When I look back at my list of Restaurants of the Month in 2019 and see that two of them are Mexican/Tex-Mex restaurants, I wonder whether Amsterdam might finally be getting the hang of this taco business. And while Flora has been outranking all its predecessors on the tacos front for a while now, Parakeet only started cornering the market in nachos and margaritas in July 2019. Meanwhile,
I ordered a margarita (€10), which already got off to a good start when the waiter told me it came shaken – not frozen or on the rocks. Phew. The tequila was definitely “proper” and I liked the fact that the salt rim only went halfway around the glass – so you could take a salty sip or not as the mood took you. Personally, I prefer the margarita at Parakeet – but that’s almost certainly because it involves ancho chilli liqueur and has a spicy salt rim and I have a dangerous chilli addiction. Cabrón’s margarita is purer, while Parakeet’s is spicier. The same, I’m afraid, has to be said for the nachos: I wolfed down Cabrón’s excellent corn tortilla chips with sweet pickled onion, BBQ sauce, cheese, jalapenos and guacamole, and enjoyed every bite. But Parakeet’s nachos just edge them out for me.
As for the tacos, they were pretty good as well. I tried three varieties: the carnitas (because who can resist pork on anything?) with sweet potato purée and queso fresco, which came in a delicious blue-corn tortilla; the softshell crab with sweet mango salsa and shredded cabbage; and a vegan number with battered cauliflower instead of fish (each priced at €6-8.50 per taco). All of them were Lekker with a capital L, although again I think Flora’s tacos probably just take the lead.
Despite these slight preferences, I’ll definitely be going back to Cabrón. Not least because they serve certain dishes that are hard to find elsewhere – something I only realised when fact-checking for this article, otherwise I’d have ordered them while I was there. I’m curious to try the birria (a spicy meat stew) in a quesadilla, as well as their chilaquiles for breakfast sometime (a Mexican speciality I’ve been missing ever since Los Feliz closed down). And with fast and friendly service and a convenient location, Cabrón is certainly a foodie force to be reckoned with.