some time ago so perhaps the crime was more heinous than that. We’ll never know.
Anyhoo, once I’d dealt with this flashback, I was warmly welcomed back to present-day El Cartel by the familiar face of manager Mhairi.
I was shown to a table and brought their menu which made for easy reading as it is essentially the same as the Thistle Street mothership.
I ordered to a familiar pattern with the jalapeno bombers and famously tasty guac to start, then duck carnitas tacos to follow.
The guac topped with queso and pomegranate seeds for a Mexican flag look was to its usual very good standard. The accompanying plantain chips were as excellent as ever.
I’m not sure I’d had the bombers before which seemed a fairly ridiculous oversight. They were right up there with the best balls in the city.
Despite exposure to super-fresh tacos during my time in Mexico, I’m never going to be their biggest fan, and once more I didn’t love the corn taco shells here. But the crisp duck filling was outstanding so I was more than happy with the dish.
Overall, this branch of El Cartel looks to be ticking along very nicely. It has a much more relaxed and spacious feel than the compact and sometimes frenetic charms of the original branch. It maintains the high standard of food whilst showing that the same quality can be created in a setting that is a good deal brighter and perhaps more suited to informal lunchtime catch-ups. I’ll be back for another stop-in, soon.
I ate: bombers, guacamole, duck carnitas tacos
I drank: apple and coriander shrub
I wore: new green action footwear
Total bill: £19.40