Tuesday 31 May 2011

Street Food at The Rye - Buen Provecho

I love Mexican food! Or at least I love the stuff I have been able to get my hands on in the UK and the US. I remember my husband and I walked for about 1.5 hours through Mission in San Francisco to go to El Farolito Taqueria and try their Super Burrito. It was worth the walk and I 'd do it again, and again and again! I still dream of the burrito - the silky tortilla, wrapped around the perfect amount of smokey meat, smooth guacamole, rich cheese and sour cream and delicious beans - and even though we only shared one and felt stuffed, I still regret not getting one each. Even if that had meant feeling absolutely ill for the rest of the day!

Since then my Mexican food experience has been limited to Daddy Donkey on Leather Lane, near were I used to work. I was pregnant and could easily devour a whole one on my own, no problem! In fact it was my Friday lunch treat - seeing as they are £6 each and I can't afford that for every lunchtime! The burritos there are great too: very good flavour in the ingredients. But it seems to be done in too big a rush and the fillings are just mounted onto each other, without 'spreading' them thoroughly and therefore you get pockets of flavour, instead of each mouthful having  the great flavour of all the components combined. Still, they are the best burritos I have had in the UK. And I haven't had any since the week I went into labour months ago!

So from that you probably now understand that I do love Mexican food and when my husband discovered that the Rye pub near us is doing the Street Food at The Rye and Buen Provecho was cooking there on Monday Bank Holiday, we got excited! Very excited! So much so, that we got there at 12.30 lunchtime only to be told that they open at 14.00 and food would only start being served at 16.00... The disappointment was indescribable! We were like little children being told there would be no presents for Christmas this year! We reluctantly left and decided that one of us would pop out again around 17.00 and get them to take away - while our little lady was still decently behaved in the afternoon, before the evening grizzles began!

At 17.00 the plan was set to motion. My husband left and called me from there to tell me the 'menu': he does tacos and Arturo Ortega Rodriguez's reputation precedes him, so we decided to get two of each of what he does: pork, chicken, beef, potato, peppers and an omelette type thing.Oh and quesadillas!

The 5 minute journey home probably didn't do them any favours. We started with the quesadillas: nice and simple, a soft taco shell, filled with cheese and folded, then grilled. The veggie potato one was OK, but not great: mashed potato topped with peppers and beans. It lacked a little in substance and flavour. The other veggie option though was lovely: peppers and sweetcorn in a creamy sauce, topped with beans again. The omelette thing was interesting, if a little bland. I loved the texture of it, but once again, lacked a little umph! The beef was good, though not amazing. It was stewed with carrots and potatoes and the veg was a little undercooked. The sauce was perfectly sticky and thick, though I found it a little sweet. Finally the two stars of the show were the chicken and the pork. The chicken had great deep, smokey flavour and was served in chunky succulent chunks. The pork was cooked in an orange sauce and was shredded to perfection! Incredibly deep flavour, with the perfect balance of spice, sweetness and smokeyness.I must also comment on the tacos shells, which were themselves the best  've had! Soft in texture and nutty in flavour, with a hint of 'burnt' from the hot plate.

All in all it was perfectly enjoyable, but just not as good as it had been built up to be by what I had read about it online. We paid £26 and I managed to finish all my tacos, so I would say it was a tad overpriced. I would be interested to try them again on his home turf on Lower Marsh Street market in Waterloo, in case it was just a bad day. Not that it was bad! But when you have been craving something for so long and you build it up in your mind, nothing less than perfection will do. And perfection, unfortunately, it was not...

 On the left is the chicken and next to it the two pork tacos, all topped with beans and guacamole and the middle one with a chilly salsa.

1 comment:

  1. His food is not as good as it used to be. The beef is usually too chewy and tough; chicken and pork are much better. The guacamole and salsas are always good. His tortillas are made from white corn. I have had his food in different places, Lower Marsh - the first time, then Elephant and Castle, followed by Goose Green Fair, and The Rye.