Club Mexicana x Beer52

Bringing innovation and Mexican pizazz to the Capital's vegan scene, Club Mexicana is bursting with flavour and great ideas

Club Mexicana has been blazing a trail across London for several years now, earning a reputation not only as one of the capital’s best street food vendors, but also as one of its hottest vegan pioneers. It was born in East London, out of founder Meriel Armitage’s deep admiration of the diverse food scene across the Atlantic in cities including LA, New York and San Francisco. From humble origins, Club Mexicana was quickly adopted by the London foodie community, leading to projects with the likes of chef Adam Rawson for a seven-course tasting menu pop-up, and a collaboration with Five Points Brewery. It now trades at Dinerama in Shoreditch, as well as its permanent home at Hackney's Spread Eagle pub, founded by Meriel alongside publican Luke McLoughlin and landlady Sherri-Lee Estabrook.

At the heart of Club Mexicana’s appeal is its hugely innovative approach to vegan recipe creation; particularly for a national cuisine we would usually associate with meat-centric dishes, it is impressive that even the most devout carnivore would be left salivating at this menu and leave fulfilled.

Highlights include – where one might usually find pulled pork – jackfruit carnitas: jackfruit is roasted, shredded and seasoned with garlic and spices for a juicy and flavoursome taco filling, with a surprisingly meat-like texture. Or how about some “tofish”: a breadcrumbed pseudo-cod fish finger, complete with a thin layer of Japanese seaweed to give the impression of skin?

Having a more permanent home at the Spread Eagle has allowed Meriel to organise more collaborations with other London chefs and producers over the summer, including Beer52.

Meriel says: ‘We’ve made so many great industry friends since we began trading, so it’s a real treat to invite some of them into the kitchen with us. And what better way to celebrate than with tacos galore - a Mexican staple that can be re-interpreted so many different ways.”

The beer

“Club Mexicana’s food has such a distinctive character that we wanted to produce a beer that was similarly bold, fresh and punchy. This New England-style pale ale is big on rich tropical fruit notes, accentuated by a soft rounded body and rich mouthfeel. It’s still light enough to play well with food though, and the alcohol content is well balanced.” – Chris J.J Heaney.

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