I wouldn’t say we’re spoilt for choice when it comes to drool-inspiring Mexican food in our city. There are undoubtedly a couple of gems dotted around the joint but I’d like to see more authentic Mexican fare injected into the throbbing vein that is the Adelaide food scene.
I’d been meaning to take a little trip down to The Port to score myself a taco hit from the new dealer in town. He goes by the name La Popular Taqueria and if you’re wondering why I’m talking about tacos like they’re an elicit substance, my palms itch when I have a real hankering, I find it hard to stop once I get the taste and I often find myself nodding off after a big hit – so you tell me that they’re not.
La Popular Taqueria is situated on St Vincent Street, just ’round the corner from the main drag. The décor is simple yet pleasant with white tiles, powder blue accents and light wooden furniture. It’s modern and chic without feeling the need to stick to a completely neutral colour palette.
The menu is simple. 7 sides, 7 tacos and 1 dessert. The decision on what to order however is not, with every menu item calling out to the ol’ taste buds.
You can’t start a Mexican meal without some guacamole and corn chips. You can tell a lot about a Mexican joint by their gauc and from the first bite, I knew I’d be coming back. A well-balanced concoction of freshly smashed avocado with white onion, tomato and coriander. The totopos AKA corn chips were freshly fried, providing a moreish crunch with every bite.
Speaking of crunch, we also chowed down on some chicharron because pork crackling makes up at least 3% of my body mass.
We were scratching our heads over which tacos to order for what felt like the length of a Lord of The Rings film but we finally bit the bullet, placating ourselves with the classic ‘we will come back soon and try the rest’ spiel.
My favourite was undoubtedly the ‘Cachete de res’ which consisted of slow cooked beef check in three chillies salsa. The meat was as tender as Mother Teresa’s heart and packing a sizeable flavour punch.
I also really enjoyed the ‘Mole con Papas’ with a smooth dark mole made from dried chillies, spices, nuts and cacao, served with roasted potatoes. Eating mole is always a special experience because of the time and skill it takes to make this Mexican sauce of the gods. I’m far from a mole expert but I know what tastes good, and this one does.
I’ve gotta say, this place is certainly a shinny jewel on the crown that it Port Adelaide. A quick, casual and tasty bite, ideal for a mid-week catch up or a lazy Sunday exploring the hood. Just take a look at those roast spuds and tell me you don’t want to go. That’s right… you can’t.
Until next time…That’s what she said.