Sunday, September 14, 2008

September 12, 2008: Trippy Taco II

Trippy Taco has long been one of Michael's favourite places to buy lunch near his work place. But he took his sweet time letting me know that they're open for an early dinner! Thankfully we had plenty of time to stop by on Friday between work and ACMI's Jim Henson rarities. The layout is still just as Michael described it 19 months ago, though I think the menu has expanded. They're now fully licensed and cook several kinds each of quesadillas, tacos, taquitos, burritos, nachos, as well as breakfast variations thereof. Everything (except possibly the fries, but I think they're working on that) is vegetarian, and the menu is scattered with tips for vegans - letting you know where to request soy milk, soy cheese, tofu instead of eggs, dairy-free chocolate spread instead of nutella.

And though they won't keep you waiting too long for food, you can pass that time with snakes and ladders! There's nothing like a quick victory to pique the appetite, even if no personal skill was required.

Michael ordered one of the priciest dishes on the menu, huevos rancheros ($12): fresh home-made corn tortillas topped with fried eggs, ranchero sauce, black beans, cheese and avocado with a side of chipotle chilli and a couple of extra tortillas.

I picked one of the current specials advertised by the cash register - a sweet corn tamale with salad, cheese and ranchero sauce ($8.50). Having never eaten a tamale before I wasn't sure what to expect - it's actually a cornmeal dough steamed in a corn husk. I must admit to thinking that this lump of dough looked kinda boring and bland but just one taste proved me absolutely wrong. It's tender, sweet and bursting with corn flavour! Also dense and filling, thie tamale is just the thing to transform a salad into a real meal.

I reckon Trippy Taco deserves a first class ticket on the hot tamale train. These folks have developed my ideal weeknight eat-out. It's vegetarian, inexpensive, not junky or supersized, yet still stimulating and satisfying. I think I'll be stopping by Michael's office on the way home a little more often from now on.

(You can read about one of Michael's previous trips to Trippy Taco here.)

Address: 48 Smith St, Collingwood 234 Gertrude St, Fitzroy
Ph: 9415 7711
Fully licensed
Price: veg meals $8.50-$12.50


  1. So that's what a tamale is.

    I want to get on the hot tamale train too. Choo choo.

    I assumed you watched the finale Cindy? I have to say that I was hoping Katee would win. I think she didn't do one bad dance all seasaon. She just lacked the personality of the two guys and proabably missed out on the viewers vote because of that.

    Bring on season two of the Australian version. I need my fix.

  2. Wow, that woman really is crazy huh?
    That scream is so horribly shrill!
    I visited Trippy Taco for the first time on the weekend, by coincidence- it really is great! I was totally impressed.
    Not sure about the look of the tamale... is it kind of like set polenta?

  3. The name of this place sounds so American :) Makes me want to eat there!

  4. Just the thing to fortify you for the boredom of two hours of Henson's self-indulgent brand of communism.

  5. Oh, trippy taco, how i love thee. Such yummy food, such a variety of hot sauces! And you have the cutest staff in all of collingwood...


  6. Nice! Trippy Taco is definitely one of my favourites :-)

  7. thanks for the link to my site ;)

    I mean, sure, I watched the finale, Thanh. :-) I agree that Twitch's charm was what pushed him so far - I'm surprised Will didn't make it to the final four! Looks like channel 10's currently auditioning for the second Australian season, but I suspect we may have to wait until next year to see it.

    Hi Bella! Yeah, it is similar to set polenta, though I think it's a little more doughy - and definitely sweeter.

    Hi ...FWMTS! It reminds me more of a hippy scene - either way, it's definitely worth a visit. :-)

    Hi Sonny! You should have been keeping a closer eye on Cher back in the mid-70s - on this very night we witnessed Kermit making a rather lewd pass at her.

    Hi Louise and Brian! Glad you like this one - I've come to it late in the piece but will definitely be returning.

    You're welcome, Steve. :-)

  9. I will NEVER go back to trippy taco. On my one and only visit, my girlfriend ended up with food poisoning.

    Let's not forget the terrible service we received - where everyone else seemed to come before us.

    Also, what kind of vegetarian restaurant runs out of soy cheese at 6:30pm on a Tuesday night?

    And their marketing makes me laugh - "these may not be the best nachos in the world, but my friends think they're OK".

    Did I mention I'm never going back?

  10. Anonymous commenter, I imagine that experiencing food poisoning would be enough to permanently turn anyone off a restaurant! At least you got a laugh out of their nachos pitch - I'm pretty sure that's their intention. Thanks for chiming in.