If you ask anyone in the Mother City where to find the best Mexican they will tell you El Burro. It opened two and a half years ago and that’s how long it has taken me to get there. But last week I finally made it to taco heaven.
El Burro is owned by Rene Jellis, Hugo Berolsky, Sascha Berolsky and Nic Haarhoff (the same crowd that is behind Neighbourhood, Assembly and Royale) and no, none of them are Mexican but they certainly know how to do Mexican. El Burro serves fresh, authentic Mexican food by chef Mary-Anne Caldwell in a space that is comfortable and homely. With over 20 tequilas and a seriously good margarita (well, 40 seriously good margaritas) on the menu it can get rather festive.
The design was a team effort and everything, I was surprised to learn, was done by the owners, their friends or their friends’ friends. I love the décor – it’s a modern take on traditional Mexican with candlesticks, cacti and pot plants against one wall and mirrors and religious symbols on the other. A hot pink wall ties it all together and the donkey statues here and there keep the place quirky.
I recommend: The build-your-own tacos and tortillas, especially the fish and pork chilorio, or their signature chicken mole poblano.
I like: El Burro’s original 1978 VW kombi with a Jurgens motorhome body that takes El Burro to the streets. You’ll spot the #Tacovan at the Neighbourgoods Market at the Old Biscuit Mill every Saturday, serving Mexican street food at its best. (The chilli poppas are a must.) And how’s this for cool? You can hire the mobile El Burro for your (Mexican) wedding or any special event.
Nic says, ‘The Taco Van was always a dream of ours. The mobile culture of South and North America is incredible. It truly is a fantastic way to eat. The ultimate goal is to one day have a culture like that in Cape Town with a number of food trucks around the city. Fresh, healthy food is the way forward, and trucks make it affordable. We gutted ours and built a kitchen, complete with running water, a fridge, stainless-steel counters and stoves. Our ultimate goal is get all our hawkers’ license sorted so we can trade at various places around town.’
Watch this space!
Big news people, big news! Owner Nic Haarhoff just dished on the latest addition to El Burro – a tequila and craft beer bar that is opening downstairs from the restaurant. It will have a different name and will look different too. It will have a limited bar snack menu and the doors will open 1 July!
81 Main Road, Green Point, Cape Town
021 433 2364
Follow them on Twitter @_El_Burro
Images: supplied, El Burro