The Barrio Brothers serves tasty yet affordable dishes, finds Kiri Gillespie

On the menu The Barrio Brothers is a Mexican taqueria, but don't be put off if you have concerns about spicy food. The themed menu is well thought-out and offers plenty of Mexican classics but also steps things up a little with dishes like orange braised pork taco. Bocaditos (starters) range from $6 to $16 for machos nachos or sizzling spicy cheese dip, while you can also choose from a range of different (lamb, prawn, calamari, fish, beef, chicken, pork or crumbed mozzarella) tacos - two for $16, three for $22, or a taco platter - two for $43. And if your dish doesn't quite pack as much heat as you were hoping, there's a range of hot sauces on each table to take advantage of. Mains cover all the Mexican classics such as enchiladas and chimichangas, but steak and salad dishes are also on offer. Prices for a Los Preferidos range from $21 to $30 and desert offers three choices including churros for $10 to $12.

The buzz
The place is decked out with Mexican tapestry, fizz bottles line the walls and everywhere you look people are drinking margarita jugs. We assume the fact it's margarita night probably helps. The atmosphere is laid back, fun and bright. It's perfect for whiling away a day or evening in the relaxed vibe with plenty going on.

I'll have
Frankly, I could have had the entire Bocaditos (starters) line-up because everything listed was right up my alley. I eventually chose the ceviche pacific: fresh coconut, lime and chilli marinated fish served with corn chips, and the Los Prefedridos (mains) dish of a verde enchilada. The ceviche was packed with punchy, zingy flavour and worked brilliantly with the corn chips it was served with. Something I would order again! When the verde enchilada arrived my mouth was watering. The chicken was perfectly cooked and the tomatillo chilli sauce was a delicious accompaniment, but I confess to taking advantage of the hot chilli sauce on the table to give it some more heat.

He'll have
In addition to the ceviche, we ordered fried chicken: marinated chicken pieces served with corn chips, with a mind to share both dishes. The chicken and chilli mayo together made for an easy, enjoyable dish, and probably a good choice for anyone scared of too much spice. For main, Hubby ordered a beef burrito: smokey BBQ beef rump with Mexican rice, salad, roasted tomatoes, basil aioli and chilli cheese. The dish looked simple, but one bite into it spoke volumes in terms of flavour and the slow-cooked tenderness of the beef.

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The burrito's accompaniments looked unassuming but complemented it superbly.

To drink
Well what is one to do when it's two-for-one margarita night but order margaritas? There are many versions to choose from. Hubby ordered the classic while I went for a 'prickly pineapple'. Needless to say, they weren't our only drinks. There's plenty of beer, wine and non-alcoholic drinks on offer also.

The staff
Friendly and laid back. The staff managed to walk the line of being attentive but not in-your-face.

The verdict
A great place for tasty food, a fun and laid-back atmosphere and the menu won't put a dent in your wallet.