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Los Hermanos Mexican Taqueria offers a selection of Mexican tapas style dishes to choose from, with a drink (or two) to go with it. Located on Victoria Street in Brunswick and walking distance from Brunswick Station which makes it a convenient location for some late night tacos.

Their De Barbacoa (Lamb) taco has a great combination of lamb, onions, lettuce, coriander, and salsa ‘borracha’ on top of a tortilla. It’s quite a tasty taco, with the tender lamb and the fresh salsa.

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Their De Pescado (Fish) Taco contains a beer battered fish fillet, with red cabbage and topped with chipotle mayo, fresh coriander and lemon on the side. The fish was nicely cooked but with a heavy batter,  fortunately the delicious chipotle mayo and lemon juice makes the taco better.

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The Flautas is a trio of rolled tacos served with lettuce, sour cream, jalapeno salsa and a slice of tomato. Each rolled taco has a different filling, one with green poblano pepper and mashed potatoes, the second with chipotle beef with carrots and potatoes and the last one with chipotle chicken and carrots, and potatoes.  For the price, it’s quite small and would rather opt for the tacos instead. Especially, the flavours not been all that either.

Last words

The tacos are pretty good, and wouldn’t mind trying their other tacos but wouldn’t go out of my way to try them to be honest.

Los Hermanos Mexican Taqueria Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Los Hermanos Mexican Taqueria
339 Victoria Street
Brunswick VIC 3056

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Pacos Tacos in Eastland’s Town Square is their second store in Melbourne, with their first located on Bourke Street in the CBD. However, their Eastland store has a slightly different menu with a smaller focus on cocktails and sharing dishes and a larger focus on main meals and entrees but both stores offering their range of tacos options.

Their Enchilada comes with BBQ chicken, brown rice, red mole, cheese, sour cream, and jalapenos. It’s quite a decent feed, and the combination of ingredients makes for a tasty enchilada. It just needed a few more jalapenos to make it pop.

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Pacos Tacos’ Croquetas are basically deep fried sweet corn and pickled jalapeno croquettes with a chipotle sauce. I loved these crunchy croquetas and would happily just eat a few of these and some nachos. 

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Their Burritos comes with your choice of chicken, beef or pork with brown rice, black beans, cheese, lettuce, sour cream, jalapenos and a chipotle dressing. I didn’t find the burrito to be anything special, it was nice but again needed some heat to it because it was lacking in a bit of flavour.

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The Pollo Frito (aka chicken wings) with a citrus and corn coating with hot sauce. These chicken wings were crispy and moist, and the hot sauce is a nice accompaniment to the wings.

Last words

Pacos Tacos in Eastland doesn’t really wow, but it does offer a good selection of Mexican dishes.

Pacos Tacos Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Pacos Tacos
Town Square, Eastland Shopping Centre
R07/171-175 Maroondah Hwy
Ringwood VIC 3134

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Plaza Bonita Tusayan near the Grand Canyon National Park is one of the few restaurants in the area catered for those tourists wanting a bite before they head to the park and see the Arizona landmark. Plaza Bonita is a Mexican restaurant that has a family friendly feel, especially inside with the warm colours.

The food here is generous and can almost be fit for two. Their menu is diverse, and it offers your typical Mexican cuisine such as Enchiladas, Burritos, Fajitas and Meats/Seafood and Rice or Beans dishes, and of course Tacos.

The image above is the dish called Arroz Con Pollo, which basically consisted of chicken breast, fresh mushrooms, onions and green peppers. Served on a bed of rice with melted Monterrey Jack. The sauce is their special mild sauce that is garnished with avocados and tomatoes. The cheese and rice combination isn’t something I have come across before, and it certainly has its cheesy appeal but it definitely needed to be a tad more flavourful or spicy to add some depth to the dish.

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This Mexican Stir Fry is another rice dish with sautéed chicken, broccoli, mushrooms, green peppers, onions, and topped with melted Monterrey. I found the cheese to be a tad overwhelming, and too rich. Again, the ingredients lacked much flavour and overall it felt a bit bland with just cheese as the focal point of the dish.

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I believe this was a Chicken Carnitas aka marinated chicken, with grilled with fresh green peppers, onions, and spices, rice, guacamole. The marinated chicken here actually had some flavour, although a sweetness to it but it came out decently.

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From memory this was the Camarones a la Diabla, which is prawns sautéed with garlic, butter, mushrooms, covered with “special” Mojo de Ajo sauce and served with rice and beans.

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Chicken Mexican Style was a skinless chicken breast in a stew of onions, tomatoes, garlic and spices. With the red dried peppers (chillies) it was surprisingly flavourful, but the watery sauce didn’t seem to complement the slightly wet rice.

Impressions

Plaza Bonita provide generous servings of Mexican cuisine, but the food itself doesn’t stray too far away from average unfortunately. Which is a shame, but on the plus side, the endless supply of guacamole and tortilla chips is a great starter.

Plaza Bonita on Urbanspoon

Plaza Bonita Tusayan

352 State Road 64
Tusayan, AZ USA 86023

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Mamasita’s popularity never seems to die down. Almost every night, you will find a line forming down the stairs and out into Collins Street, Melbourne. What Mamasita specialise in is Mexican cuisine and catered towards a younger demographic as you will find in the restaurant it feels more like a bar or pub at night. Once you try Mamasita, you’ll understand why people keep coming back for more.

