Best Mexican Restaurant in England 2022 – Amigos
The owner of Amigos in Bury St Edmunds says he is absolutely delighted that the restaurant won the award for best Mexican establishment at the recent Food Awards England ceremony in Manchester.
What makes the accolade even more special, he adds, is the fact that it was voted for by customers.
“It was crazy [to win]says Karl Hollingsworth, still in disbelief. “To be honest, we couldn’t believe we made the shortlist. We rented a party bus and decided to go there, just to enjoy the event. We became regional winners for the East, then general winners for the whole. We were all in shock. We were quite happy to be on the shortlist!
From freshly fried chicharrones (puffy homemade pork scratchings) to soft tacos, burritos, chimichangas and churros…the Amigos team have created a menu familiar to British diners, while being as true to Mexican cuisine as possible. . . Everything is homemade, including the sauces, while the meat comes from St Edmunds Butchers and other produce twice a week from the city’s brilliant grocer, Faraway Foods.
Karl opened Amigos in 2016, occupying the first floor premises of a former cafe and devoting a lot of time and money to bringing color and soul to the space.
Mexican cuisine is something he became familiar with very early in his career. After hotel school, Karl worked at another Mexican restaurant in Bury St Edmunds from 2006, running the kitchen for the owner before it was sold.
“I just thought there was a market for it. I had all the recipes I needed, I had locked them away in my head. And 10 years later, I got into this with a business partner. We found the right premises, of the right size, and decided to launch. Fortunately, the bet paid off. »
Karl says Amigos has “the holiday vibe”.
“When you go up the stairs, we hear Latin music. It feels like getting away from it all, and that’s exactly what we wanted. Add to that our home cooking and great staff, and everything goes so well.
It reels off some of their most beloved dishes.
“I love our nachos. I think we have to start with those. We fry them here and make our own guacamole and salsa. It’s a very nice portion.
“My favorite main dish is Dinga Fajitas. There’s a story that goes with that. We had a regular customer who came here who sadly passed away. It was his favorite object, so we named it after him. It’s chicken and steak with onions and peppers, salsa, guacamole, sour cream, rice and beans.
There is a children’s menu which is “a little different from other places. We have a burger and chicken, but there are also fajitas, quesadillas and burritos – they are all very popular.
Desserts are kept simple. Churros…or the new fried ice cream.
As for drinks, Karl says there’s a great selection of Mexican beers, including a chilli beer made especially for the restaurant by one of the waiters. Also a hit with customers, Margarita with poured bottle of beer.
“We’re all about fun here. It’s really laid back. And there is a great atmosphere, especially if you arrive later in the evening when the music is a bit louder, people are singing and wearing their sombreros [these are on the tables to wear if you like, and you can buy them to take home for £5].
“People should come and try us because we are totally different from anywhere else here. We are not your average Mexican.
Amigos is located at 35-36 Brentgovel Street. It is open from 4:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Monday to Thursday and from noon to 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.
Mondays are two-for-one on margaritas, and Taco Tuesdays are two-for-one on tacos when you buy a drink. Enjoy two-for-one cocktails from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday.
What’s on the menu?
Guacamole: Slightly spiced mashed avocado with fresh citrus juice
pico de gallo: A raw salsa of tomato, onion, peppers, lime juice and coriander
Tacos : A fluffy corn flatbread filled with meat, fish or seasoned vegetables, with salad and sauces
Burritos: A filling of fish, meat, or vegetables, marinated or with sauce, wrapped in a soft tortilla with rice, beans, and cheese, topped with guacamole, sour cream, and pico de gallo
Chimichanga: Similar to a burrito…but fried
Quesadillas: A variety of toppings pressed into a large tortilla and toasted
Enchiladas: Corn tortillas stuffed with meat or marinated vegetables, baked and topped with cheese, pico de gallo and sour cream
Fajitas: Meat, fish or sizzling vegetables served with homemade salsa, sour cream, cheese, refried beans, rice and tortillas
Tacos : Toppings rolled up in a corn tortilla “cigar” and fried, served with salsa
Green sauce: A spicy tomatillo or green tomato salsa with onion, chilli, garlic and coriander
Mole Sauce: A thick, warming earthy sauce made with nuts, chilli, spices, and sometimes fruit and cocoa