Enter a cavern of multi-coloured Mexican décor, flowing tequila and endless plates of cheesy nachos at Taco Bill Mexican Restaurants. With over thirty years of dedicated cooking, the Russell Street restaurant is cosy and always piled full of excited diners and friendly staff.
The menu is quite extensive, with most main meals beef based, although there are some chicken or prawn options. With beans being a staple Mexican food, they feature in nearly every dish. There is also a brief vegetarian menu, consisting of quesadillas and burritos, as well as vegetarian salads. Entrees include plenty of nachos and tortillas.
Luckily for those of us who can't take spicy, there is a vast range of dishes which are quite mild. While some dishes are served with jalapenos, these can be requested to be on the side if you are suspicious of their spiciness.
Visitors to Taco Bill can often be spotted donning oversized sombreros, sipping margaritas out of "fishbowls", which contain about four drinks. The fruit-flavoured margaritas are $29.90 per bowl, while more exotic mixes such as 'Fruit Tingle' and 'South of the Border' are $37.90. Taco Bill has perfected the consistency of the drinks to a slushy perfection, although the taste is sometimes a little too alcoholic. Drinks can be bought in single serves, but half the fun of going to Taco Bill is drinking out of a novelty sized glass. Each fishbowl comes with a sombrero; however the staff are sometimes forgetful of this so you might have to ask.
For the non-drinkers, a selection of deliciously fruity virgin margaritas is available, as well as milkshakes and ice-cream soda.
While the alcohol flows at Taco Bill, it is actually quite a child-friendly place. Kids will be captivated by the brightly painted walls covered with Mexican paraphernalia and will fit right in with the loud, fun atmosphere. Most Taco Bill favourites have a 'niño' equivalent, with smaller serves of nachos, wedges and enchiladas on the kids menu. For the most value, go for the Niño Meal Deal, which comprises of a main, a dessert and a Mexican punch drink.
The pricing at Taco Bill is decent - expect to pay around $30 for dinner and a drink. Lunch is the best time to go if you're budget conscious, as they serve $9.95 lunches from Monday to Friday.
The city Taco Bill store is located at 142 Russell Street, Melbourne (although there are plenty of other stores). They do lunch from Monday to Friday, and dinner from 5pm on every night of the week. Even on weeknights, the restaurant is always busy, sometimes with huge lines building around their winding staircase. They do take bookings, which I would definitely recommend on Friday and Saturday nights, although it is advisable to make a booking prior to a visit on any day.
In case you were wondering, Taco Bill has no affiliation with Taco Bell, an American fast-food chain which also offers American food. When Taco Bell attempted to set up restaurants in Australia, Taco Bill sued and forced Taco Bell to adopt a different name for its Australian restaurants, which have since been closed. You can read more about their name dispute here.