Where: 22 Constance St Fortitude Valley 4006
Opening Hours: Wed - Thurs 4pm - late, Fri - Sat noon - 3am, Sun noon - late
Phone: 07 3252 8491
Don't trust anyone who doesn’t like Mexican food. This is a good motto to live by, because with fresh, vibrant flavours and a general sense of fun and good times, what's not to love about Mexican? Brisbane has embraced the Mexican wave in the last few years and burrito joints are popping up on every corner. Taking the craze to the next level is Chilliwow, a Mexican-themed bar and eatery in Fortitude Valley.
Located in the space that used to house Barsoma, Chilliwow is a burst of colour and sound. The interior hasn't changed much structurally since Barsoma was around, but the new colour scheme — a shockingly bright palette of reds, oranges, browns and blues — renders it almost unrecognisable.
Head up the steps to the bar and you'll be faced with that eternally difficult question: Margarita or sangria? You can't really go wrong with either option, so let your personal preference guide you (although it has to be said that the pineapple and rosemary Margarita will win over even the staunchest of tequila haters — and all for $16). Both red and white sangria concoctions are available ($8 each or $40 for a jug). A range of Mexican beers and wines is also on offer.
When it comes to food, cheap and cheerful must have been the brief. The menu includes tacos (pork, beef, chicken, fish or vegetable), chilli dogs and shaker fries, and everything is $5. It's worth noting that the dishes are snack size, so make sure you order a few if you're peckish. The tacos are flavoursome and fresh, while the chilli dogs are a bit heavier and decadent, and both are the perfect accompaniment for a chilled Mexican beer. At times the food could be hotter, but hopefully this is a teething problem that will be ironed out in time.
If you're after a night full of festive cheer and Mexican flavour, then Chilliwow is the destination for you. There are also several spaces available for private functions and parties.
By Meegan Waugh
Pineapple + Rosemary Margarita
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