This article was originally published on our site – My City Life way back on the 10th of April 2014
This was a long and leisurely afternoon of Mexicano food #porn. Check out the gallery here.
Long gone are the days of the fast Mexican street food stand offering grease and beans that have been fried and refried to lie buried beneath mounds of tasty shredded cheese and sour cream. Authentic Mexican food is not about how hot your tongue can handle the chilli or jalapenos; genuine mexicano alimento is about an intricacy of flavours where premium market produce and home-style cooking generates restaurant quality cuisine that is light, healthy and fresh.
Today, there are so many chido counters to pick from within The Valley alone, from Tuckeria Fresh to Guzman y Gomez, Mad Mex (currently under refurb), Montezuma, The Hotel Orient, Salsa’s Fresh Mex Grill and the new kid on the block, Beach Burrito Co. By all means, each corn chip carte has a signature personality, with their indie menus, a fondness for décor featuring skulls, combining earthy tones and splashes of bright colours and a fridge of Dos Equis. The Mexican mania is la norma for The City. But let us pay homage to the beginning of this nu-Mexican wave and acknowledge the first Valley Mexican taco bar that made eating Mexican food so much fun.
Chilliwow opened on Constance Street in May 2013 as the Cinqo de Mayo to end all Cinqo de Mayos. It wasn’t a factory line up to collect and move right on along. This was a cantina to sit back and soak in the tequila. Bright colours and skulls certainly fulfilled the standard for what was Mexicano. And while it’s been almost a year since the freshly-painted gaily coloured doors first opened, Chilliwow has been ceaseless in refining its winning formula.
And so Tex Mex Taquiza Sundays have landed. Tex Mex, a hybrid of Texan and Mexican, describes regions within The States influenced by Mexican cuisine. So named after the Texas Mexican Railway, it evolved into use, labelling people of Mexican ancestry born in Texas, with tastes developing from the cattle culture of the Rio Grande.
From the border of Texas to the South Western areas of The US, the heavy use of shredded meat, cheese, bean and spices are used with tortillas as well as the heavy addition of cumin – an Indian spice now used in some central Mexican recipes. Chilli con carne and fajitas have subsequently evolved from Tex Mex cuisine with the grill quite the feature. As with any culture, food is a celebration. And in Mexico, anything that fits into a tortilla makes a taco. And as the world loves tacos and parties so much, standing around the grill, taco in hand, is the perfect setting for the Taquiza.
Chilliwow’s Tex Mex Taquiza Sundays pack quite the Mexican punch. From the lethal endless jugs of Sangria – choose the colour of your poison: white or red – to the tequila cocktails, or ease up from the previous night’s rampage with mocktails, the spirited side of things is taken of. The spread itself caters to both country and city appetites. Once the marinated meat is roasted on the Texan grill, go forth and build your own plates.
Enjoy sides of house-made potato salad – smooth and flaky to the touch, crumbling under your bio fork – and the grilled corn and tomato salsa, refreshing on your pieces of corn tortilla alongside the slow-cooked meats of lamb and pork. Your selection of sauces, from the traditional green Chimichurri, the Chilli Bourbon BBQ and the Ranch, enhance the Texan rose of this Tex Mex rework of the humble Sunday roast.
One plate at $20 is exceedingly generous, perfect for a roaring country hunger or catering to the petite city appetite for sharing amongst two girlish figures for a laid back afternoon of grazing. The freshness and meatiness of the plate alongside a few jugs of sangria will see afternoon quickly merge into a lengthy evening of pleasure.
I may not know much about art, but I know what I do like. And it’s the same with food: I may never have actually been to Mexico, but I know good Mexicano food. Where you throw a taco in The Valley and you hit a Mexican chow cantina regardless of where you stand from Brunswick Street to Constance, the food of Pueblo Mexicano has become au fait. But it’s easy to be absorbed into the marinade of fine meats our Mexicano inspired valley has become. And with Chilliwow’s Tex Mex Taquiza Sundays, when you sip at your sangria and forage through your plate, you’ll find it’s all perfectly ¡ORALE!