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Smoking Gringos Is Blacktown's New Taco Joint From an Ex-Momofuku Chef and Burger Head Founder

The west's new flavour-packed Mexican spot specialises in birria tacos — and it sold out in just a couple hours on its first Sunday.
By Ben Hansen
August 08, 2023
By Ben Hansen
August 08, 2023

It's been open less than a week and it's already racked up over 150,000 views on TikTok. Plus, it completely sold out within hours of opening on its first Sunday. Smoking Gringos is the new viral Mexican restaurant from an acclaimed Sydney hospo veteran that's just arrived on Muru Way in Blacktown.

The new Western Sydney Mexican restaurant is led by Richard Borg and Jade Jackson. Borg brings experience from a storied culinary career to his latest venture, having previously worked across Momofuku and Park Hyatt before opening Surry Hills' Master and Burger Head in Penrith with a group of mates. Over the last few years, he's been working under the Smoking Gringos name, serving up juicy barbecued meats — first in Kingswood and then out of the kitchen at Newtown pub Websters.

Now, Smoking Gringos has reemerged in Western Sydney bring its passion for perfectly tender meat to a new canvas: birria tacos. The idea to open a Mexican joint was first fostered after doing a birria special in Kingswood which Borg says customers "went ballistic" for.

"A lot of the birria we've had in Sydney kind of misses the mark," he told Concrete Playground. "We make all the meat before we finish it in the broth to give it a bit more body — a bit more flavour."

The specialty at Smoking Gringos is the quesa taco, a three-corn tortilla dipped in marinade and fried before being topped with three kinds of cheese, coriander, onion and your choice of beef or chicken. Each serve is paired with pickled onions, lime, consommé for dipping and a selection of salsas made fresh in-house every day — the habanero is the chef's favourite.

If you want to take things up a notch, opt for the mulitas, which Borg describes as a "quesa taco on steroids". A dish popular in Los Angeles, the mulitas closely resembles a quesadilla, piling toppings between two of the fried quesa tortillas.

Nachos and loaded fried round out the menu, with plans to introduce a burrito in the coming weeks. If things go to plan, Borg and Jackson say we may even see more Smoking Gringos stores or a roaming food truck pop up. Watch this space.

Smoking Gringos is located at 1 Muru Way, Blacktown. It's open 12–3pm and 5.30–9pm Thursday–Sunday.

Published on August 08, 2023 by Ben Hansen
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