TAQUERO – man who makes tacos. Usually Mexican but street food vendors across the globe refuse to conform to this stereotype. You certainly don’t have to hail from Guadalajara or Chihuahua (the province not the pooch) to get the taste for Tequila or Mescal. Still there’s an awful lot of counterfeit ‘Mexican cuisine’ to wrestle with out there.
ToM lives in hope of the real deal from El Taquero in the Northern, latest project of hyperactive Solita founder Franco Sotgiu. Still living in hope as we write this – after technical glitches the city’s “first traditional Mexican taqueria”, crafting fresh tortillas on an the premises every day, is now due to open to the public on Wednesday, August 9 (but do check @ElTaqueroUK).
There has been a foretaste of what’s to come. On Thursday, August 3, the work-in-progress premises, formerly Montpellier’s and The Bouncing Czech, opened briefly for a frozen margarita-fuelled VIP bash (see above), while the day before the tacos made their debut at Not Just Soup’s weekly dinner for rough sleepers.
Franco set up this initiative – praised recently in The Guardian by Jay Rayner – with the city’s homeless charities and local restaurants two years ago.
Big authentic selling point of El Taquero is their tortilla press imported direct from Mexico City. This will produce 100% corn tortillas for signature tacos and quesadillas, including Carne Asada, Pork Carnitas, Smoked Chicken, Housemade Mexican Chorizo, Shrimp, Fish and numerous veggie options plus a few unorthodox specials.
Diners get to add their own additional fresh toppings and sauces including salsa verde, salsa roja, chopped onions, coriander and a mega-spicy habanero sauce at the serving stations.
All this washed down with a range of Mexican beers and a tequila-led cocktail menu, the soundtrack Latino cool, the vibrant rustic decor inspired by Mexico’s old school taquerias, focusing on a full size neon cactus and ‘living wall’ on the first floor.
El Taquero, 42 Back Turner Street, NQ, Manchester M4 1FR 0161 832 3146. Open seven days a week, midday until late. From Wednesday, August 9.
PLUS for a further Mexican experience book now for Thomasina Miers’ Mexican Day of the Dead Banquet at Mayfield Depot – one of the highlights of this year’s Manchester Food and Drink Festival.