Celebrating over a Mexican feast is one of the most festive celebrations of all. The food is fun in itself, bursting with colour, with plenty of varieties and spices. But I’m not wrong when I say there isn’t the widest selection of Mexican eateries in Melbourne, and the ones that do exist are vastly overpriced (Mexican fine dining I’ve never understood). However, if you look hard enough, you can always find diamonds. Well, I’ve found a couple, and the best salsa I have ever tried.
North Melbourne welcomed a new member to the family about a year back, and the story of how they got there is rather heart-warming. One day, not so long ago, El Cielo (a traditional Mexican food manufacturer) was delivering fresh tortillas to their regular client El Sabor (a Mexican restaurant in North Melbourne). El Cielo walked in simply to deliver an order, as usual, yet came out with an offer they couldn’t refuse, to take over the restaurant El Cielo style. Before the summer reached February, El Sabor by El Cielo was born.
The restaurant is bright fun and sweetly proud of their heritage. You’ll be sure to leave with a wider knowledge of Mexican food and flavours just by chatting to the staff and tasting their menu. The pork belly taco is nothing short of a dream. Perhaps it was the softest pork belly I’ve ever eaten, the refreshing compliment of the coriander and onion, or, most probably, the fresh tortilla’s crafted right there in the kitchen. Another star dish was the fajitas served with garnishes like sour cream, beans, hot sauce, and those hot fresh tortillas again. Oh, and their selection of mescal is just the finish needed to complete your experience.
Dos Diablos may be a mobile cantina, but they’re worth chasing around Melbourne for. Most renowned for their roasted pork tacos, the meat is so soft, it almost disappears into your mouth. You can’t miss their red vintage ex-CFA canteen truck, waiting patiently to serve you. With flavours that are equal parts spicy and powerful, you’ll certainly walk away feeling replenished. Try their Diablos Fries, nachos and quesadillas also, and check out their website to catch them next.
Richie’s California Style Fresh Salsa speaks so honestly to authenticity, and its one my favourite passions to support. When Richie and his wife moved from California to Melbourne, they missed seeing authentic fresh salsa at the local store. Alas, their homemade salsa was then born in Australia. Using family recipes (from Richie’s Mexican-American heritage) the power couple have crafted the tastiest salsa I can remember ever tasting. It’s available in stores all over, just check out their website (North Fitzroy’s Piedimonte’s Supermarket, and Carlton’s Aunt Maggies to name a few), plus they offer lunch services for parties over ten, and can cater your fiestas too. I really like this salsa used with breakfast alongside an omelette, and it marries wonderfully with chicken also.