Finding good mexican food in Berlin is near impossible. My husband and I were pleasantly surprised to find a decent mexican a few years ago that happened to be around the corner from the new apartment we had just moved into. They served black bean quesedillas, soft corn tacos filled with slow cooked juicy meat and delicious mains of grilled meats with spicy green or red rice. Although one of the main reasons we went there was for the margaritas! I find that a lot of the so-called cocktail bars fill the glasses with orange juice or lime cordial and cheap tequila. These margaritas were made with fresh limes and decent mezcal. Perfect to wash down those quesedillas and tacos! It was therefore a huge disappointment when this place closed down and we were once again left with disappointing mexican restaurants of baked enchiladas or burritos with bland fillings and smothered in sour cream and mozzarella.
This has since changed with the opening of Santa Cantina and we have become big fans! Santa Cantina is a Friday favourite of ours where we kick start the weekend with their well made margaritas! The food is fresh and delicious with the juicy beef tongue tacos and salmon tostados being my favourite. The meat is slow cooked and the food is made with plenty of fresh spices. It really does beat the cheesy baked burritos with watery minced meat fillings and lack of spice that we usually get here in Berlin.
The one dish we are always sure to order is a plate of totopos with dips and sides such as guacamole, salsa or a black bean sauce. It is the perfect side to snack on while sipping those margaritas. Totopos are baked or fried tortillas and really easy to make at home. I simply slice up some tortilla wraps and bake in a hot oven with a bit of sunflower oil and season with plenty of sea salt. During this time I make the guacamole that takes minutes to make.
These totopos with guacamole are the perfect weekend treat and beat any tortillas you can buy in a supermarket. And of course, they are best washed down with a margarita using good quality tequila and fresh limes!
- 6 soft corn tortillas
- Sunflower oil
- sea salt
- 2 avocados (halved, stone removed, flesh removed from the skin and skin discarded)
- Juice of 1 lime
- Olive oil
- 1 tomato (diced)
- Half a red onion (peeled and finely diced)
- 2 red chillies (finely sliced)
- 2 cloves garlic (peeled and crushed)
- Small bunch fresh coriander (finely chopped)
- Black pepper
- Heat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Brush both sides of each tortilla with sunflower oil and then cut into triangles. Arrange on a baking sheet and tray so that they are all spread out and bake in the oven for around 8 mins (turning them over halfway through). You will need to do these in two batches. Take out of the oven and place on some kitchen paper (although there shouldn't be much oil from baking), sprinkle with sea salt and set aside for at least 5 mins to cool down. Then plate up.
- In a morta and pestle or mixing bowl add the avocado, tomatoes, onions, garlic, chillies, pinch of salt and pepper, lime juice and 1 tbpsn of olive oil. Bash and mix the ingredients until puréed but still chunky. You can also just use a potato masher with a mixing bowl.
- Stir through the coriander and plate up in a serving bowl!