El Camino

Just Food Manchester

[Invited] So yesterday we were invited to a “taco-ver” by El Camino, who have brought a Mexican pop-up to the up and coming dining scene in Urmston, Manchester for the whole of February. They plan to set up somewhere permanent, but in the meantime, they are doing supper clubs and pop-ups. When we entered, we were greeted with some fantastic smells, a friendly server and some upbeat Mexican pop vibes. It was also hectic, which can only be a good thing…

El Camino’s menu was quite taco heavy, and there were dishes such as the pork pilbil tacos, short rib quesadillas, hanger steak, but they also have burritos for the lunchtime menu. All that can be washed down with a variety of tequila-based cocktails such as a Mexitini or Mexigroni, beers, and mezcal. As I was driving, I tried a Jarritos guava soft drink, I have never had this before. I am not usually a big fan of carbonated soft drinks, but this was great! It was really refreshing, with a nice mix of sweet and sour.

Now, down to the important bit… the food…

We wanted to try as much of the menu as we could, so we ordered chips with guac and salsa to start, a mixed tray of tacos and the hanger steak between two of us. I really wanted to try the chicharron and corn croquettes and probably would have gone with one of those rather than the chips and dip, but they were out of those.

Mexican Food - Jarriotos Guava

Chips and Dip

Often for me, guacamole and salsa can be a bit hit and miss. Both quite basic recipes that everyone thinks they can do well but isn’t always the case. Not at El Camino though! The guac was creamy and delicious with the right blend of onions, avocado and tomato. The salsa really surprised me though; you could taste the freshness of the coriander and the tomatoes. It was tangy without being too zingy. We enjoyed it.

Mexican Food - Chips and dip

Tacos

As I mentioned, we ordered the El Camino mixed tray of tacos, which was one of each of the six varieties they offer. We were so impressed with these. They were each 6” of flavoursome awesomeness! I was worried that we may still be hungry as I often find that single tacos are not the best for sharing… these on the other hand…! Wow!

My favourite was the short rib, which had beer braised beef, chipotle crema, pink onion and pickled chilli. The chipotle crema was a smoked jalapeno sour cream, which had a bit of a kick, but was so delicious. The sweet potato taco consisted of sweet potato, toasted walnut, feta and my new found favourite, chipotle crema. The delicate flavour of the sweet potato balanced perfectly with the tang of the feta, the crunch of the walnuts and chilli in the chipotle crema.

I enjoyed El Camino’s Baja fish taco, which was beer battered coley, shredded cabbage, red onion and avo hot sauce. I thought this was tasty; it was a nice, sweet-tasting fish with a beautiful crispy batter and the texture of the cabbage setting this dish off – however, my husband thought the fish was a little bland on this one.

The charred corn one surprised me, which also had some pico de gallo, avo hot sauce and feta in it. The flavour of the feta perfectly balanced the sweetness of the corn, and the freshness of the pico de gallo was divine. My husband doesn’t usually eat corn, and he loved this one! Probably the most disappointing for me was the masa fried chicken, habanero aioli and hot salsa taco, although my husband enjoyed this one. I thought it lacked a bit of flavour and focused too much on the chilli, to be honest, but my husband found the chicken to be succulent, crispy and was a right blend of flavours.

We saved the pork pill taco till last and was so glad we did – it was delicious!! This morsel of deliciousness comprised of achiote pork, pink onion and habanero aioli. The pork was so tender and melted in the mouth. You need to try this! I am not going to lie, at times the tacos themselves were a little dry, but the fillings more than made up for it. At only £3.25/£3.95 each or £21.50 for all 6, this was excellent value for money!

Hanger steak

This dish was mouth-watering, and this alone is worth the visit! This was served medium rare and served with charred greens and salsa verde. The steak was full of flavour, so tender and cooked to perfection! The salsa verde was delectable. It was wonderfully tangy, full of delicious flavour, and livened up this beautiful dish. At £13.95, this is worth every penny!

Mexican Food - hanger steak

Ratings:

Food – 8

Price – 9

Service – 9

Recommendation

If you want a bit of Mexican food in your life, then I would definitely recommend El Camino. If you can, get yourself to Urmston before the end of February or keep an eye out for other supper clubs or pop-ups until they find themselves a permanent home (hopefully sometime soon!)

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