There’s a grand total of 16 items on the menu at this Dalston branch of Del74, a grungy Mexican joint where the motto is ‘keep it simple, keep it real’.
On the Friday night I visited, both the vibes and the food were good. The guacamole was nicely tangy and came with a large serve of tortilla chips. The brisket tostadas may have been tricky to eat (their bases so crisp they threatened to collapse on first bite), but they were still spicy and delicious, packed with habanero salsa, sour cream and black beans. Those tostadas also had the crispiest, freshest iceberg lettuce I’ve eaten in a long time – it was weirdly textural and satisfying. Pork pibil tacos (slow-roasted with achiote spices) were a treat too, topped with bright purple pickled onions that offset the spicing of the meat. There’s plenty to like about Del74. The food is a little basic, sure, but it’s kind of wonderful in its simplicity.
It’s also veggie-friendly, with seven out of those 16 menu items being meat-free. The daily happy hour is a good deal (£2 tacos) and the staff were lovely and approachable. Oh, and this branch (there’s one more, in Clapton) is dog-friendly. Mario the greyhound sat with me the whole time I ate. If that isn’t enough of a reason for you to visit, then I really don’t know what is.