The tequila bar

The tequila bar

To say I was excited about our visit to newly open “Black Sombrero”, Mexican Taqueria and Tequileria in Lismore, is not quite enough. So I shall use a few more adjectives to bulk up the sensation for you a bit. I was elated, eager, roused, rustled and thrilled all at once… and yes, I did have my pocket thesaurus out for that one.

For months before opening, this place stirred in the towns peoples loins like a bad case of syphilis. There were murmurings in even the most heroin-induced coma affected corners of the ‘Smore. This place had over 1000 likes on facebook before it even opened to the public. Which, to me, dictates one of three scenarios;
1. The town is heaps keen to see some decent night time Mexican eating/tequila drinking joint
2. The town habours a secret community of illegal Mexican immigrants with access to the internet
3. An online group of interweb nerds thought it would be funny to deliberately and maliciously sabotage this restaurants hopes and dreams by falsifying likes and setting it up for imminent failure

Long tables = guaranteed good times

Long tables = guaranteed good times

Anyhoo, we went there and this is what we ate;
Hot wings on the charcoal grill with lime and chipotle aioli $10 – awesome, but a little exy for 7 chicken wing sections… Actually, in hindsight it was a fair price for what we got… I just wanted more
Corn chips with chunky guacamole, $10 – good. It was what it was. Still a bit exy I thought.
Pork in fried tortillas with salsa and sour cream, $10 – really good. Now they were hitting the lead for sure.
Tacos – marinated chicken given a lick of the coals, and pork with grilled pineapple salsa, $15 for 3 – fucking excellent. Now they were well and truly winning. All tacos come with a salsa plate of tomato salsa, a jalapeno and tomatillo looking number and pickled onions so you can custom modify your tacos just like your sweet ride. The pork taco was my pick of the night
Chunky salsa salad, $6.50 – still fucking excellent… and perfect with everything else on the table.
Hot habanero salsa $2 – we had to get some because we like it hot!

…and it all came together like Voltron to make a damn good dining exprience.

The pork taco

The pork taco

The salsa salad

The salsa salad

Those deep fried tortillas with pork. The guacamole and corn chips are in the not-so-interesting background

Those deep fried tortillas with pork. The guacamole and corn chips are in the not-so-interesting background

Chicken taco

Chicken taco

Black Sombrero took me to another place that night. Not my special place, for as we all know that is a magical land filled with pink unicorns, waterfalls made of lemonade and carnies roaming free and an abundance of free poking stick vending machines. It just did not feel like Lismore.

Me and Obi, loving the ambiance

Me and Obi, loving the ambiance

Which brings me to the only low of the night.

The one and only downside of this place, say, compared to Miss Margarita (our other favourite Aus-Mex joint in Byron Bay) is that it is in Lismore (Jennee declared that she would’ve rated the experience 10/10 except we walked out of the place and we were still in Lismore. She deducted 2 points for that, so 8/10 it was from Jennee). You get out of there after a cracking night and you walk out onto the streets of Lismore. No night life (except maybe the few drunken screams I heard from the car park), no beach to go and sit at and watch/listen to the pretty waves roll in, and absolutely no carnies to poke with your brand new poking stick… which makes the action of putting your brand new poking stick in the car 100% pointless. It is certainly a good escape from Lismore though… that is if you’re into delicious Aus-Mex treats that are well cooked and tasty in your face, with a cracking tequila bar to boot (not that I sampled any of said tequila on this visit… it’s a school night, you know).

I think whatever it was that these guys were trying to achieve they have done so. That is, if they were trying to create a funky little kick-ass Aus-Mex joint so the cool cats in Lismore had a home to collectively hang out at night (that wasn’t the back ally near the dumpster). If they can keep that consistency and vibe going this is going to be a Lismore night time destination for many years to come.

Go there. Just make sure you book because this is the only place in town that’s full every night. Oh, and they make their own tortillas every single day.

*Disclaimer. No bastard paid me for this cracking review.

136 Keen St, Lismore. Open Tuesday to Saturday from 5:30pm. 02 6621 3111.

You’re welcome.