We fucking loved Bad Sports. It served frozen margs, great fried chicken and even better cheeseburger tacos. It was one of our favourite tacos in London. But now it is gone. But as one taqueria door closes, another opens. And so the hunt for a new taco to effuse over takes us to a bunch of tortilla flippers, most recently to a tiny place hidden away in Wood Street.
Homies On Donkeys is a tiny five-seat taqueria nestled incongruously within the eclectic trading space of the local indoor market. It is cute and homely: dimly lit apart from multi-coloured fairy lights around the kitchen, a zebra print counter, hand made signs on the walls, and food cooked on those ovens that you find in student houses. It fondly reminds us of the bars in Tokyo’s Golden Gai or the local town dive bars in the States.
One the day we went we are served by a one-man taco stand, a Mexican by way of San Diego, the friendliest, warm and funny dude. He is awesome. We are already trying to figure out how to become his friend. Jovial was our confab about different styles of tacos and, although the place is only open 11 -5, how his days are long as fuck due to all the prep he has to do (the pork butt is braised for up to 8 or 9 hours the day before). And this butt goes into one incredible cochinito en chipotle taco: Pulled pork bathes in a bonkers tasty chipotle sauce that has smoky spice, a complex richness hard to explain beyond delicious, and a touch of sweetness with a gentle lingering heat. We are strong advocates of the braised meat tacos, like the ones Guisados in Los Angeles serves up, and this is the best effort we've had in London by miles.
The robust pork is well balanced by the earthy freshness of the coriander, the creaminess of the sour cream and combination of sour pickled onions and sweet roasted ones. The corn tortilla, brushed with sunflower spread before being heated in a pan, is perfectly chewy and savoury with that great maize flavour - a spot on base for all of the fillings.
This taco is the shit.
The finely shredded chicken in the pollo adobado taco is covered in a milder sauce with a great depth of spice and a sweet richness. Whilst it doesn't have the wow factor of the braised pork it is still great. The prawns in the camarón enchilado taco are plump and succulent, and the fresh, light sauce that accompanied it was tomato and garlic focussed, a bit like a crushed warmly spiced pico de gallo.
Not only are these tacos great though, they are also amazing value for money. The tacos are properly stuffed with filling, and with a pair of pork coming in at a fiver the place is significantly cheaper than anywhere else. This is properly affordable food, how we ate in in Southern California and how it is supposed to be. We’re guessing the rent isn’t what the central London taquerias have to fork out, so the costs can be kept down, but the charm of this place is how it reminds us of going searching in the relative wilderness of California for proper good tacos in proper honest joints. You should really go.