These weren’t the tacos I was expecting

We headed to Cabot Circus to have a celebration meal. The place that was chosen was the Coal Kitchen.

Though it took me a while to work it out, the last time I had been to Coal, was over ten years ago, in January 2013, when it was called Coal Bar and Grill and I had a burger.

It is now called the Coal Kitchen. We had booked, but were still given a choice of tables. They have quite an extensive menu, but also a set menu. I went with the set menu and started with the chicken tacos.

two soft tacos, marinated chicken, lettuce, tomato, pickled chilli and harrisa yoghurt

This description from the set menu shows what it was supposed to be, two soft tacos, marinated chicken, lettuce, tomato, pickled chilli and harrisa yoghurt.

However not sure where the tomato, chilli and yoghurt went, I certainly didn’t have any on my tacos.

As a result they were a little dry, but I did still quite enjoy them. 

Obviously they took the menu away after we ordered, so didn’t realise until I was posting a photograph of my food to the Instagram and copying the description, that I realised three components of the dish were missing. If I had known I would have probably asked about it.

Checking the Coal Chicken Instagram feed they actually had a photograph of the dish from the (new) set menu.

two soft tacos, marinated chicken, lettuce, tomato, pickled chilli and harrisa yoghurt

Well mine certainly did not look like that!

I do find it frustrating when restaurants (usually) chains, don’t follow the recipe for their dishes, resulting in this kind of experience. Had a similar experience with a hotel in Salford.

The real result is that it puts me off going back to the restaurant again. It had been ten years since I last went to Coal, it might be sometime before I head there again for something to eat.

Fish Tacos once more

Staying at the Drayton Court Hotel I went for dinner and I really wasn’t sure what to have. I did quite fancy the crab pasta starter on the specials list, but it was unavailable. Looking over the starters I decided to have the fish tacos, a dish I have had before.

The dish arrived, it comprised three tacos, each was served with a piece of fish in a crunchy coating, shredded lettuce, mayo and the aforementioned mango salsa.

I have enjoyed these before, and I enjoyed these as well. Nice crunchy fish, with fresh salad and salsa. Delicious.

Time for Tres Tacos

I was up in Manchester for some meetings. Before a long afternoon meeting I headed out into Manchester for something to eat. I needed to be quick, so I went local.

Many years ago I had some excellent tacos from Chilango in Manchester. When I was in Manchester in May 2022 I went to Chilango, they no longer sold their tacos, so I had a hotbox instead. 

So when I was up in Manchester this month (January 2023) I was intrigued to see that the branch of Chilango had closed and had been replaced by a branch of Tortilla.

They sell tacos and I like tacos, so I ordered some grilled chicken tacos with cheese, salsa, guacamole, and sour cream.

These were very fresh and tasty tacos.

Time for Fish Tacos

I was staying in a hotel in Glasgow close to the SECC where I was attending a conference. Having arrived around lunchtime, I went for a walk to get some air and find somewhere for lunch. I headed up to Argyle Street with every intention of eating at the Crabshakk. However when I got there I wasn’t quite sure it was the kind of place for a quick lunch. I did also quite like the idea of the Ox and Finch, but for lunch it looked rather expensive! Maybe another time. In the end I went to Number 1082.

I started off with a double espresso, well it had been a fair few hours since my last coffee at Bristol Airport. I looked over the menu, having perused it outside, I was thinking tacos. I ordered some fish tacos and a side order of skinny fries.

On two warm tacos there was some sliced fried fish with slaw, guacamole and mayonnaise.

They were very nice, though not as good as the fish tacos I had had in London back in May.

Time for Tacos at Wahaca

The last time I went to Wahaca it was just before lockdown. In May 2022 I was up in London for an event with my son, and afterwards we decided to get something to eat. Our first choice was Bills in Victoria, but they were full. So, I suggested that we head to Oxford Circus and go to Wahaca. We caught a tube across London.

We arrived to find there was a bit of a wait for a table, well it was a Friday evening in London, not too surprising. We decided that we would wait. It wasn’t too long before a table was free, we sat down and looked over the menu.

We chose six dishes, the one we started with, was the Mexico City nachos which I discussed here and was the highlight of our meal.

