Call me simple, call me alcoholic, but when I walked past the Flying Fajita Sistas, a Mexican restaurant in Glebe, the other week and saw over 25 tequilas and 17 Mexican-inspired cocktails on the menu I knew I had to go there. The fact they serve food, I reasoned, could only be a bonus.
I turn up the following Thursday evening with the Amazonian Croatian at 6.30pm (she likes to have her margaritas immediately after work) and I order The Sistas, which is really just a standard margarita made with XXX tequila, triple sec and lime juice, while the Croatian goes for the El Diablorita margarita (XXX tequila, Cassis and lime juice).
XXX isn’t exactly a top-shelf tequila but it works well in margaritas as The Sistas proves (incidentally, a bartender I know has a theory that standard tequilas work well in margaritas because of their robust flavour, whereas top shelf tequilas are meant for sipping straight).
The El Diablorita isn’t as good as The Sistas – it’s not bad, but I just don’t think cassis mixes as well with tequila as triple sec or Cointreau does.
For the sake of responsibility the Croatian and I also order some food. I try the chicken fajitas, which are great: smoky, charred and almost perfect and the Croatian gets the tamales. This is a traditional South American meal made from masa (a corn-based dough) that’s cooked within a leaf wrapper and with an extra filling of chicken with mole rojo (a spicy sauce with chilli and a touch of chocolate). The tamales are good for what they are but I keep catching the Croatian eyeing off my fajitas with envy.
I try to appease her by ordering her The Classic, which is what the Flying Fajita Sistas call their top-shelf margarita made with 1800 blanco tequila. At $16.50 it’s four dollars more than The Sistas and, while it’s nice, neither of us can really say it’s better than the cheaper cocktail.
What I do like about the Flying Fajita Sistas is that they serve sangrita with their top-shelf tequilas. Sangrita (not to be confused with sangria) is a traditional Mexican chaser that’s meant to be drunk with tequila. There is no definitive sangrita recipe, at least as far as I can tell, but it’s usually made from orange juice and chilli with maybe some lime juice and some pomegranate-based grenadine (and not the cordial you buy from your local liquor store) – although some also add tomato to the mix. The sangrita at Flying Fajita Sistas seems to have a lot of tomato in it, perhaps too much – but I’m still impressed they have sangrita at all.
We order two tequila shots: the Trago Reposado and the Silver Patron, and I find myself preferring the Trago whereas the Croatian swears by the Patron (incidentally, “reposado” means that a tequila has been aged in oak barrels for a minimum of two months, usually more). Each of our tequilas have different flavours but both are a world away from the cheap tequila shots of my youth (or of last Friday) in terms of smoothness and quality.
The atmosphere in Flying Fajita Sistas matches the restaurant’s name in that it’s more fun than sophisticated. There are retro Mexican posters and drink trays on the walls, which are painted in pastel colours; quiet Mexican music plays in the background and there’s a tall hot sauce rack that’s called the Wall of Pain. Yet for all the kitsch, the food and tequila here are seriously worth checking out – even though I would like to see less tomato (and more chilli) in their sangrita.
Flying Fajita Sistas, 65 Glebe Point Rd, Glebe. Phone 9552 6522 or see the Flying Fajita Sistas website
Open 7 days 6pm until late.
Now it’s your turn – how do you rate Flying Fajita Sistas ?