Frankie's Tortas and Tacos
Frankie’s Tortas and Tacos belts out simple Mexican fare for the lunchtime crowd from a former kebab stand in an empty Collingwood lot.
There are no walls per se, but tall wire fencing defines a rough dining area. There are brightly coloured plastic stools spilling onto the footpath, and a tiled bar with a few taller stools. The whole space is open to the elements, and it’s developed a patina old cars parked on the lot, the worn security fencing, and the chipped tiles on the bar.
There are just two options when it comes to what to order, and the name will give you a clue: tortas (a type of Mexican sandwich) or tacos. Nothing costs more than $15.
The tacos come in three varieties – al pastor (spiced pork cooked on a spit), asada (barbecued beef for a smoky, charred flavour), and mushroom. But if you’re coming to Frankie’s, get the torta.
These bread rolls come straight off the grill and use super-soft, pillowy bread with melted cheese, black beans, avocado, lettuce, coriander, an onion-y pickle, and your choice of protein – al pastor, beef milanesa (thin slices that are breaded, then fried), or mushroom. They come with more pickled vegetables on the side, and baskets of hot sauce float around the shop.
The drinks list is simple too, limited to imported soda in glass bottles, coffee (iced or filter), and house-made horchata (a milky drink made by steeping rice, nuts and spices in water) served in a cup with ice.