Places To Eat In Canterbury: Taco Bill Pop Up at Alberrys
Last Friday, a really exciting new pop up arrived in Canterbury. A few of you who visited some of the various Kent food festivals over the summer might recognise the bright yellow, red and blue signage of Taco Bill, a new Mexican street food stall who has just arrived in the kitchen at Alberrys where they’ll be serving up colourful, and most excitingly super authentic tacos, tortilla chips and dips until May. If you’ve never had a proper corn (not flour) tortilla on your baja fish taco, or sampled a bright green tomatillo salsa, Taco Bill is the place to be!
They’ve taken over the upstairs of the bar with their colourful menus, perfect if you want to either feast with friends, or just pop in for a taco or two while you’re out shopping. They’re just handling the food, but the bar staff have got in the spirit of things with some okay frozen margaritas, and also the option of having a frozen strawberry daiquiri, but I’d go for a Corona or two with a wedge of fresh limed squeezed into the bottle!
We went as a group of three, so we ordered an assortment of tacos to share: the two classics, Al Pastor pork with pineapple salsa, Baja fish, and a pair of chicken tinga tacos, and a vegetarian mushroom one served with a green salsa, caramalised onion and hazelnuts. In my mind they were all what a super authentic taco should be; small, handheld bright and punchy flavour bombs where all the different flavours compliment each other in each bite, but sing on their own, just holding together as you finish it in a couple of bites.
The two classics were the standout for me; street tacos were elevated with a bit of cheffy technique, confit-ing the pork for melt-in-the-mouth texture and frying the fish so that it was perfectly, cooked, crisp and not at all fatty or too battered, which is usually my biggest complaint with fish tacos, even from places like Breddos Tacos. I was told the mushroom taco was also beautiful, and I think the only let down was the chicken, which I found flavourful, but a little dry. The pork and the fish really are the winners here.
And what about the sides, I hear you ask? The chips made me happy because they were not those random, bitty compressed corn numbers you get way too salted in bags from the supermarket, and they were also not those totopos you can get in Whole Foods, that I find just that bit too fatty. These were proper corn tortilla chips made from good corn tacos, served with a good guacamole, decent pico de gallo and some soured cream. However, the stand out for me was an extra I ordered from the sauce section of the menu, tomatillo salsa. I was a little put out that it was way better than I make, and it is so unusual here in the UK I know it will be a new, authentic flavour to a lot of you reading who don’t regularly spend time in London, Mexico, or Los Angeles, where it is ubiquitous as ketchup! It’s very good now made from jarred tomatillos, but look out for it when Taco Bill’s gets back on the street food circuit this summer, where they’ll be making it locally grown tomatillos!
As for sides, we had some Taco Bill seasoning-tossed chips which were a bit meh, but the bowl of pinto beans with chorizo we also ordered more than made up for it; right, wholesome and full of flavour, the beans were perfectly cooked with sweet, spicy chorizo and a beautiful broth. If you’re hungry enough alongside your tacos, get these!
There is just one dessert on the menu, cinnamon sugar churros, freshly made and served with a traditional, masa-thickened chocolate dipping sauce. They’re beautifully crisp, and just like the fish, not greasy at all. One for you if you prefer a crisper churro, and the perfect way to round off a meal (though, me without the sweet tooth, I may just order another round of pork tacos!)
Do head along to Alberrys to check out Taco Bill for an authentic taste of Mexico without having to hop on a train to London or a plane to Mexico. As more and more people find out about it I’m sure it will start to fill up, contact Alberrys to book a table for lunch or dinner, Tuesday through Saturday or email firstname.lastname@example.org – there is also a feasting menu for 8 people or more available, which looks rather fantastic. Oh, and if you’ve got a valid student card, they’re also offering a 10% discount!