The Lucky Egg crew debuts Mexican concept Trash Taco at Barbara
Good things come in small packages, which describes tacos to a T. Mouthfuls of delicious filling lovingly wrapped in warm tortillas? Sign us up! Likewise, Fortitude Valley’s newly open Trash Taco packs a mighty offering into a small footprint, delivering a deceptively large menu of Mexican eats from within Warner Street boozer Barbara. Officially opening today, Wednesday May 1, Trash Taco is slinging tacos, tostadas, quesadillas and snacks, as well as some margaritas and mescals for the sipping.
To say Jacob Knauth is an ideas man is a severe understatement. The originator of popular Fortitude Valley fried-chicken joint Lucky Egg built his burgeoning foodie empire from humble shipping container-bound beginnings, gradually working his way from gourmet stomach-lining toasties at The Brightside to fried-chicken burgers at his own Brunswick Street Mall outlet. Jake’s latest concept Trash Taco draws upon his own predilection for Mexican fare, a cuisine that comprises a large part of his home cooking experimentation. The concept for a taqueria has been floating around in Jake’s brain for some time, specifically a joint where due respect is paid to the cuisine’s core tenets. After a period of research and development through a series of weekly taco takeovers at Lucky Egg, Jake solidified a menu that eschews overly westernised interpretations of the cuisine – not claiming strict authenticity but aiming for justice done to the basics. Jake’s established connections with The Happy Horsemen group (Lucky Egg’s kitchen feeds punters at neighbouring pub Blute’s) helped facilitate Trash Taco’s physical realisation as part of Warner Street venue Barbara, where a portion of the bar has been converted to house cast-iron contact grills, bain maries and sous vide apparatus.
Despite being slightly restricted in terms of kitchen space, Trash Taco’s menu is deceivingly large. While you won’t find burritos or enchiladas on the menu, what you have at your fingertips is a malleable array of recognisable bar-friendly eats. It all starts with the tacos, which are immediately elevated thanks to the tortillas sourced directly from award-winning Victorian outfit La Tortilleria. Diners can select from five core fillings (pork, beef, lamb, veg, beans) or make their own plate with added pickles, crema, guac and salsa. Tostadas – the crispier cousin of the taco – are also available, layered with your choice of barramundi or refried beans and roast pumpkin. If you’re hankering for something cheesier, grilled quesadillas are your best bet, but the chilaquiles (think nachos, but saucier) topped with your choice of protein and jalapeno cream makes for a delicious shareable option. The food menu is rounded out with snacks such as corn chips and guac, spicy drowned pork rolls, fried pork rinds and mixed pickled vegetables. Barbara’s Aidan Beiers has bolstered the bar’s offering to include margaritas, mescals and natural wines. Inspired by the happy hour culture at The Dolphin Hotel in Surry Hills, Jake and Aiden have crafted a special tipples and nibbles selection only available between 5:00–7:00 pm, Wednesday to Sunday.
Trach Taco officially opens at 5:00 pm today, Wednesday May 1. Head to the Stumble Guide for more details.
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