Taco Bill, the authentically Australian Tex-Mex experience


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Again then, in accordance with Teschke, hire was $50 per week, but six failed companies had beforehand occupied the area. Nonetheless, they have been assured. Proper up till they left the fryer on, a day earlier than opening, and burnt the place down, and found Chilcote (a former firefighter), had no fireplace insurance coverage. The rebuild was robust, and by hand, however Teschke reckons they “should have exorcised the demons, as a result of once we opened, it took off”.

When you thought Mamasita’s queue up the steps for tacos in 2010 was a phenomenon, you need to have seen Taco Invoice’s within the ’70s. Teschke says “folks queued from 5pm on Fridays, ingesting from their flagons”. It was BYO then, no corkage charged, and competitors for tables was so fierce, couples made buddies with strangers to get a four-top faster.

The great occasions solely received looser when Australia’s first slushie margarita was poured in 1981. It was the drink that solidified Taco Invoice in Australian forklore. From ’81 to as we speak, for those who end the comedian fishbowl measurement, you get a sombrero. Kylie Minogue has worn one. As has AFL participant Warren “Wow” Jones. When you nonetheless doubt its resonance, Teschke was as soon as contacted by the household of a Perth man who was “taken by a shark, and had such treasured reminiscences of Taco Invoice they requested sombreros the pallbearers”.

The unique menu was shorter. Flour tortillas weren’t reliably out there and laborious to make, so there have been no burritos, solely enchiladas (stuffed corn tortillas baked in salsa and cheese); frijole dip (refried beans, made to a recipe from the mom of Chilcote’s Mexican spouse), Mexican chilli and king of kings: guacamole. When you suppose we’re smashed-avo-obsessed now, again then that they had a particular signal to point whether or not guacamole was in the home (out-of-towners known as to examine), relying on whether or not they may pay money for the unique fruit.

Fajitas, a Taco Bill signature dish.

Fajitas, a Taco Invoice signature dish.

Photograph: Simon Schluter

At the moment there are 33 Taco Invoice shops, all in Victoria, and the depth of the fiesta vibe is determined by the place you go. South Melbourne is a stalwart for the advert crowd. Russell Avenue, the OG, with its flower-painted door, sparkly sombreros and poncho decorations, is as cosy and kitschy as ever. Collins Avenue has one of the best tequila choice. A franchise in Altona North, with its mariachi-band-meets-house-beats music, its huge display screen TVs and laminate tables, is a pale comparability, and but in its tackiness presumably comes nearer to eating in Mexico than the neon-signed, blond-wood institutions from the 2010-2014 new Mex wave.

Is it any good? Tomato salsa with tortilla chips to start out has correct tang. And even when there aren’t any three-days-in-the-making moles or in-house tortillas, trashy good style buttons are nonetheless pressed in your mind when these spiced beans meet chopped tomatoes, iceberg lettuce, scorching platters of hen with capsicum and onions and an entire boatload of bitter cream and shredded cheddar. Even when mentioned cheddar does not soften within the microwave for those who take the leftovers house.

Margaritas range in size from 'I'm driving' to comic fishbowl.

Margaritas vary in measurement from ‘I am driving’ to comedian fishbowl.

Photograph: Simon Schluter

Since new Mex, they’ve adjusted with a extra share-friendly menu and (having gone with a vego pal) I do know you will get first rate spinach and potato enchiladas; crumbed jalapeno bombs with cream cheese centres (stiff, however acceptable with beers) and bean-based burritos with all of the trim.

A proud meals footprint is the nachos, layered with elements all through somewhat than simply topped. Margaritas, in a number of flavours from strawberry to Blue Curacao, and served in “I am driving” to sombrero-winning measurement, are very candy and will presumably use an additional shot, however the silliness has some trendy enchantment.

Mate, it was the one restaurant request of Pink on her final tour. Amen OuncesMex. You bloody ripper.

Handle 142 Russell Avenue, Melbourne, varied areas, tacobill.com.au

Open Varies; examine the web site.

Est. 1974

Well-known diners Pink, Lee Trevino, Kylie Minogue, Hamish Blake and Andy Lee.

Signature dishes Nachos, fishbowl margaritas, fajitas, guacamole.

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