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Avotaco is a decent attempt at giving us authentic Mexican food in Malta

Updated: Jul 2, 2023

Avotaco is a decent attempt at giving us some authentic Mexican food in Malta.

Mexican food is a joy. Colourful and bursting with flavour, it is no wonder Mexico’s food heritage is Unesco-protected. So, with dreams of great Mexican food here in Malta, of burritos and spicy tacos, we headed to Ta’ Xbiex to visit Avotaco.

Formerly a waffle shop now turned into a Mexican food outlet, Avotaco is a small triangular space with some outside seating, along Triq l-Abate Rigord, approaching the beautiful Msida Marina.

There were only a few people inside Avotaco when we arrived, still, it felt a bit confined. The decoration is a decent effort towards a Mexican ambiance. As soon as we got in, a pungent smell of chorizo and pepper welcomed us from the open kitchen. The menu has basic Tacos, Burritos, Quesadillas, and Nachos, but nothing fancy.

Avotaco three type Tacos
Avotaco's Three Type Tacos

As for drinks, there are a few South American beers available to keep it in the theme, as well as Sangria and a selection of craft beers. Interestingly, for the health-conscious, there is a nutritional information sheet as part of the menu. The mix-and-match option is useful, especially for those seeking vegetarian options. Don’t wait for service to come to get the order because you need to do that by the counter. Thankfully though, Avotaco is manned by some very friendly staff.

We opted for the Pork Carnitas Burrito and a Sol beer, whilst Carla chose the Tres Tacos Especial and a Gluten Free beer. Burritos and Tacos – as cool as Starsky and Hutch, as brilliant as Jobs and Wozniack. The humble burrito, which translates as “little donkey” in Spanish, what isn’t there to love about it? It’s lighter than a burger but equally satisfying and is packed with flavours as much as a Kebab.

Besides, Burritos are becoming more and more Westernised. Breakfast Burritos with chopped sausages and scrambled eggs, anyone? As for tacos, I love them. If, like me, you like to mix and match foods, then you’ll love them too. They allow you to get creative, use a lot of tasty ingredients, and won’t cost a fortune to make. They are a perfect combination of protein, carbs, and fat.

Ever tried fish tacos (seabass or cod for example) with some salad, avocado, prawn sauce and a few chopped chilies on top? As Janice would say after seeing Chandler, “Oh. My. God.” With all this in mind, were ready for some good food once arrived at Avotaco.

Burritos from Avotaco
Burritos from Avotaco

Service at Avotaco was very quick, and we got our food in no time. Wrapped in tinfoil to spare me from a spillage disaster, my Burrito came priced at €7.95. it is not the cheapest, but quite acceptable. My excitement didn’t last long though. A proper Burrito should be moist with fat, and with enough juices to make your taste buds scream with pleasure.

This was somewhat dry, the pork tasted bland and was nowhere near enough spicy as I would have expected. This explains why there are two bottles of hot sauce available on the tables. The thing I hated the most though was that the Burrito was overloaded with cream cheese. I know cheese should be one of the main ingredients, but ideally, this should be mature cheddar.

Also, to me, one healthy bite from my Burrito should include a bit of all the ingredients within it. Here, I had bites that simply consisted of a combination of wrap and cream cheese.

As for Charlene’s tacos, priced at €8.75, the vegetable Taco was topped with a fatty mush of avocado, some black beans, and a bit heavy on chopped tomatoes. There were also a few bits of cheddar cheese Charlene told me, but honestly, I struggled to find any. The chicken in the second taco was, not spicy at all and the dash of lime gave it some much-needed acidity.

This lack of spice at least meant it is you who decides how much spicy your taco will be. As for the meat taco, thankfully it had a decent amount of minced beef and was pleasingly moist. The tortillas were pleasingly fresh.

Choosing dessert at Avotaco was a relatively easy affair, as there was only one option, Chimichanga with banana and Dulce de Leche. For all those who like me are unfamiliar with chimichangas, these are essentially deep-fried burritos filled with a variety of savory fillings, such as pulled pork or beef, beans, rice, and cheese.

Avotaco's Chimichanga with Banana and Dulce de Leche
Chimichanga with Banana and Dulce de Leche

Substitute that filling with something sweet, in our case bananas, drizzle it all over with Dulce de Leche and you’ll have a Mexican-inspired dessert to impress your friends, which will take them at least 3 days to digest. It is not the greatest dessert ever, not even close, or something you would drive up to here just for it, but it was nice.

For sure we thought it was way too big for just one person, but that’s just us. If you think you can take the Chimichanga challenge and finish it by yourself, by all means, go for it! As for us, we shared the dessert and it still felt as if we had just consumed around a thousand calories, each (we probably did).

Avotaco is a decent attempt at giving us our Mexican food fix and has its strong points. The staff there couldn’t have been more helpful, but for us, the food experience never really took off. When you leave a restaurant and the only good thing you can say about it is that ‘the staff was nice’, you just know there is much room for improvement.


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