339 Victoria St
Brunswick, VIC 3056
There’s nothing like a restaurant that makes a Monday feel like a Friday. It could be the crepe paper banners and candles burning in alcoves, or it could be the beer garden and music that makes you want to shake your hips (Mexican remix of Oasis, anybody?). No matter how you look at it, Los Hermanos Mexican Taqueria is a place for a party.
Though I’m sure the range of bottles – some of them rather dubious-looking – get a few motors going, my attention is reserved exclusively for the small menu scrawled onto the blackboard covering an entire wall of the restaurant. Despite being a bar, there are also tacos aplenty for all involved – a sure sign that the food is as good as the drink. Spoiler: they were out of the ‘el flan’, and yes, I was disappointed.
I always find Totopos ($5) hard to resist despite knowing that I probably shouldn’t, but ever since discovering ‘real’ tortilla chips, my chip-and-dip experience has never the same. These were unfortunately just ok. Though thickly cut and mostly crispy, I found some parts of the chips to be greasy and stale. And whilst the jalapeno salsa and chipotle mayo made for an interesting change, I would much rather a fresh bowl of tomato salsa.
|De Carne ($5ea)/De Barbacoa ($6ea)|
We ordered a fair bit of food, and they all came out in a rush at this point, leading to a mad scramble of photo-taking and taco-eating before the tortillas split from juices in the meat. Unfortunately I couldn’t quite make it in time to De Barbacoa ($6ea), a taco piled high with tender shredded lamb. Still, it was delicious despite the tortilla giving way, and we greatly enjoyed the hearty combination of grilled meat and salad.
De Carne ($5ea) on the other hand was a lovely contrast to the lamb taco’s richness. Twice cooked in chipotle salsa and topped generously with jalapeno sauce, this was a lighter but zestier option that really got the tastebuds going with its bright flavours.
|De Pescado ($6ea)/Mushroom Taco ($5ea)|
My all-time favourite taco would have to be the fish taco at Fonda Mexican, and I always make a point of ordering it whenever I see it on a menu. To date, I’ve yet to find one that I like just as much, and unfortunately De Pescado ($6ea) wasn’t an exception. Still, that’s not to say the large fillet of battered fish on shredded purple cabbage and drizzled with chipotle mayo was no good. Though the fish was softer than I would like, the overall flavour is a familiar and fun one, the fish a perfect vehicle for the crunch of the slaw and the spice of the sauce.
|Mushroom Taco ($5ea)/De Pescado ($6ea)|
I love meat and I hate sour cream, so it was a wonder of wonders when I found the Mushroom Taco ($5ea) – the Spanish name was covered by a bottle of tequila – to be my favourite by far. The mushrooms, already thick and juicy, were tipped over the edge by crumbly goat’s cheese that’s ever so faintly caramelised by the heat. Even the sour cream played a part, providing each mouthful with a tangy coolness.
|Gorditas ($6, 2pcs)|
|Gorditas ($6, 2pcs)|
Having never seen Gorditas ($6, 2pcs) before, I had to have them. These crisp little pockets made from corn flour were filled with a gooey, creamy mix of refried beans and two cheeses (ricotta and mozzarella). On their own they weren’t remarkable, but it was a match made in heaven when paired with the sour, spicy, and very slightly nutty slaw.
I love Los Hermanos not only for the food, but for the wonderfully festive vibe as well. Every element of our experience conspired to make dinner feel like a holiday, with the cheap street-styled food being the ultimate clincher. Though, can you believe that Ethan lived nearby for the last year but has never told me about this place? He swears he has, but I’m onto him – he just wants to keep this gem all to himself.
Rating: 15/20 – you don’t make friends with salad!
This rating reflects my personal experience at the time of visit.