Thursday, July 26, 2012

Mexican supper at El Burro, Green Point

This week, we finally made it to El Burro in Somerset Road, Green Point. The restaurant has been so busy that it has been hard, even in winter, to get a reservation. 

There are two restaurants below it and neither of them had any custom at 7 (or 9, when we left) but upstairs was already lively and getting full, so they obviously have a formula that works. 

And the age mix was huge, so it is not just a young vibe. We had a lovely, friendly and enthusiastic waitress who took pains to explain the menu to the four of us. 
She emphasised that we would be eating soft tortillas, not crisp tacos, with our meal, she said that was what most locals were expecting and they don’t do them. We do know the difference.We decided to try three of the starters and share them, and then do our own things with the mains. The starter of roasted & smoked fresh (not bottled) Jalapeno chilli ‘Rillenos’ stuffed with cheese was warmly spicy and delicious, 
the baby squid were quite superb and will make sure of another visit for all of us. Tender, gently spiced, with a lime juice kick, they melted in the mouth. 
Some of us found the ‘Taquitos’ stodgy, (corn tortillas wrapped around refried beans and queso fresco, lightly fried and topped with sour cream and fresh tomato salsa)
Others enjoyed them. Our main courses were all enjoyable. Three of us found them all unexpectedly bland and had to call for more chilli sauce to enliven them, which certainly helped. It led us to conclude that perhaps that is what Cape Town is demanding? John ordered the twice cooked pork shoulder in a garlic & chilli paste, flavoured with oregano, paprika & arbol chilli (hot) ‘do it yourself kit’ with tortillas (you get three and you can have a mix of corn or flour). 
Lynne had the pulled short ribs of beef braised with adobo chilli, paprika & fresh oregano to do the same. 
We found both meats almost entirely without flavour and the beef was very stringy and tough. The pork was a little fatty for Lynne but their flavours were both helped enormously by the good selection of additions provided, which you can add to your tortilla: a tomato salsa, a roasted aubergine dish, cream cheese, guacamole, thinly sliced and vinegared red onion, plus chopped fresh hot chilli in a light sauce. 
Both plates also come with a yellow fried rice, refried beans and salad. 
Loraine had the mushroom quesadilla which is a grilled flour tortilla filled with sautéed field mushrooms & queso fresco, served with a sun-dried tomato & black bean salsa. 
Ronnie had a red spinach and feta enchilada covered in melted cheese.

We were mystified as to what the unfortunately named La Muerte Blanco which appeared our bill was (its translation is a white ghost). Then we remembered that Loraine had a tequila cocktail! Corkage is steep at R45 a bottle, but the wine list is not memorable, so we were happy to pay it. 
All in all, an enjoyable meal, but with some compromises. We see they have a half price lunch special running at the moment, so we might go and try some of the other things on the menu, including a repeat of the squid.

No comments: