If it’s not blindingly obvious from that heading, I have not been to Mexico and am not really on speaking terms with Español either. However, I know the difference between the food being plated up in casas around Mexico City, and the food more likely to be served at a ‘Mexican’ joint in Australia, Tex-Mex.
Portions of the menu here – the chimichangas, the corn chips and the fries-in-the-burritos, put Chicago Bonita squarely in the latter territory. The question is, who cares?
This tiny place – not much bigger than a genuine taco-stand – with its Day of the Dead, meets Sailor Jerry decor, the friendly service, the homemade chilli sauces (ask for all 3) and the $8 margaritas, should give you more than enough reason to pause the food purism for just long enough to bag a table.
Which can be no mean feat; even midweek the place is usually rammed. Try a late lunch instead and soak up the sun, and you’ll have far more room to in which to swing (and enjoy) a Corona or 3.
More: www.chicabonita.com.au; Visit: 9/9 The Corso, Manly (enter via Whistler St); Call: 0450 612 896; Open: lunch & dinner Tuesday – Sunday, closed Monday; Wallet: Dishes $6 – $13, $8 margaritas and Coronas.