El Cartel – Best Mexican in Edinburgh?

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I can’t remember having done anything as a couple since New Year’s Eve, so it was about time Matthew and I did something together – without a super-energetic 2 year old who demands all our attention! To keep things simple we decided to just have lunch at El Cartel – a small Mexican place on Thistle Street many claim to be the best one in Edinburgh. The best one I’ve tried here at least!

We’ve tried going to El Cartel in the evening but it’s always packed with a long waiting list. They don’t do reservations so you just go there and they put you on the list and call you when there’s a table free.

This time our strategy was to go there for lunch just after they’ve opened at 12pm – and it worked. It wasn’t long though until the small restaurant was full. No margaritas for me, so I ordered a Mexican soda by Jarritos (£4!), which was nice.

There are only tacos and snacks on the menu, so it’s like a street food restaurant. Obviously had to try the guacamole, which came with plantains and was really nice. Couldn’t taste the coriander so even better!

I ordered butternut squash tacos with hazelnut & apricot mole, cheese and seeds and Matthew went for ox patty tacos with a salsa verde that he found really tasty. My tacos were also really nice and the sauce had a nice spiciness to it. (I asked them to not sprinkle any coriander on the food and was so happy when I didn’t taste that herb from hell at any point!)

We also shared battered cod tacos with chipotle sauce and pomegranate. Delicious as well!

There was a whole bunch of sauces to try and they were all spicy – I checked!

It was quite a messy affair!

The table next to us became empty for around a minute, so I snapped a photo quickly!

Matthew feeling “mätt och belåten” – full and satisfied! Oh and look; he even remembered to wear his ring! (I didn’t haha – we’re both so bad at wearing our damn rings…But hey, it doesn’t mean were any less married!)

Afterwards we popped into Kakao by K – a Scandi-inspired clothes and accessory shop on Thistle Street as well. There were some lovely things in there and even a sale on, but nothing this belly could’ve fit into so we left empty-handed.

Just a little further I discovered a lovely shop called Biscuit – not sure if it’s new or if I’ve just haven’t heard of it. There I found the loveliest cardigan – but it was so expensive that I’ll have to wait for their sale on June 23rd and keep my fingers crossed!

We then just wandered aimlessly and went into a few shops without buying anything. We did find a watch for Matthew’s birthday present, but will still have a look around before I buy it. It was just nice to be able to walk the streets without constantly having to be worried that Lana escapes or gets herself killed.

Later that day she disappeared in the supermarket and Matthew almost panicked – I’m used to it already…She just suddenly takes off and starts running (she’s so fast!), and when she disappears behind the shelves you can only guess in which direction she’s gone. I found her eating a bag of dried bananas wandering around in the fruit and veg department. The week before she took off and ran inside a Homebase and I eventually found her sitting on a pile of floorboards looking bored. She never starts crying or shows any sign of wanting to get back to us. Does anyone else’s kids do this??

x Nina x