It’s no surprise that Cabrón Taco Bar, a new Mexican spot on popular Bree Street, has gained much attention from Capetonians. This fresh take on the theme features bright yellow and red touches and succulents, combined with skull light bulbs and a golden bull skull. Perfect for a night out with your friends or a drink after work, Cabrón is casual to a fault, right down to the plastic knives and forks.
Painted on the wall, the menu is small and simple. Choose between a tuna taco (R50), a pork, beef or vegetarian taco (R45) or a prawn taco (marked as SQ, so remember to ask, but at the moment it’s R65). There are also nachos (R50) and a corn salad available (R45). We go for an early lunch and both the tuna tacos and corn salad are unavailable, which is disappointing for a restaurant with a menu so small. Cabrón is newly opened, though, so it might just be due to growing pains.
The nachos come first. The chips are tasty, topped with chile con queso (a cheese and mild chilli sauce), but some falls by the wayside and it doesn’t make for easy scooping on the wooden boards topped with wax paper. (A bowl would help.) All this is made up for, however, with the accompanying Mexican crema and moreish chilli-and-sweet-pepper salsa.
As for the tacos, Cabrón serves the table, not individuals, which means the boards become communal. It’s a lovely concept for sharing, but becomes problematic in practice without a plate to catch the inevitable crumbs. Each taco has a coleslaw base laced with slightly overpowering apple-cider vinegar. The beef is generously portioned and tender and succulent, but could use a little more seasoning. Topped with a radish, the pork taco makes for a stunning dish and delivers on flavour. The vegetarian option is also delicious: with a base of coleslaw and chunky hummus, it’s topped with slivers of red pepper and zucchini. The prawn taco looks impressive but, as it’s placed inside the taco still completely inside its shell, makes for messy eating.
Draughts on tap and beers by the bottle are available. The generously poured sweet margaritas (R50 each) are refreshing. Get a bucket of six ice cold Coronas for R200.
The staff and kitchen could be much better organised, but Cabrón still needs to find its feet.
The Mexican vibe at this tiny spot is evident, with a mix of uptempo music and festive décor. The sidewalk tables put guests at the mercy of whatever’s happening – good or bad – on the street, but there’s also seating on high chairs inside.
Go on Tuesdays for Taco Tuesdays, when you can get three for the price of two to get your money’s worth.
Eat Out critics dine anonymously and pay for their meals in full. Read our editorial policy here.
So this was our second time there...
However, we were there last Friday, 19/05/2017. The music was more Mexican, more lively and an older crowd (30's) - with a strong surfer influence, which was contradicting to the vibe Cabron was trying to portray. The first time there the Nachos needed some improvement but the Tacos were nice. Not great - but nice - especially what you pay for. We preferred the beef over the pork and tuna (we did try the chicken via a mate of ours - wow - hot indeed!). We walked away with a small bill considering Cape Town - and the wine wasn't bad - and quite enjoyable.
Coming back on the night of the 26/05/2017, the music has changed to a Justin Bieber following - the kind of music you would see at small coastal towns and the crowd all being 19, maybe 20. We ordered similar dishes again (a small 5 item menu or so) - 2 beef, 1 pork, 1 nachos and 1 bottle of red wine. As you order, you need to pay... But the card machine didn't work. I told the cashier to "call me when you are done - we are sitting outside"...
Anyhow, the food arrived and the nachos were definitely better than last time. The beef was less tasty and hence I devoured the pork taco (which also improved a lot). The beef I'm afraid to say we had left overs and was not satisfying. We got to a point of not being able to handle the atmosphere of drunk 19-year-olds bumping into our outside table (at just after 9pm), vaping away and listening to that non-relating music of what the ethos is of the restaurant. We left our half a bottle of wine there and went to a place in Shortmarket street.
As we got there I wanted to pay for glass of wine, I saw I'm missing a card... Which was still at Cabron. Lovely. So I walked back, getting to the till, where the card machine was still not working... "Only cash or snapscan", I was told. "Guys", I said, "I just walked close to 760 meters to get here, for my card, that I asked you to give to me, I do not have cash nor snapscan on me, please provide me with you EFT details and I would gladly transfer money for you". The manager was helpful, I gave him my cell number and email and will transfer the money once I get feedback.
However, the aspects are three-fold plus one:
- the vibe does not go along with what they try to be;
- the atmosphere changed from Cape Townian to 'a young drinking aspect';
- the food is not wow - just well priced; and
- I told the guy behind the bar where we sit to bring my card (as it's a pay as you order system) but I had to walk back the 760 meters to fetch my card.
- Not pleasant. - Not impressed. - Not a happy customer.
Will they see me again? No. Why? The atmosphere does not live up to what the ethos of the restaurant is trying to portray. Their service is less than great even though the owner (or one of them) is there, and the food is not A.