Food: A taste of Mexico, El Toro style

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Down in Nottingham for the ice hockey play-off finals a year or two back we stumbled upon a fab place which was was basically a Mexican take-away.

For a tenner you picked your wrap, chose your filling, topped it up with everything else and got a beer thrown in.

Pretty much the entire Fife Flyers team were ahead of us in the queue, and it’s fair to say not a drop of food was left.

Now the Mexican street food concept has hit Edinburgh

You’ll find El Toro Loco in the heart of the Grassmarket - a wee red building just down from The Last drop pub (or up from the Beehive, depending on which way you arrive in the square).

The burrito bar has a small area for sitting in, including some smashing stools in the window to watch the tourists amble by, but this is pretty much food on the go.

And boy, it’s filling.

Inside, the floor is tiled with Mexican coins - hundreds, possibly thousands of ‘em. If you can spot the UK five pence piece among them your eyesight is much better than mine.

The artwork is themed appropriately - everything from tequila bottles to headed bulls skulls - but it’s the food that draws you in.

Everything is slow cooked and made on the premises.

The concept behind El Toro is pretty simple.

Order your base - and then fill it.

Take your pick from a three Taco shells, one soft flour, burrito or quesadilla, or a bowl.

Once that’s done, choose your main filling.

There’s pork carnitas, barbacoa beef or chipolte chicken, plus chilli with a veggie version on offer too.

And once that’s in place, you need to spice it up with, well, whatever takes your fancy - salsas from medium to hot enough to turn you into the Ready Brekk kid, good ole’ guacamole, and beans Mexican style.

And once that’s done, there’s the final stage which come sunder ‘’anything else, sir?’’

Jalapenos are always worth chucking in.

Oh, and did I mention rice? Yup, the pick and mix selection pretty much has everything any discerning Mexican food outlet could possibly need. You - or more precisely, the girl behind the counter - simply make it up jigsaw style to get the meal you want.

I opted for pork quesadilla.

With everything on board, it was rolled into a mighty ball and then heated before being wrapped in tinfoil and served up.

My other half went for the chicken version.

Both were mighty filling - you can pack a lot into what is, basically, a take-away meal; far. far more than you get from the standard High street fast food outlets, and considerably more tasty.

This is a meal shrink-wrapped in foil, and it was fantastic.

True it can get messy … or maybe that’s just my eating style which consisting basically of getting tore in!

El Toro Loco also does beer - Mexican of course - as well as soft drinks, and, of course, tequila. The last time I did the old lime and salt routine was a fair few years ago, and the memories remain just hazy enough to this day, but, hey, when in Mexico ...

And if you are up early, it offers breakfasts - Nutella bread, spicy sausage omlette, a breakfast burito (which I really fancy trying), and makerel tostada.

And if - after sampling all/any of the above - there is any space left for dessert then take your pick from ice cream, brigadeiro (a soft chocolate Mexican truffle with chilli coating) and the restaurant’s twist on a mousse.

If you’re in the capital, this is well worth a visit.

It’s different, a bit quirky, but, above all, the food is good, filling and very, very tasty.