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Ph: (07) 3096 0516

290 Hawthorne Road
Hawthorne, 4171 QLD
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Opening Hours

SUN 12:00pm - 10:00pm
MON closed
TUE 5:00pm - 10:00pm
WED 12:00pm - 10:00pm
THU 12:00pm - 10:00pm
FRI 12:00pm - 10:00pm
SAT 12:00pm - 10:00pm

The Details

  • Mexican
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
  • Dessert
Need to know
  • Bar Snacks
  • Full Food Menu
  • Great for Dates
  • Outdoor Seating

The Verdict

The newest addition to the developing Hawthorne Road precinct, Cartel Del Taco is the passion project of owners Marco Ramirez and Erick Martinez, both Mexican ex-pats.

Tacos are the name of the game, and alongside classics like al pastor (thin shavings of spit-grilled pork, marinated with guajillo chilli and achiote adobo, served with pineapple) and beef birria (slow-cooked beef with ancho, guajillo and morita chilli tacos, served with consomme, lime, onion and coriander) are joined by more mod specials like gobernador-style beer-battered tiger prawns with refried beans and chipotle cream on a flour tortilla.

While Cartel Del Taco naturally has a strong focus on tacos, Erick has created a host of additional dishes with a strong traditional influence and local touch, including a prawn and octopus aguachile stack, tender braised lamb shank with pasilla chilli, pumpkin puree, charred onions and nopales, and the pastel impossible dessert of vanilla flan-topped mud cake with a Mezcal rompope.

The drinks list has a big focus on tequila and mezcal, in must-try cocktails like the Plata Picante with Patron Silver, Cointreau, coconut, pineapple, citrus and a dash of tabasco, and the Mezcal Cartel (400 Conejos Mezcal with Pavan and citrus) served in a traditional barro clay vessel from Oaxaca. For those off the tequila, the Martinez Martini is a refreshing combo of tamarind vodka, habanero, citrus and vanilla, while there’s also a couple of taps of Mexican beers and some local wines on offer.

Anyone who’s visited a taqueria in Mexico city will recognise some of the venue’s smaller details, while Marco and Erick’s homeland is also reflected in various indigenous handicrafts, sourced by the team on various trips, including black clay crockery and intricately beaded animal skulls. 

Custom pieces by well-known Mexican artist Mauricio Groenewold are also scattered around the restaurant, with motifs including El Diablo holding a Corona, a skeleton making off with a taco, and a Día de los Muertos-style chef tending the trompo grill.

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