We also had three plates of tacos.

We had the grilled chicken and avocado tacos with ancho rub, guacamole & green tomatillo salsa, served in two soft corn tortillas.

I have had these before, the chicken for me was slightly overcooked, but the flavours were excellent. I like the addition of the guacamole to the spicy chicken.

There was also the chargrilled steak & cheese tacos, chargrilled bavette steak with grilled cheese, chipotle and avocado salsas, in two soft corn tortillas.

Another dish I have had before, these were very tasty. Though I think I have had better ones before. The steak was nice and tender and the salsas added a contrast of flavours and textures. Never see the point of the grilled cheese, preferred it when it was an option and I could choose not to have it.

Our final choice of tacos were the buttermilk chicken tacos, this was crispy fried chicken, with pink pickled onions and spiced mayo, in two soft flour tortillas.

I have had these before also. The chicken was overcooked and dry, but I liked the pink pickled onions. 

Overall these were nice tacos, not the best I’ve had, but certainly they were tasty.

Chilango Hotbox

I was recently up in Manchester and wanting lunch. I have been a fair few times to Chilango both in Manchester and in London. 

Back in October 2016 I had some great tacos from the Manchester branch of Chilango. So I was hoping to get some of those, however since then Chilango have changed their menu, and they no longer do tacos. I was a little disappointed. In the end I went with a Surf and Turf Hotbox.

A hotbox has “alll the flavour of a burrito” but without the tortilla. This one was served with prawns and steak.

I did quite enjoy the hotbox, there were some great flavours.

That time I had some Chilango Tacos

Back in October 2016 I was staying in Manchester for a conference and had arrived the night before. Across the road was a branch of Chilango, so went there for dinner.

They had an interesting menu, but I was hungry so I went for the plate of tacos with a choice of fillings and salsas, along with a bottle of beer.

The tacos are made fresh to order, and after paying, I took my tacos to a table.

They looked great and were very tasty.

Tuna, Avocado & Tomato Tacos

We were in Bath, having a day out, and decided to go and have some lunch. There is quite a choice of places to go in Bath, but as I haven’t been there in a while, so wasn’t sure what was still open, what was new and what had closed.

We didn’t want to spend time trying to find somewhere, so after some discussion, we headed to Bills on Cheap Street. I had recently gone to Bills in Manchester and had a nice meal of calamari and sea bass.

As it was lunchtime, we had the Brunch menu. I wasn’t that hungry, so went with the Tuna, Avocado & Tomato Tacos. I have had this dish before when I went to Bills in Ealing last year.

I did like the presentation. The tuna was excellent, and liked the taste and texture. The avocado and tomato was nice as well. The tortilla were a little too crunchy for me, I think some soft blue corn tortillas might have been a better choice. The crème fraîche added some nice coolness and freshness to the dish, though I do think there was a little too much red chilli for me.

Having missed out on this dish in Manchester I decided I would have it for my lunch, along with some fries.

The tacos dish is seared raw tuna, crunchy blue corntortillas, coriander, toasted sesame & crème fraîche.

It looked different to the time I had it before, however it was just as delicious.

Fish Tacos and Mango Salsa Again

Staying at the Drayton Court Hotel I did quite fancy a starter with my evening meal. The menu talks about bar snacks, rather than starters. On a previous visit I had really enjoyed the fish tacos with mango salsa, so I ordered it again.

As before, the dish arrived promptly. It comprised three tacos, each was served with a piece of fish in a crunchy coating, shredded lettuce, mayo and mango salsa. 

They were slightly different to the ones I had before, but were still very nice. The fish lacked the flavour of the previous tacos, but there was more salsa this time. They were tasty and I enjoyed them.

Taking the time for some tacos

I do quite like tacos, I have noticed that some places I had frequented before, had stopped selling them. So on a recent visit to the Leather Lane street food market I found a stall selling tacos. Initially I wasn’t sure and looked around a few other stalls, but in the end I headed back.

I went with the beef tacos. They had an interesting preparation method. The tortillas were placed on a hot plancha, the cheese was added and then the beef. They were then served in a box and garnished.

They looked really nice; the different colour tacos were fun. The beef was delicious, and I really enjoyed eating them. Something I would order again.