After a long day shopping on Princes Street at the weekend, Mr Bug and I were craving for some decent sustenance. I had heard about this new place that had opened in the Grassmarket, El Toro Loco, and from the pictures I had seen it looked really funky, so I was keen to try it out.
Even though the place is fairly new, I was quite confident that this was going to be good, as the owners have a proven track record in this area: they also own Mamma’s Pizzeria a couple of doors down, which happens to be the place to go for a good Italian feast in the Grassmarket. Could they do the same with tex-mex food?
Inside, El Toro Loco is a wee bit smaller than his Italian sister, but it still has some very striking decor, with nods to eclectic Mexican oddities everywhere you look. I particularly loved the big colourful colourful tapestry hanging on the right hand wall, which has a short story written on the back that you can read on the plaque hung up next to it.
The place is very casual – you order at the bar and the staff make your tex-mex treat right in front of you, stopping to ask what meat you’d like, whether you’d like cheese and suchlike.
Mr Bug went for the hearty burrito made with pork carnitas. It looked pretty sizeable from where I was sitting, but that didn’t stop him wolfing down the lot!
On the drinks front we both just opted for cokes on this occasion, and they came in the cute paper Coca Cola cups which gave the place a proper North American feel. However, if you feel so inclined you can order beer, wine or even tequila to go with your meal!
Inside, Mr Bug’s burrito was stuffed with pork, cheese, rice, salad, salsa and guacamole. At only £6, we thought it was amazing value for money. It’s a fantastic meal for that price and probably a little bit healthier than some of the nearby chippys!
Meanwhile, I had the quesadilla. At £4, it’s a wee bit cheaper than the burrito but it is a smaller portion – ideal if you want a tex-mex fix but don’t feel you can tackle an entire burrito.
I ordered my quesadilla with the slow cooked Barbacoa beef, which came in a toasted tortilla with salsa (you get a choice of mild, medium or spicy) and cheese. Despite being only £4, I was really impressed with El Toro Loco’s presentation of it – it looked really quite nice on the plate and I couldn’t wait to tuck in.
You really can’t go wrong with a good quesadilla and these guys didn’t disappoint. The medium salsa did end up being a bit spicy for me, but I’ll know just to go with the mild next time. Yes, I know I am a bit of a wuss when it comes to hot Mexican food…
El Toro Loco is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner so it’s a great place to grab a quick satisfying eat in the Grassmarket any time of day. Their breakfast burrito, with spicy sausage, scrambled eggs, baked beans, bacon and mushrooms sounds particularly tempting!
With its reasonable prices and food that’s ideal to ‘grab and go’, I can imagine this place will get really popular in the summer when the festivals return to town, so head on down today to get a flavour of this quirky wee place before the crowds inevitably descend!