THE subconscious is a strange beast.
Last week I binge-watched the latest season of Narcos: Mexico, then completely forgot about it and went on with my day-to-day life.
But this Tuesday I woke up with a weird, insatiable urge to eat tacos.
I wasn’t pregnant (although my gut is getting bigger every year) and only put two-and-two together when I was sitting in Hermanos En Cantina in Mt Lawley.
Thankfully on the way home I didn’t snort 15 lines of Columbian marching powder and mow down innocent pensioners with an uzi.
I’ve been to Hermanos a few times; it’s a fun and colourful little Tex-Mex joint with bright menus and signage (including masked lucha libre wrestlers), chilled beers and upbeat dance music.
Casual and vibrant, it’s the type of place you would meet friends for a quick lunch or a light meal before heading out for drinks.
The menu has a great range of tacos with every kind of filling from battered avocado to marinated beef, as well as nachos, quesadilla, salads and set-type meals like slow-cooked beef brisket with chips and salad.
There was also an all-day/night breakfast menu including bagels and a range of dishes that looked great for a hangover like breakfast quesadilla, huevos (eggs) with toast, waffles and the Big Tex Cowboy with fried eggs, steak, brisket and beans.
In the past I’ve shared some coma-inducing nachos, some gut-busting enchiladas and the odd quesadilla. All were tasty and filling and made me want to don my sombrero and come back for more.
But today was all about tacos, so I was ready for action when the lady behind the counter brought over my Stagger-Lee ($7.50) and Siniestro ($7.50).
The marinated chicken in the Stagger-Lee was lovely and moist, while the chargrilled finish gave it a crunchy texture and smoky finish.
The chook was perched on a colourful farrago of cheddar jack cheese, grilled onions, peppers and pico-de-gallo (imagine a chunky salsa with far less liquid).
The pico-de-gallo was sensational with the super ripe tomatoes brimming with flavour and jump-starting the dish into life.
The peppers were lovely and soft, adding a sweet tinge to the chicken, and went well with the fresh flour tortilla.
Rounding things off was a thick and creamy zigzag of chipotle sauce. I really enjoyed the Stagger-Lee and wanted another.
The Siniestro taco with blackened fish and roasted corn didn’t quite hit the same heights.
I deliberate ate it first because I thought it would have a milder flavour than the marinated chicken, but it was still a little bland.
There was plenty of fresh avocado, cotija cheese (the Mexican version of parmesan) and cilantro (leaves and stems of the coriander plant) but it didn’t have flavour liftoff.
The wedge of lime complemented the nicely cooked blackened fish, which had tasty soft chunks of flesh, but it needed something else to marry it all together. A nice, light dish though with quality ingredients.
Situated beside the Astor Theatre, Hermanos looks out onto the buzzing Beaufort Street – an ever-changing and entertaining vista at any time of day.
Again Hermanos En Cantina didn’t disappoint and was a fitting epilogue to Narcos: Mexico.
But after drinking a large Coke Zero ($5.50) with my lunch, it was time to visit the gents and say hello to my little friend…
Hermanos En Cantina
663 Beaufort St, Mount Lawley
by STEPHEN POLLOCK