date of visit: Tuesday 14 August 2012
Two things appear to be hot in Adelaide right now. One is Mexican food (oh yes, people are still queuing for a table at Lucky Lupitas) and the other is food trucks. So I guess it was only a matter of time before we had a Mexican food truck … and La Cantina Co has hit our streets.
There have been a few hiccups. Posts on Facebook and Twitter suggested that the first day of trading was imminent a few times and punters’ hopes were dashed at the last minute. But on Tuesday not only did the sun shine, but La Cantina Co and the trusty Truck Norris (you’re not a good food truck unless you have a name!) hit Hindmarsh Square at lunch time.
We popped along to check it out arriving about 20 minutes into trading. There was already a queue and, being the first day of trading and all, orders were taking a little while to come out. Andy suspected there were a few PR people around, ordering up to make things appear busy. This was actually a little bit unfortunate because there was no shortage of seemingly genuine customers (like us!) who were left waiting for food and wondering why anyone would need what seemed like about 6 quesadillas …
La Cantina Co offers tacos ($4.50) and quesadillas ($7) as well as a selection of Mexican soft drinks (jarritos). There are various deals where you receive a small discount for buying in bulk.
Fillings available on Tuesday were based around chicken (smoked chicken with fresh guacamole), beef (with black bean, chorizo and pico de gallo*) and pork (guajillo chilli spiced with potato and a pineapple salsa) as well as a vegan filling (based around zucchini). While the pork sounded good, neither of us was into the idea of pineapple salsa, so Andy chose beef and I opted for chicken.
I’m not going to lie here – the quesadillas took an age to come out. There was a lot of fidgeting and shifting from foot to foot (on my part). And I’m sure speed is something which will come with practice – it will have to, because part of the appeal of street food is that it’s quick. Hopefully, the team has taken away a pile of ideas about how to motor through Thursday and Friday lunch – but just in case they’re still ironing out some kinks my advice is to turn up early!
Food wise, the quesadillas were good. The chicken was smoky with a touch of spice, the tortilla and filling were hot and the tortilla was just a touch crispy from the grill. Of course, it was a tiny bit difficult to eat elegantly and, while the dobs of sour cream and salsa on top of the quesadilla looked pretty they would have tasted better spread through (or on top of) the tortilla.
The portion sizes are not huge but while I was initially concerned I was going to be hungry by mid-afternoon I didn’t hit a hunger pang wall at all. Andy, on the other hand, disappeared off to fetch even more to eat once he’d finished his! I guess that if you’re a smaller individual, one quesadilla will do for your lunch, but if you normally eat a lot then consider ordering two – or trying out the tacos as well.
Once La Cantina Co gets the pace up it’ll be a welcome addition to the Adelaide lunch scene. And until then … make sure you turn up when they start service!
Thursday 16 August 11:30am Victoria Square
Friday 17 August 11:30am Light Square
* pico de gallo is a fancy way of saying “salsa”!