Less than five grams of fat*, hombre!
Tuckeria – 7/10
421 Brunswick Street, Fortitude Valley
Imagine the ‘Subway’ franchise went Mexican, developed a personality and then set up a little outside dining area and crammed it with valley hipsters. If you’ve got a vivid imagination, you now have a good sense of what Tuckeria offers – quick, wholesome fast food with a modicum of Hispanic authenticity. They even sell a bunch of imported Mexican beers and employ charming Spanish-sounding staff.
The prices are decent, servings are generous and the food comes out quickly, but this is where the subway analogy turns rough – Tuckeria’s got a bit of love in their meals but also a bit of the same industrial efficiency that makes the iconic ‘footlong’ such a uniquely santised experience. The vegetarian burrito I ordered came with two kinds of deliciously spiced beans, and a bunch of other cold, untasty things that almost totally diluted the deliciousness of these beans. I love a good fresh salad but the salsa on offer (supposedly the ‘hot’; you get a choice) was a bit light on flavour and had no burn to it. I also went the ‘chips and salsa’ as a starter and got a halfhearted tray of semi-crunchy things, graced with the same banal salsa that felt like it might’ve been sweating patiently in its steel drawer for two hours before gracing my corn chips. Not the best textural experience, but not horrendous either – we were hungry and they filled the time it took for burritos to arise. At $4 a pop, I’d suggest you give it a miss and hope they start serving jalapeno poppers one day.
Having voiced my gripes, I think you should still check this place out if you’re near Judith Wright centre and hungry. The ol’ JWCoCA (great acronym, btw) has some good stuff coming in May so it’s not going to be hard to find reasons to head that way. Although I got a pretty tame burrito and shitty chips, it may be that this just reflects the typical veggo experience in Brisbane- meat dishes minus the meat, rather than a considered attempt to make us bunnyhuggers happy. It’s quite possible that the range of fillings in my burrito would’ve been an awesome substrate for a steamy, spicy pile of meat (they offer beef, pork, chicken and even prawns). The location is ideal for chilling out before a gig or show nearby, and as long as you’re aware that it’s fast food I doubt you’d walk away unhappy. Fifteen bucks isn’t a big outlay for a semi-awesome burrito experience and a sense of what beers are consumed by actual Mexicans. Just remember to order extra coriander and jalapenos.