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Trippy Taco

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by Sean Goedecke (subscribe)
Sean Goedecke is a freelance writer trying to visit every cafe in Australia. If you enjoy his articles, it can't hurt to click the 'like' link at the bottom or subscribe.
Published August 10th 2011
When most people imagine Mexican food, they imagine mounds of spicy beef. Beans and tomato might be in there somewhere as well, but certainly never tofu. Trippy Taco, on 48 Smith St, is an all-vegetarian Mexican restaurant. If you’re one of those people, visit Trippy Taco and be prepared to have your mind blown.

If you’re intrigued by the idea of Mexican tofu, you can choose between the tofu asada taco or the tofu asada burrito. Both are very similar dishes, since the tacos are soft and bready – the only difference is that the burrito comes wrapped in foil and the taco comes on a plate. Either way it’s surprisingly delicious, with the tofu covered in a sauce that gives the whole dish a satisfyingly complex flavour. Expect to find avocado and a squeeze of lemon or lime juice to offset the warm fillings and provide variety.

If, on the other hand, you’re a bit less adventurous, don’t worry: Trippy Taco has lots of standard bean-and-cheese options. While not particularly innovative, the beans are nice and juicy and manage to avoid the mushy texture that plagues places like Taco Bill. These dishes are a bit less expensive as well, especially if you just get a cheese burrito.

Only free for breakfast? Trippy Taco offers breakfast burritos and tacos – with scrambled eggs, salsa and cheese – or the tremendous ‘huevos rancheros’ on corn tortillas with chilli sauce. If you’ve got a sweet tooth, try the corn desserts. The combination of sweet corn, ice cream and warm tortillas works extremely well. Finish it off with one of Trippy Taco’s rich hot chocolates – especially delicious on a cold winter day.

Huevos Rancheros
'Huevos rancheros' means 'ranch eggs'.

Vegans can replace the cheese with soy cheese or the eggs with scrambled tofu, making every menu option potentially vegan-safe. Don’t be afraid to stick to the chips, though, as Trippy Taco’s chips are perfect: crisp, warm and sprinkled with paprika. The seating area is small but cosy, with brightly-coloured walls and music playing overhead. If you’re lucky, you’ll get to hear the staff sing along.

Make sure you’ve got a backup plan if you’re coming here for dinner, since Trippy Taco is quite popular and the tables can fill up very quickly. Luckily, almost every meal is available as takeaway (although there’s not exactly a wealth of places to sit and eat on Smith St). Eating inside is the best option: Mexican food is messy and should be eaten with an abundance of napkins on hand, and Trippy Taco is no exception. It’s a great place to come for dinner - or bring a couple of friends and chat over breakfast. Beans and hot sauce might be a better hangover cure than you think.
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Why? Because Mexican doesn't mean 'meat'.
When: Every day.
Where: 48 Smith St, Fitzroy
Cost: Under $15 for a main meal.
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