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The rise and rise of tacos

By Heather 25 Jan 2017 • 5 Comments

Sliders are gone-burgers.  It's taco, taco, taco time.

Any self-respecting casual eatery now has them, Mexican or not:

And now there are two new specialists for your taco pleasure. 

 

Leroy’s Dive Bar

Leroys decor 1

The former Hideaway in Plimmer steps has become a groovy dive bar, complete with caravan seating, motorcycles hanging [safely] overhead, pour-your-own-beer-from-a-carburetor, spin-the-wheel discounts and an expanded courtyard

Leroy’s serves a range of craft beers and tacos, with some fried chicken, frankendogs (a hotdog wrapped in a hash brown), and kimchi fries thrown in for good measure. All served up with helpings of lively music and staff focused on making you feel right at home. 

After ordering at the bar, your Wireless Waiter signals collection time, and you’re into it. The tacos cover all the main protein groups, as well as a vegetarian ‘lettuce cup’ taco with kimchi pancake. All ingredients are house-made (except for the actual tacos themselves which they bring in from experts) - pulled jalapeño pork with sriracha and kewpie mayo, hoisin chicken with pickled carrot and chilli peanuts, cumin battered fish with kafir lime mayo, etc.

The team slow cook and pull their own meats, add their own sauces, bread and cook their fish to order (usually moki), and focus heavily on no waste. 

So the taco chicken is from the same birds carved and pressure-cooked in-house for their firebird spicy buttermilk fried chicken (try saying that after a few crafties!). The pressure cooker results in super-tender and moist chicken beneath the thin crispy coating, which is noticeably different to most fried chicken.

I tried to do a trade with Seb for his $16,000 baby, but alas nothing I suggested would induce him to part with it.

Leroy’s are also stepping up to fill the recent Bar Bodega closure, by using their upstairs space as a dance and music venue as well as for functions.  They’ve got a bunch of events lined up already, from regular house music to comedy and nerd nights (apparently get a brewer in to talk and a whole bunch of brew nerds appear!). 

Stay tuned for much more to come from Leroy’s. 

Monday to Friday, 9am til late; Saturday 11am til late.

 

Boquita

Boquita tacos HERO

Although the baby sister of La Boca Loca, Boquita on Kent Terrace is no baby in the taco stakes. 

Everything here is plant based, gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan (so those with dietary restrictions can enjoy the same deliciousness as everyone else) and made right in front of you. 

It’s a very authentic experience sitting at the counter watching the chef press and cook the tacos (organic masa flour), craft the fillings, chop Prana Greens and pop them directly under your nose for immediate consumption. 

The tacos were all fresh, clean and tasteful, with well balanced flavours - the rosemary, wild mushroom, black bean and garlic was earthy; the chipotle braised tempeh with seasonal veg was tangy; and the roasted courgette, capsicum and red onion slightly sweet. To this day I still can’t decide a favourite.

You can also enjoy salads like super quinoa, beans and broccoli; cauliflower ceviche with La Boca Loca totopos; and Mexi-slaw with lime. With a treat by Sweet Release or Tom & Luke to finish off if you fancy or drink by Six Barrel SodaGood BuzzHavana Brothers, and Antipodes.

Keep an eye out for their most unusual ingredient, Nopales - pickled cactus.

Tuesday to Saturday, noon to 8pm. Takeaways available.

Where’s your favourite taco haunt?

about 1

Boquita

Mexican the way your mama’s mama’s mama made it.

Add your comment

  • Jo Bean 02/02/2017 10:19pm (7 months ago)

    Totally agree Josiah, Taco Queen is one of Wellington's best hidden gems. I don't keep it a secret though I shout it from the rooftops... food that good just has to be shared!! :D

  • HeatherC 31/01/2017 3:28pm (7 months ago)

    You're so right La Tortilla Pressah, thank you. I've had tacos on the brain for the last few weeks and clearly can't see anything else!

  • Josiah Pasikale 27/01/2017 1:50pm (7 months ago)

    After living in wellington my whole life and not seeing Mexican food as an option on my daily taste bud pallete. I stumbled upon some of the best food I've ever tasted and it so happen that it was Mexican. Tucked in the corner next to Paramont theatre on Courtney place, is the best Mexican you will taste this side of town "Taco Queen"! This has got to be one of Wellingtons best kept secrets.

  • HeatherC 26/01/2017 6:46pm (7 months ago)

    And here's another new taco business started last September I've just tripped over - as well as being at various markets around the city, Amber delivers them for lunch around the CBD two days a week, hot and ready to eat - http://www.easyaskai.nz

  • La Tortilla Pressah 26/01/2017 6:25pm (7 months ago)

    I think you mean that the chef presses the tortillas. They only become tacos once they have been filled

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