Paco Y Lola, South Melbourne
In spite of protest, I was summoned back to South Melbourne for a first-of-the-year lunch with the old ex-colleagues. Almost all of the team in the office, minus the social team, who weren’t that social. Paco Y Lola was our choice and we all had a helping from different parts of the modern Mexican street food menu.
I was quietly impressed with my first-time order of the sopes with chili Colorado beef and most of the food sat well with the guys. The sopes were a generous serve, and is a DIY affair so there’s a bit of fun to be had in composing your tasty creations. Cocktails and other dishes were fair, and we felt mostly well looked after, save a bit of pain for the group size and no split bills. Nice sunny spot for lazy afternoon dining.
Mint, watermelon and gin sounded like an irresistible start for the afternoon and I happily slurped my way through this cooler whilst attempting to survive the heat. Decent drink but a little more potency would have been nice.
We shared a few serves of the corn chips ($6) and these are fine. Slightly broken shapes, but the chips were freshly fried and had a good seasoning. The guac side here is very blended so not the chunky style I might have been anticipating. Was okay for me.
A few of the ladies went for the burrito ($13/$14)option, this being one of the options that you can also get takeaway from the barbeque stall. These are fine but I prefer the fresh burritos as the melty cheese and sour cream can sometimes make for a messy eat.
And onto my sopes ($18). I ordered these not exactly knowing what they would be, and was rewarded with a great dish. Sopes are made from a Mexican corn flour and is served with beans, meat, cheese and salsa. I composed my sopes taking a cup of the shaped corn, which was light and crisp. Then a generous heaping of meat mix, topped with slaw before plonking into the mouth.
Another fancy looking dish was Lucy and Jadon’s Mexican pork ribs ($20) in housemade BBQ sauce and served with side salad. Angle my be deceptive, this is also another well-sized meal.
We overspent a good lunch break with Paco y Lola and the relaxed setting made for a perfect setting for the drinks and flavourful eating. Being a big group we had a massive painpoint when it came to clearing the bill (due to not being able to split bills) and a dozen media professionals had to rack their brains to work it all out.
8/10 (ignoring the split bill pain).