Why hello there, and welcome back to the Camouflaged Critic. If you happened to read my intro you’ll know that I am an anonymous restaurant critic whose pen name is CC/Cece. I have made it my mission to intertwine my love of food and writing into a career, where I hope to share a bit of the joy that good food brings me, and pass it onto you.
I’m a firm believer that food is so much more than nutrition. It is a way in which we connect with the people around us and learn more about who we are as a society. This week will be my first review as the Camouflaged critic! I’m so excited! Which is why I thought it only fitting that I review a place I had been so excited to try: Dingo ate my taco.
It was a typical cold and extremely windy day in the city of Melbourne. I had no plans for lunch, my family had deserted me and I was in one of those “ceebs” mood where all I wanted to do was rug up in a blanket with a hot cup of coffee and nutella doughnut, ready to read a good book. Alas, this was not to pass as I was also extremely hungry.
I had been accurately targeted with a sponsored ad on Instagram almost a year before this cold and extremely windy afternoon, seducing me with vibrant, heart-warming, juicy pictures of birria tacos. So, as I always do when I come across delicious pictures, I wrote a mental note of this place that I needed to try. Unfortunately, this picture came across my feed while we were still in lockdown, so I had to wait a reaaaallly long time before i could even think of trying it.
Restrictions eased, time passed and I had forgotten about this mental note of mine (as commonly occurs) to try these amazing looking tacos. And not just any tacos but BIRRIA tacos. Birria tacos are of course Mexican, specifically from the state of Jalisco. They are your typical corn tortillas that are cooked on the plancha with the filling of meat and cheese inside, so that when you get it, it is crispy and gooey and melty and oh so delicious. They are then usually garnished with some onion, coriander and lime and served with a consomme (soup) on the side. If the place is really generous, they’ll give you some hot sauce with it too.
I’ve digressed. So, on this cold and extremely windy day in Melbourne, I was scrolling on instagram as every good milennial does and was hit again with the sponsored ad. Except this time I didn’t make a mental note. I decided I had waited long enough to try this and I wanted this cheesy, meaty goodness in my belly now.
On this particular day, Dingo ate my taco was at their Collingwood location. Given that they’re a food truck, their location moves throughout the week, so I checked their instagram to see where they would be. Knowing that they often sold out, I decided to order my food online and secure it rather than go there and potentially have the birria tacos be sold out. When you do this, you still have to wait for your food as they make it fresh for you to ensure that it’s hot which I appreciate. So upon my arrival I went up to the counter, alerted them that I was there and ready to eat and waited for about 7 minutes. It’s really not that long of a time to wait, it was really only slightly annoying because of how cold it was; but hey I’d been warned. Thankfully, I had been welcomed with a lovely smile and positive attitude which also helped me wait patiently.
As I waited I took in my surroundings. I loved seeing that they had little eating stations set up so you could eat you food hot and onsite. I also thouroughly appreciated all the parking space so you didnt have to pay for parking on the main street. Unfortunately because it was so cold and extremely windy, I forwent that option and humbly ate my food in my car. Yes, I can get impatient sometimes, don’t judge — I like my food hot.
As I took in my food, I couldn’t help but think of the journey mexican food had made in Melbourne. This wasn’t your taco with lettuce and shredded mozarella cheese, taco bill vibes; this was legit. I took my first bite and sighed in relief as the crunch of the tortilla released the delicious juices of the meat and cheese. I had been worried my overhyped butt had overhyped them too much. They. were. delicious. Even though both the tacos and the consomme were underseasoned, when I added the hot sauce and the lime it gave it extra flavour my palate wanted and needed — but, you know, a little bit more salt would’ve been nice.
I dipped the taco into the consomme that gave me warmth on such a cold day, and with the addition of lime juice and hot sauce — I was in heaven. It was obviously a bit messy as I was eating in the car but I didn’t care, I was here to enjoy what the Good Man above had given the Mexicans for us to enjoy.
As I came toward the end of my third taco (I never think three is enough but it always turns out to be enough), I regretted not ordering more food. Their menu had so many other amazing looking tacos, it would’ve been good to have gone with someone else and share more food, taste new flavours. I guess this means I’ll just to go back. Oh well.
So was it good food? Will you find good food here? The simple answer is yes. Just maybe take a little salt with you (If you are partial to saltier things, if not then it’s all good).
Check this yummy joint out at https://www.dingoatemytaco.com/