I'm not going to lie, I can be a bit of a snob when it comes to choosing somewhere to eat.
If they don't have a slick Instagram feed I'm of the opinion that it's not that great. Maybe it's just because there's less photos of the food for me to obsess over until I try it myself, or maybe I'm just a cold hard, shiny carbon copy of every other millennial.
Either way, it's a rare occasion that somewhere really good slips under my radar.
Let me set the scene:
I was meeting my boyfriends best friend for the very first time and I wanted to make a good impression. He decided to take us to a little Mexican place that his Mexican friends had recommended. We walked down Merchants Arch and stopped at this tiny place that sold pasties on one side and to my surprise, a taqueria on the other.
I had walked past this place a million times without ever looking in, which is rare for me because I'm a nosey feck. There were no doors, enough chairs to count on one hand, no tables. My boyfriend's friend ordered as we found ourselves squished against a corner.
"I'm going to have to pretend I love this", I thought.
Out he came with two plates, about five tacos on each. There was nowhere to sit so we rested on a ledge at the side of the entrance.
I took a bite.
Juicy meat, flavoursome seasoning, the only coriander leaves I've ever properly enjoyed because of how fresh they were, soft, sumptuous tacos.
If you haven't guessed by now, I'm talking about El Grito.
There's no need for any of the bullshit here, no frills, just fresh and authentic Mexican street food.
As soon as I tucked into my first taco I realised none of that frilly crap really matters. The places I find myself going back to are the ones that deliver, that are reliable, well priced and have great food.
This is one of those.
It really is a true example of "don't judge a book by it's cover".
Burritos, tacos, tortas, quesadillas, gringa, nachos and volcan - some of the best you'll find in the city. You can add to them how you please, with all the toppings you could expect from a Mexican joint.
Everything priced around €7 too, which is key. It's near impossible to get a meal for under a tenner now. Dishes are priced by the meat you choose. There's a wide range from chilli to chicken, pork to barbacoa.
If you're roaming around town and in need of a quick bite, this spot is ideal. Because you order at the counter, service is super quick and they even have trays to-go.
So did I make a good impression on my boyfriend's friend?
Well, he made a good one on me. Someone who knows good food will always be a winner in my books. We bonded over our love for Mexican food, which is a great starting point.
This place really does have an authentic feel, it's different from the rest. You'll feel as though your down a bustling street in Mexico City, just swap that trad music coming frmo the Quays bar for a Mariachi band.
I'll deffo be calling in again!
El Grito has recently changed its location and is now based on Mountjoy Square.
Header image: @dublinflavourdoc @el_grito_mexican