A former bartender has set out to bring a taste of Mexico to North Staffordshire – with Hobo Taco.
The Newcastle firm is based at Old Brown Jug in Bridge Street and run by 28-year-old Jack Lowe.
Jack previously worked as a mixologist in London bars, where the food of choice was tacos, before returning to this region.
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He is assisted by his business partner Luke Spender, 31, of Trent Vale, and chef Adam O’Rourke of Jug. They also run Side Chick, which sells chicken tenderloins and burgers.
Jack, from Kidsgrove, said: ‘We try to bring good food to North Staffordshire. There are a lot of people trying it out right now.
“When I lived in London, tacos were the go-to food. There’s absolutely no choice here. I decided to go for it.
“It’s selling very well on Uber Eats.”
Food is served at Jug between 3-8 p.m. most days and 3-10 p.m. weekends.
Using the Uber Eats food delivery app, customers can order shin birria beef tacos, wet buffalo tenderloin, fried chicken sandwich, cochinitia pibil tacos, birria mushroom tacos, loaded fries, beef broth for dipping and a wide range of tacos and burritos.
Also available is a Mexican soft drink, Jarritos, with lime or pineapple.
Jack added: “We rent the kitchen. Its been good. It’s been busier than I thought, so much so that we had to hire another chef.
“I came back to the area just before the lockdown and we’ve been open for six months now.
“We also do Side Chick which serves chicken, there is something for everyone. We get all the meat from local Plant and Wilton butchers on the High Street.
“I’m just a foodie and it’s nice to be able to come up with something different.”
So what did we think?
Here is Flora Byatt’s verdict…
I’ve eaten before, but I’m not one to say no to a taco, and the last time I had one was in Manchester.
I took a brief moment to mourn Hector Garcia, who fans of Mexican food will remember in Newcastle, before it closed several years ago.
I had the beef shin and the short rib taco, plus a jar of consommé to dip it in. My first impression was just a moment of happiness. Bold, cheesy, meaty and full of flavor.
Jack told me the beef was slow cooked for 24 hours and incredibly soft. Unlike a lot of tacos, this one stuck, which I appreciated because I risked getting covered in it.
I finished it in record time. It was amazing, that’s all I can say. I was also given a bottle of Lime Jarritos, which I didn’t ask for but also appreciated. I had Jarritos before and have a good impression of the drink, which has been made in Mexico since 1950.
And, yes, the best lime drink this side of the world, without any of the nasty aftertaste you get with most bottled drinks because the bottle was glass. The ingredient list is also quite short, and as a result, you get a lime-flavored, but not bitter, drink that is definitely worth trying.
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