Wondering around aimlessly looking for somewhere to eat, with a child that really needs a nap but refuses to give in to their obvious tiredness is not a good place to be. Throw in the fact that it is the Rugby World Cup and Ireland are playing France in Cardiff today! Town was heaving, everywhere was full and all around us was a sea of green and blue shirts. This might account for my odd decision to veer off the main thoroughfares onto Caroline Street aka Chippy Alley. I could reminisce about the good old days when I would stumble out of the Philly onto Chippy Alley to gorge on some gravy and chips (good times) but I won't (mainly because I miss those days quite a bit).
The point is I didn't expect to find Tortilla, all shiny and new and more importantly empty! That's not all, the boy had fallen to sleep in the push chair, that or he was overcome by the alcohol fumes emanating from all the bars near by.
Tortilla is an ever expanding chain specialising in Californian style burritos and tacos and opened just a couple of months ago. I must say that I love the décor in this place, sure I've seen beer bottle chandeliers before but I still love the effect. Along with the semi industrial touches of corrugated metal and neon lighting. My favourite part was the booths to the back of the restaurant with distressed wood cladding on the walls and lovely light fittings.
The menu is concise, straight forward and ordering is done at the counter where your meal is prepared before your eyes.
We went for some tortilla chips with guacamole and salsa to accompany our Tres Tacos and Barbacoa Burritto. The tortilla chips were as you would expect as were the dips, the guacamole being the preferred one. With the tres tacos you can choose what type of soft tortilla you want either corn or flour and three individual fillings if you want. And I did want. We went for two flour and one corn tortilla and three separate fillings. One with grilled chicked and mild salsa, the second grilled steak and mild salsa and the third with barbacoa with a hot salsa. All with cheese and lettuce. By far the barbacoa was the favourite. Braised shredded beef so full of flavour spiked with the hot salsa was sublime. Even if it did dribble everywhere. Also the soft flour tortilla over the corn one but good to know they offer a gluten free alternative.
The burrito however was a bit of a beast which they very kindly let me take a photo of before they expertly rolled and folded it. Again the main component was the excellent barbacoa beef and pretty much everything else behind the counter as you can see!
There is no elegant way to eat a burrito so I dived straight in and didn't look back. The beef was not overpowered at all and the flavours of the different components like the coriander rice could still be picked out. Brilliant.
As for Baby Clonc he did wake up half way through and had a bit of everything sat in the high chair that they have, gold star for Tortilla! The total bill came to £19.60 with a couple of soft drinks.
After this we headed back into the chaos of town with full bellies and a smile on our faces. This is the kind of fast food I like. Looking forward to going back soon.
Addess: 30-32 Caroline Street, Cardiff, CF10 1FF
Tel: 0292 0221908