Like many, many establishments, Birmingham’s street food scene has been on my to-do list for a while (recurring theme here – get a flat in Brum already Han). We’ve just needed some bloody good weather for me to do so.
Birmingham’s reputation as a street food haven is well established, with festivals, pop-up events and a strong bunch of respected sellers now pulling up on a regular basis. Not to mention the almighty, award-winning Digbeth Dining Club, who host not only their headline weekly event at Spotlight every Friday in Brum but who have also bagged the truly honorable feat of hosting this year’s British Street Food Awards 2016. (I also happened to enjoy learning a little more about the origins of street food, by the DDC boys – cheers iChoose).
The opportunity to have my recent first experience of some of these al fresco delights was simplified and brought right before my foodie eyes at this year’s headline event of the International Dance Festival Birmingham, ‘Live Nights’ on Centenary Square (an event I happened to be volunteering at).
The street food line up for the Live Nights events was made up of Brick N Bake, Esmie’s Caribbean Food, *another I can’t remember the name of* and Cafe Horchata. Joined by one of my fellow volunteers, armed with our volunteer food vouchers (all the payment Han Eats needs to volunteer), we opted for the Mexican Street Food @ the latter.
Sophie, the pop-up’s founder, knocked up a selection of the evening’s taco options (listed below but ours minus chorizo), all prepared fresh for us.
Now tacos are something I’ve always been slightly suspicious of. Is it a fajita? Is it a kebab? Is it a tummy filler (most important question…?) I’ve always been of the opinion that you may as well just have full on fajitas and be done with it. Naivety at its best…
The size of Sophie’s street food portion was just right, and by God was it full of flavour. You really could taste all of the ingredients, in every fresh, fulfilling, citrusy bite. I really like citrus flavours on savoury foods so the cut through of fresh lime juice with the coriander and griddled chicken simply added to the flavoursome bites.
Also part of the experience was Sophie herself, who was so friendly (as independent traders so often are) and chatted to us about the origins of her business idea, which simply put was: “I just loved food and wanted to do something with it.” After joining forces with her partner to buy their vintage van and set off on their taco business venture, they’re now a regular feature at Digbeth Dining Club, King’s Heath’s Brum Yum Yum & even travel around as a wedding food alternative.
Sophie – you have one taco convert right here – tick!
Catch @cafehorchata on Instagram & Twitter and on their website to see where they pop-up next!