When we brought our daughter back from University we made a trip along Newlands Avenue in Hull and came across The Boathouse and had a thoroughly disappointing experience. Well this week we took her back again and headed along Newlands Avenue again.
This time we went to El Chupitos – unsurprisingly serving Mexican food and only a couple of doors along from The Boathouse. It is, at first glance remarkably similar. There is a rough decor with chunky furniture. We even asked if it was part of the same chain because the theming is quite similar – maybe it’s just the look of places that hundreds of students go drinking at night when viewed in daylight.
There was a smiling waitress to great us which is a good start and we chose a table by the window. So far everything was remarkably similar to our previous experience. The menu is quite similar too in that it is quite a narrow range of food. Basically there are some starters/sides and then some different fillings for quesadillas, burritos, fajitas, and tacos. The formula was pretty standard with steak, pork, chicken and possibly seafood in each format. After the last experience I was genuinely feeling a little uneasy.
We ordered a couple of cocktails and a beer and they arrived within five minutes with someone ready to take a food order.
It turned out that this is a really great place. We shared some cheesy jalapeños, and some guacamole with tortilla chips. The jalapeños were the first clue that things were going to be ok. They didn’t look pretty but they were good chillis with soft cheese and they had been chargrilled. There was a real kick to them and they went very well with the Brahma beer. We decided to have some water as an insurance policy at this point!
I had the South Central burrito which was a combination of steak, chicken and tiger shrimp. I was intrigued OK? I wouldn’t normally go for this kind of combo but it was on the menu and so it deserved checking out. I gave 7/10 last week for Barburrito Kitchen in Trafford Centre last week so I had a decent benchmark from the fast food world. This gave me a chance to see what could be done with a little more time. I loved it. The tortilla wrap had been on the griddle too so there was a nice crispness and smokiness that went with the whole thing. The green rice has some bite to it and was tasty in its own right. The pepper and onion had some nice texture to it. The combination of steak, chicken and shrimp really worked. The steak and the shrimp really came through with some nice chargrilled and slight sweetness. The side of sour cream and a tasty salsa was delicious.
The decor is funky with some bold wall paintings and some great graffiti in the loos – love the beer keg urinals and the primitive pipework wash basins. Our waitress was pleasant and helpful throughout and Tom was able to answer anything she couldn’t.
Two starters, three mains, three drinks for just over £42 I think was terrific value and I would recommend it to anyone. Unlike its rival down the road we will visit again if we get the chance.