The world’s greatest hand-held food is promised by Madre – tostadas, quesadillas and tacos tacos tacos. There’s also all the Mexican drinks vibes you could ever wish for, from beer and cocktails to tequila and mezcal – inside the historic Atlantic Pavilion or outside in the sunny courtyard.
For a gaff that makes jokes like “your mother”, the menu has some surprises, and is regularly spruced up to make the most of seasonal produce. On the version we perused, we fancied the “for the table” (i.e. intended to be shared) special of slow-cooked Herdwick lamb shanks, stewed in cider with smoked morita chilli (they say morita, we say chipotle) and chorizo made in house. Once ready, it’s encouraged off the bone, and served bubbling with fresh tortillas and salsas to create your own sticky but satisfying mess. Another meaty recommendation is the pork al pastor (shepherd-style) taco, which involves free-range pork shoulder and collar being marinated for 24 hours then spit roasted and served with salsa brava, salsa verde cruda, roast pineapple, onion and coriander. Seafood and fish dishes are all present and correct, including grilled octopus on fresh corn tortillas and a tostada of marinated sashimi-grade tuna loin with avocado puree. Veggie wise, and we’ve got our eye on the green and white tostada (petits pois mixed with jalepeño, wild garlic and feta) and the whipped potato and Gruyère quesadilla. Vegans are less lucky.
Desserts, and there are churros with chocolate dipping sauce and a super-sized soft-serve sundae for sharing or simply ogling (again, they won’t judge). Of course, there are plenty of dessert-worthy drinks including mezcalitas and various flavours of frozen margs, natch.
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