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Once upon a time during some sunnier and warmer times, a lab lunch took place at Paco’s Tacos.
It might just be me but it got a little chillier in here whilst writing those words!
Various views of the restaurant and “interior”.
Situated outside and open to the surrounding elements, it truly was a perfect setting for an outdoor lunch on a day with clear blue skies.
Their menu isn’t too extensive but offers all the basic good Mexican food necessities: barbecue corn, tacos and nachos. For me, the limited menu also meant that I didn’t have to stand around umm’ing and err’ing about what to order. At least not to my usual extent…
BBQ corn - with chipotle mayo, queso and lime.
JP had no complaints with the corn. Based on visual inspection, I must say I love the generous amount of queso/cheese sprinkled over the cob.
Nachos - toasted tortilla chips, salsa verde, Pico de Gallo, guacamole and Queso Fresco.
Going by visual inspection, the serving of nachos is at a good size for individual consumption or as a snack shared between a few.
Salsa and chips - roasted tomato mint salsa and corn chips.
The intensely vibrant colour of the nachos tricked my taste buds into expecting an explosive blow of spiciness. Surprise promptly followed when I instead picked up on strong minted tomato soup taste. I’m not the biggest fan of mint, but in this dish the flavour was actually quite refreshing. Perfectly suited to the lightly salted nachos.
All taco selections were served in a 6-inch soft shell corn tortilla, with coriander, cabbage and spring onions.
Carne Asada taco - braised beef, chipotle and Pico de Gallo.
My order of tacos.
Chorizo taco - chorizo sausage, with a grilled corn salsa.
The outside of each chorizo ‘ball’ was grilled to perfection and possessed a sweet glaze that reminded me of Vietnamese nem nuong (meat balls). Biting into the chorizo however gave way to a potent sourness that you can sometimes get with chorizo sausages. I liked it better before the sour kicked in. Unexpectedly, the meat was served cold. On the other hand, the grilled corn salsa (which also featured in the chicken taco) was sensational. Juicy corn kernels, bathed in a subtle minty and lemon fresh flavouring.
Pollo taco - chicken with lime marinated red onion and spicy mole sauce.
It was a mistake to leave the chicken taco to last. To begin with, the texture of the corn tortillas were already quite grainy in texture and not “fold-friendly”. With the chorizo taco, trying to maintain the intactness of the taco whilst eating was a difficult task. Difficult became impossible when it came to the chicken taco thanks to marinade and sauce that converted the taco shell into a soggy mess.
Paco’s Tacos offers great nachos selections and an absolutely delicious grilled corn salsa. However the same cannot be said for their tacos, with the let down coming in the form of their soggy taco shells and mediocre meat fillings. At least with the two I had tried anyway. I don’t think ‘Paco’s Nachos’ or ‘Paco’s Corn’ has quite the same ring though…
500 Bourke St, Level 1 (walk upstairs)
Melbourne, Victoria, 3000.
(03) 9663 3038