Sunday, 23 June 2013

Los Hermanos Taqueria - Brunswick

Los Hermanos - Spanish for "brothers". I cannot hear the word "Hermano" without having a flash of Gob Bluth. Ever since the that episode of Arrested Development aired nearly a decade ago, that single Spanish word has become a mainstay in this guy's lexicon. So, if you were at Los Hermanos last Friday night and confused as to why someone kept obnoxiously repeating the word "Hermano" out loud, mystery solved and my apologies.

So, onto the place itself. Los Hermanos is a taqueria - meaning that tacos and imported Mexican beers are the order of the day here. Tucked away on the quiet side of the train tracks on Victoria Street, Brunswick, it wouldn't be difficult not to know of its existence. But for those who are aware, it appears to be an addiction, with table waits of up to an hour and not a spare seat in the house. It's a small space, but they make the most of it. There are no menus other than the vast blackboard behind the counter, with specials scribbled wherever space can be found - generally under the display of beers - and unless I completely missed where the cutlery is kept, you have to be prepared to eat with your hands - a preference of mine anyway.

The food is quite reasonably priced, with the majority of tacos fetching $5, gorditas slightly more. The vegetarian option across the board is a choice of either zuchini or mushroom. For my meal I decided to go for a selection: Zuchini taco, the fajitas special, a cactus salad, and a bottle of Bohemia.

The zuchini taco (right) came first, and in a way that was a slight problem. Why you ask? Because the zuchini taco was incredible! How would the fajitas match up to it? I did make one error with the taco of going a little overboard with green habanero hot sauce. Unfortunately I tend to be a tad gung-ho with condiments. The taco itself is relatively mild and does lend itself to a little extra heat...just not as much as I drenched the top of it in. Regardless, I can still tell you it not only hit the spot, but all sorts of spots I didn't know existed. A lively mix of crisp, shredded lettuce, sprinkling of grated cheese - rennet-free, of course - and drizzling of sour cream complimented the hot zuchini mixture in the middle beautifully. This is, without a doubt, the best taco I have ever had in Melbourne. In the end, I regretted not ordering a second.

Of course, the reason I ordered only one was because I also went for the evening special: a serving of three potato and poblano pepper fajitas ($12). In tightly bound tortillas, the fajitas were topped with tomato, lettuce, cheese, sour cream, and a mild green pepper sauce. Beautiful constructions, but lacking the flavour explosion of the zuchini taco. I little red habanero helped bring it alive, but it was perhaps a little too subtle following the taco.

Complimenting both the fajitas and the taco was the cactus salad (below, $7.50). Soft, stewed strips of cacti are mixed in with peppers, cheese, fresh tomato, and some herbs. It almost tastes like a pickled salad, oozing with flavour. It provided a neat counterpoint to the heat of my habanero drenched taco, and had a very cleansing effect on the palate.

There are a few drawbacks of Los Hermanos, mainly due to its small size and huge popularity. On a busy night, the food takes a long time to arrive - even a drinks order took 20 minutes - and our table and seats were a little cramped and rickety. But that's nit-picking, and I prefer to focus on what's important: the tacos! This place is a taqueria. It does predominantly one thing, and boy does it do it well!

4.5/5 (And a hint for non-vegos: From all reports, the fish tacos are off the chain!)


  1. I really like their sopes!

  2. Unfortunately I did not get to try the sopes, but as a Brunswicken I can see this place getting some return business from myself in the not-too-distant future