We ordered the Camarones gigantes al ajillo, which is basically their grilled prawns placed on a toasted garlic and green almond sauce with garnish. The prawns here are cooked to perfection, still soft inside and crisp outside, and not too dry. The thickened sauce adds to the complexity of the prawns. Probably my only con for the dish is the prawns size which are to be honest small for the price you pay ($28) and you only receive 5 or 6 prawns which seems more like an entree than a “Comida para la familia” (Larger sharing plates)

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The Pancita de cerdo ($25) was probably my favourite of the night. Basically it’s Guajillo braised pork belly with habanero cream, fried parsley & dressed with lime juice. The pork belly was amazing, succulent and tender. How it should be. Complementing the dish with the preserved onions, sauce and slightly crunchy parsley it certainly is a delight to eat. I’d also say this was much more satisfying than the prawns.

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You can’t go to a Mexican restaurant and not order either a taco or quesadilla. Here is their “de Cordero” ($16), inside the quesadilla is braised lamb with queso criollo (cheese) and with a mint & jalapeño herb sauce and served with a slice of lemon. The lamb here is tender even in its shredded form but I found the flavour from the lamb to be a bit lacking. The herb sauce which was similar to a pesto added much needed flavour to the dish.

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As a side salad, we ordered Ensalada de quinoa ($10) aka Quinoa salad was a pleasant salad. The quinoa still had bite to it, and with the addition of fresh spinach, corn, coriander made this a winner.

Impressions

Atmosphere wise, I’m not fond of restaurants where you have to shout to talk with the person next to you and this is the case here. The other downside is the dim lighting that is prevalent in many restaurants in Melbourne.

Other than that, I found the food on the balance of things to be delicious but for the price paid to be slightly over priced and especially so for the grilled prawns mentioned earlier. I can see the attraction to this place but it definitely isn’t my idea of a good evening. Would I come back? I might …but not anytime soon.

Mamasita on Urbanspoon

Mamasita

Level 1, 11 Collins St
Melbourne VIC 3000

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I have some kind of fondness for anything Mexican. I think I just like their idea of meat, cheese and corn in many dishes. I also will always want to try making something entirely from scratch and in this case it was tortillas. I love making bread dough, the act of kneading is just so soothing that I really can’t get enough of it so why not try something slightly different but almost like making bread and pastry combined. I found this wonderful recipe from the Homesick Texan whose images look absolutely mouthwatering. There were many tortilla recipes using corn flour (masa harina) but I had such difficulty finding where any store sold this that I gave up and found a superb plain flour recipe.

The beef taco recipe I found on the BBC website, not the most authentic of places to look but it seemed quite simple enough and came out surprisingly good too. If you don’t want to make the tortillas just scroll down for the beef recipe.

Texas Flour Tortillas (Homesick Texan)
Makes: 8 tortillas

Ingredients
Two cups of all-purpose flour (can make them whole wheat by substituting one cup of whole-wheat flour for white flour)
1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder
1 teaspoon of salt
2 teaspoons of vegetable oil
3/4 cups of warm milk

Method
1. Mix together the flour, baking powder, salt and oil. Then, slowly add the warm milk

2. Stir until a loose, sticky ball is formed. Knead for two minutes on a floured surface. Dough should be firm and soft.

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3. Place dough in a bowl and cover with a damp cloth or plastic wrap for 20 minutes.

4. After the dough has rested, break off eight sections, roll them into balls in your hands, place on a plate (make sure they aren’t touching) and then cover balls with damp cloth or plastic wrap for 10 minutes. (It’s very important to let the dough rest, otherwise it will be like elastic and won’t roll out to a proper thickness and shape.)

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5. After dough has rested, one at a time place a dough ball on a floured surface, pat it out into a four-inch circle, and then roll with a rolling pin from the center until it’s thin and about eight inches in diameter. Don’t over work the dough, or it’ll be stiff. Keep rolled-out tortillas covered until ready to cook.

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6. In a dry iron skillet or comal heated on high, cook the tortilla about thirty seconds on each side. It should start to puff a bit when it’s done.

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7. Keep cooked tortillas covered wrapped in a napkin until ready to eat.

Notes
Can be reheated in a dry iron skillet, over your gas-burner flame or in the oven wrapped in foil.

Beef Tortilla/Tacos

Ingredients
For the beef filling
500g/1lb 2oz beef mince
1 onion, chopped
150g/5oz field mushrooms, sliced (optional)
1 green pepper, seeds removed, chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
½ tsp hot paprika
¼ tsp ground cumin
200ml/7fl oz beef stock
6 tbsp tomato purée
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Sprinkling of chilli power (optional)

12 taco shells/tortillas bought (or 8 fresh tortillas)
lettuce shredded
diced tomatoes
grated or shredded cheese (any kind but I used cheddar/mozzarella mix)
corn (canned or from freshly cooked corn)
tabasco sauce (if feeling adventurous)

Method
1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F.

2. For the beef filling, fry the mince in a frying pan over a medium-high heat for 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally and breaking it up with a wooden spoon, or until browned. Add the onion, mushrooms if using, green pepper and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, for five minutes or until the vegetables are softened. Stir in the paprika and cumin and season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Pour in the beef stock and tomato purée and mix well. Cover and simmer gently for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

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3. To serve, place the taco shells on a baking tray and warm them in the oven for 2-3 minutes. Spoon the beef filling into the warm taco shells,  add toppings or basically whatever you like to add in and it’s ready to eat!

Impressions

I actually forgot to buy the capsicum and mushrooms. So basically my beef mix was beef, onions, chicken stock, tomato puree, spices and salt and pepper. With a sprinkling of chilli powder. I probably added a bit more paprika to my liking, but it’s basically all to your taste buds. It has a nice rounded taste of paprika which went really well with the beef and toppings.

I love recipes that just let you mix it up or add what you like. Just like a pizza. I probably could have added some fresh capsicum on top, avocado spread and onions too but I think it tasted delicious like that.

The tortillas were a joy to make, and very simple too. They came out soft and light, but a bit crunchy when using the skillet. Worked out so well, I’d probably make this again and again.

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