So, on Saturday night we (Al and I) met up with our friends Nick and Petra at a new place in Bristol, on the site of the old Colston Street fancy dress shop. Downtown Taqueria was the perfect answer to the slightly winsome plea I’d put out that ‘there must be more than just Oahaca doing decent tacos in Bristol - I have to have tacos!!’ Just 3 days beforehand. I’m a sucker for GOOD Mexican food (and a fusspot too, I will admit) so the stakes were high, so to speak. Of course Mezcal was on the menu too, because it frankly would be fucking rude not to.
Being that I was with Al we were of course the standard half hour late and our friends were waiting patiently surrounded by empty glasses. Petra is actually the person who introduced me to the joys of good quality Mezcal back in may this year, when I popped over to Ibiza for the season’s Soundgarden opening party at KM5 and she was as usual being hostess with the mostest and had ordered several bottles of Amores on Nick’s rider, and was busy handing out shots behind the decks. I had an overdose of white tequila aged 18 and have only been able to drink reposado styles since so I had a little trepidation but discovered that actually it’s miles apart from the cheap Cuervo shit that you get everywhere. Mezcal is actually made with Agave cactus and does all sorts of cool stuff according to research into its benefits- like reducing inflammation in the body, and other stuff I can’t remember right now. Anyhow, we ordered Mezcal margueritas and a whole load of tacos and got stuck in really quickly.
The food was delicious (and these were the most stuffed tacos I’ve ever had, I actually had to use cutlery to eat a couple of them because the filling was spilling out everywhere), as were the drinks. The service was friendly but definitely a bit all over the place, which is pretty common in newly opened places. I reckon they’ll smooth out the kinks as they go. What is clear is that the food is made with love and passion, which is the main thing. You can always taste it. And of course the company was divine. I always love seeing Petra and Nick as it doesn’t happen too often, due to the fact that they are often in other countries for work.
If you go to Downtown Taqueria and spend over £100 on your bill they offer a free T-Shirt. Al is a bit of a skull enthusiast so he was keen on the idea till we were informed that they only had extra large sized left and seeing as he isn’t exactly built like a ten ton truck and it would have looked like a night shirt on him he passed. It’s a quirky idea, especially for an indie restaurant. The main event though is most definitely the Tacos and the Mezcal, although be warned if you get stuck into the Mezcal you will prob tend up spending far more on your drinks than your food...
The night didn’t end there for Al and I as we had arranged to meet my dear old friend Paul down at Basement 45, which was very convenient as it is just down the road from the Taqueria on Frogmore Street. When Al suggested to Nick he might want to come with us he laughed. Being a DJ means that nights out when you’re not working can be a bit of a bus mans holiday and he was more keen on the idea of waking up without a hangover the next day and actually enjoying a Sunday morning with a clear head. I have to say that’s usually my style, or certainly has been over the past few years but the ideas I have coming in for what I want to create next mean that there’s a strong possibility that late nights are going to be a lot more frequent, whether they result in a hangover or not.
So we bounced down to Basement 45, just the right amount of full of tacos (yep, there is definitely a right amount!!), to join the drag queens and party people for House of Disco. Jon Pleased Wimmin was the headliner, and it was a blast from the past for me as I literally hadn’t been to one of their nights in what must be close to 20 years. Paul has a t-shirt stand inside for his new business www.houseoflegendarychildren.com (he sells queer pop culture t’s he has designed himself, which I have to say I LOVE, the designs are witty AF and totally fit my humour), so I got myself a rum and coke and went to keep him company. He had various of the queens dressing up on his t-shirts and standing on a bench for photos, vogueing and looking fabulous darling, including Jon, and Lucy Forfunn, Bristol’s only hetero drag queen (resplendent in sequins, unicorn horn and pink glittery beard, accompanied by her wife who was matchy matchy other than the beard factor).
This is where the evening took a turn for the surreal...as I was pounced on by a welsh guy who told me he was a fascist who supports LGBTQ rights, wearing tweed, and aiming to shock me (whilst failing miserably hahaha). After a fairly heated conversation involving the subjects of social conditioning, drag, Mussolini (never thought I’d be talking about this at a club!!), the right of all people to be free and express their opinions although not to force others to live by them, and a whole bunch more stuff, he ended up buying me a drink, after having accused me momentarily of being bourgeois and being born with a silver spoon in my mouth (I set him straight as I was brought up by a mum on income support and dressed in hand me down clothes in a house with no central heating up till the age of 17 when I left home). As they say ‘never assume, it makes an ass of u and me...’ .
The dance floor was a welcome diversion after all that conversational intensity, and I hit it just as Jon started her set. What followed was 2 hours of pure awesome with me losing myself in the music and dancing like no one was watching. I always say that if the music’s good that’s all you need, and the sheer exhilaration of it gets you high. And that was most definitely the case. I made new friends via the medium of dance (lol) and when we stumbled out at 3am to get an Uber home I felt like I had done the night, and myself, full justice. We won’t talk about the extra 2 hours of rum once we got home as Paul and I were busy gabbing and catching up after an 11 or so year gap in communication. Anyhow, if you’re in Bristol and House of Disco is on, get your arse down there for what I can only describe as the best fun I’ve had since Ibiza this year.