Al Taco, Baxtergate, Whitby.
I begin with a somewhat controversial statement: fish and chips are overrated.
It’s an opinion that shocks many, but I’ve just never really got the hype.
Hailing from Whitby, whenever I visit elsewhere and tell people where I’m from you can guarantee nine times out of ten they will wax lyrical over the quality of the town’s undoubtedly world class fish and chip offering.
But living here, among the many fish and chip shops and restaurants, it’s difficult not to find them well, frankly, a bit boring.
For all Whitby’s charm and delights, one thing it is lacking is more choice on the dining front.
Imagine my delight then when I spotted that a former fruit and veg shop was being converted into a Mexican restaurant and takeaway.
When I went to university in Manchester, one of the best things about living there was the huge array of Mexican food outlets dotted about the city...if you can’t tell, I’m a big fan.
As such, I couldn’t wait to give Whitby’s newest offering on Baxtergate, Al Taco, a go.
The first thing you note about the place is it is pretty small, with only a handful of tables making up the interior, which is essentially a big room.
The counter and food prep area is situated to one side, with your order made before your eyes. The decor is fairly minimal, which gives the place a simplistic feel, while the addition of some Mexican music might give the atmosphere a lift.
As a fan of a burritto (£5.20) I thought I’d opt for one of them. If you choose a burritto or taco you then have the choice of a series of fillings to go with the rice and refired beans.
I went for the vegtable filling which comes with sauteed peppers and onions marinated in spices.
The meal itself was a tasty one, with a delicious blend of spices complementing the other fillings.
One thing immediately apparent about the dish was that the ingredients were fresh - the restaurant boasts preparing the food fresh on a daily basis - something which was apparent when eating it.
I returned a few days later to sample the nacho dish (£5.20), followed by a dessert of chocolate cake(£2).
Much like the burritto, the nachos come packed with flavours of fresh ingredients, with a dollop of sour cream and cheese to appease the hot jalapenos.
For all the nachos were impressive, I was left underwhelmed by the cake.
It was presented in a takeaway chip-style box, which instantly felt a little disappointing, with the flavour no improvement - it tasted rather dry in texture.
But that wasn’t enough to detract from the quality of the actual Mexican dishes.
Overall: Is there some scope for improvement? Yes. Is Al Taco a quality addition to the Whitby dining scene? Absolutely.