El Camino Cantina is a Texas-inspired Tex-Mex restaurant known for their frozen margaritas and flavoursome Tex-Mex food. Serving up a delicious array of corn chips, tacos, fajitas, burritos, burrito bowls and nachos, there’s something to please everyone’s taste buds.
From the second we arrived at El Camino Cantina, I could tell it was a different Mexican restaurant than what I’m used to. At first I didn’t understand the bright red, retro-style décor and the glitter-covered bar stools, but once I found out that this was a Tex-Mex restaurant, it all made sense. I’ve never been to a Tex-Mex restaurant, but I liked it. It felt lively and fun from the get go, with tables filling up early, even on a Thursday. It was also great to see groups varying in ages, from groups of 20-something-year-olds, to 60-something-year-olds.
The restaurant itself is very spacious, boasting high ceilings and ample tables and seating. Above the restaurant sits Hotel Diablo, where on Friday and Saturday nights it transforms into a club, complete with late-night DJ sets and special edition frozen margaritas – Nerds flavoured margaritas anyone?
When we sat down, we were served with margaritas the size of my head. Mine was watermelon flavoured and it was dangerously delicious. We then took a while to decide which tacos to order, as our attention was occupied by our ginormous margaritas and the lively surroundings.
While we decided on our tacos (yes, still deciding), we were served with generous baskets of warm corn chips with red and green salsa and guacamole. Now, don’t hate me for saying this, but I don’t like guacamole. The shock, the horror, I know! However, I had a taste of their guacamole and it was love at first bite. This guacamole was perfectly seasoned and chunky, with diced tomatoes and onion roughly mixed throughout.
Finally we decided on the following tacos:
Frank Taco – Tempura Barramundi, corn & tomato salsa, habanero mango sauce, coriander
This was my friend’s favourite. She said she’s never had tempura barramundi in a taco but she loved it. It had the perfect amount of spice for her to handle, and was light and fresh.
Escobar – Grilled Chorizo, mango & jalapeno salsa, feta, coriander
This was my favourite. The flavours worked so well all together, and again was light and a bit too easy to eat – I could have probably eaten about five of them.
Dirty Sanchez – BBQ pulled pork, onion, pickles, cabbage slaw, coriander
This taco was my second favourite. The freshness of the slaw perfectly balanced out the pulled pork. I love placing salad both under and over my at-home taco fillings for that ultimate crunch, so I was pleased to see them doing the same.
Philly Mex – Sauteed steak, onion, capsicum, cheddar cheese, habanero tamarind sauce, coriander
This taco was sadly not my favourite. It was a little too heavy for me, and as much as I love cheddar cheese, I think it threw me off a little. I know this is where the Texas-spin comes into play, and some people, like my partner for example, would love this taco, but it just wasn’t for me.
Cowboy – BBQ beef brisket, cabbage slaw, coriander
The Cowboy was a little simpler than the others, but equally as flavoursome. I also realised how amazing tacos taste with that little bit of coriander sprinkled on top, which I guess means I am now a converted coriander fan.
All in all, the tacos were flavoursome, spicy (but not too spicy) and well served. I felt like we got so much bang for buck, as the tacos were absolutely packed full, to the point where we had to eat the remnants with a fork. El Camino Cantina also provide the option of soft-shell corn tortillas for those who are gluten intolerant like me, as well as some delish vegetarian options. And on Tuesdays, tacos are only $4 each, so I know where I’m going next Tuesday!
To finish off our meal, we ordered Churros, and although I have the curse of the gluten intolerance, my lovely assistant (aka friend) tried them and said they were the perfect combination of crispy and soft, and the salted caramel sauce was a great addition. The only complaint she had was that they weren’t big enough!
I can see why El Camino Cantina is the perfect destination to get a little silly on margaritas and grab a delicious bite to eat with friends. And with the help of the loud music, upbeat staff and rainbow sombreros, I can guarantee you’ll have a SPEC-TACO-LAR time.
Check out elcaminocantina.com.au to book