• Food they'll turn vego for: dinner at Trippy Taco

48 Smith St
Fitzroy 3066
03 9415 7711

“I don’t like Mexican food,”  I used to claim.

“That’s just because you have never had any good Mexican food,”  a friend once responded.

I had been wanting to try this popular vegetarian eatery for some time.  Reports from meat-eaters were that they were surprised at how filling the food was, and how delicious it tasted.  I was sceptical but felt obliged to try (seeing they had gone to all the effort to convert carnivores into ordering vegetarian).

Although dark, the shop was easily spotted on Sunday night, with a cluster of people waiting out the front.  The vibe inside was different; casual with the smell of frying oil and brightly coloured signage.

With no spare tables and several people queuing, we ordered take-away and window-shopped down Smith Street while waiting the designated 15 minutes for our food to be prepared.

I ordered the tofu asada burrito described as a large flour tortilla filled with cheese, spicy grilled tofu, salad, salsa, avocado and a squeeze of fresh lime juice.  We also ordered the tomale meal.  By the time our food was ready (almost 15 minutes later on the dot) a table had become free so we decided to eat in.

The burritos arrived in baskets, tightly packed in a paper bag – perfect for take-away.  Mine was packed with soft tofu.  The salad was more of an accompaniment that a filler and I struggled to eat so much protein without getting full.  It was moist and fresh with a hint of lime.  Usually I love piling on chilli but it didn’t need any, the flavours were already delicious.  I had questioned how healthy the food would be with all the deep frying, but the burrito was fresh and wholesome: a perfect meal for a vegetarian.

Sorry about the half-eaten photo, but I wanted you to see the inside.
The tomale meal was different to anything I had tried before (keeping in mind that I am yet to travel to Mexico).  Done like a rectangular corn dumpling, the texture was soft but the flavour sweet and more-ish.  Topped with a generous dose of avocado and salsa, we found ourselves ordering another to take home for my brother (he enjoyed his too by the way).  It also came with salad.

Even more impressed was my friend whose name they remembered and called out correctly when our food was ready.

“People are lazy when it come to foreign names,” said the guy who had memorised it.  She had responded in shock over his correct pronunciation.

So, maybe now I will admit that I actually don’t mind Mexican food.  At least I can enjoy it when it is this good.  And maybe, just maybe, Trippy Taco will inspire me to travel to Mexico sometime soon (I do tend to travel for food after all).

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