The mother of all taco trucks is coming to Manchester this weekend
One of the most talked about new openings in a while, Escape To Freight Island is gearing up to open the doors of its outdoor street food, art space and craft bar extravaganza over near Piccadilly this Friday, 24th July.
If you’d have asked me at the start of lockdown if I thought I’d be opening in Manchester in July then I’d have laughed
There’s already an exciting list of traders for what looks set to be the al-fresco social (distancing) spot of the summer, but one in particular is making us want ta-co there asap. But what is Madre and why are we so loco about it?
Liverpool Confidential and Top 100 North have long extolled the virtues of the excellent Belzan. Confidential editor Deanna Thomas described its gutsy plates as having flavour ‘so punchy it'll leave your ears ringing.’ So news of Madre, a collaboration between the Smithdown Road faves and London favourite Breddos Tacos - influenced by the roadside taquerias of America and Mexico - when it opened at Liverpool's Royal Albert Docks last year had us (w)rapt. Liv Con’s well-travelled Meg Walsh made a speedy visit to review and gave it a cool 17/20, saying it was ‘most authentic Mexican food this side of the Atlantic.’
The taqueria from Belzan founders Sam Grainger, Owain Williams and Chris Edwards - in collaboration with Hackney lads Nud Dudhia and Chris Whitney of Breddos - was born out of a sold-out collaboration in Liverpool and we only wished it was nearer. Now the team have crossed the border so that us Mancs can get our chops around their tacos of dreams.
Belzan’s Sam Grainger enthused: “We can’t wait to get to Manchester, we’ve been waiting patiently and searching for the right space to come up and when we heard about Escape to Freight Island we just knew it was for us. The opportunity to work with this team is beyond exciting and it’s a great way for us to introduce ourselves to Manchester. If you’d have asked me at the start of lockdown if I thought I’d be opening in Manchester in July then I’d have laughed! But here we are, the truck is loaded and the Mexican barbecues are ready to light!"
In cool vintage style, the authentic Mexican tacos will be hawked out of a 1981 VW camper van. We’ve been told to expect classics like the pineapple-chilli spiked pork al pastor and smoky carne asada as well as grilled elote - that Mexican street corn smothered with cream, cheese and spices that had our Meg dancing the Jarabe. We hope Madre will also bring some inventive specials like their sprout taco. If you're after making a night of it, the bar will be stocked with plenty of cocktail ingredients tequila bit of time.
Nud and Chris added: “We spent our formative years in Manchester and it will be incredible to come back, get back stuck in to the city and experience this incredible new development.”
You can now book and join the gang on the Escape to Freight Island website. Table slots of three hours must be pre-booked. Bookings are available Thursday to Sunday from midday til midnight. Find more about Madre on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.