If you’re in the area on Monday, head down to Bridge House on Baldwin Street. The restaurant near the turning to Welsh Back that used to be the city centre branch of restaurant Zulu will reopen under new ownership on Monday, August 8th as Mexican street food cafe El Guapo…
Bristol has seen a bit of an influx of Mexican eateries recently: The Mexican Kitchen on Corn Street sadly closed its doors a few months after opening, but My Burrito on Broad Quay and Mission Burrito on Park Street are still going strong. Some have questioned whether Bristol needs another central Mexican venue, but El Guapo promises to be different.
Run by Alex and Conrad, El Guapo takes its name from Alex’s old band. The pair have both spent time in Mexico, and this has definitely shaped the menu – they’re aiming to provide Bristol with somewhere to buy authentic street food, but street food that appeals to the British palate.
As a result, you won’t find any burritos here, with the lunch menu consisting of tacos, tortas and a range of sides.
I ordered tacos on my visit on Friday: two flour tortillas (made daily on the premises, as is everything else on the El Guapo menu) topped with one of three meat or two veggie filling mixes. In my case, this was bistec and chorizo with Cheshire cheese, coriander and white onion – delicious!
Tacos are served with either one or two cold side orders from the refridgerated section at one end of the counter, including guacamole, rices, salads and beans. I was swayed by the green rice, a sticky basmati rice salad with coriander and spinach, which had plenty of flavour.
If you don’t fancy tacos, then they also serve tortas – the Mexican equivalent of the sandwich, made from crusty bread filled, as per the tacos, with a choice of meat-based or vegetarian filling mixes.
I particularly like the sound of the Torta Loca: pulled pork with roast pineapple, pickled pink onions, dirty beans, fresh lime, oak leaf and frisee.
While the prices have not yet been announced, El Guapo are aiming to provide lunches that are both tasty and affordable, to eat in or takeaway…although they suggest that tacos are best eaten in the venue, as they are served open!
With the rise in popularity of street food, it’s good to have somewhere new opening that does things a little differently to its immediate competitors. Best of luck to Conrad and Alex – I’ll certainly be back!
Address: Bridge House, 48-52 Baldwin Street, Bristol BS1 1QZ