Going Loco For Los Locos
Foodies are going loco for Los Locos, a brand new restaurant bringing the great tastes of Mexico back to Carlisle.
Carlisle’s foodie offering has been lacking somewhat in Mexican cuisine since Panchos closed down in 2016, but the latest eatery to open in the city, Los Locos, is starting to spice things up again.
Opening its doors on Botchergate at the end of July, Los Locos offers a wide variety of traditional Mexican dishes along with some North American favourites. All home-cooked from locally sourced ingredients, diners can choose from a menu packed with authentic dishes. From Nachos and taco bowls, to burritos and fajitas, as well as weekly specials such as the all-day breakfast bowl; a crunchy tortilla bowl filled with rice, spicy beans, chorizo and bacon, topped off with a poached egg.
Meanwhile, “over the wall” (see what they did there?) there are all-American classics such as steak and chips, beef burger and fried chicken. To top it off there’s a selection of desserts that are worth leaving room for, from the Mars Bar chimichanga and churros coated in cinnamon sugar to the chocolate and Patron Tequila brownie. Tempted yet?
Despite not being open for long, Los Locos has made a lasting impression, with diners flocking through the doors in the first few weeks and many taking to Facebook to leave glowing reviews. “We’re looking for more stCarlisle’s foodie offering has been lacking somewhat in Mexican cuisine since Panchos closed down in 2016, but the latest eatery to open in the city, Los Locos, is starting to spice things up again. aff because we didn’t realise it was going to be this popular,” said Head Chef, Dani Aitchison. “We’ve been so busy and have had excellent feedback. Everyone’s been really supportive, it’s lovely.”
It’s hardly surprising that the food is going down a treat, as Dani – formerly head chef at Carlisle’s gourmet burger restaurant, Belted – is no stranger to cooking up Mexican cuisine. Aged 19, Dani moved to Australia where she worked as a chef in a Mexican restaurant and following the closure of Belted last year opened her own Mexican take away, The Skullery, which was based in Bronx Sports Bar.
However, she almost gave up the cooking career altogether, she explained: “[At The Skullery] I was on my own so it was really stressful. It actually put me off cheffing and I started to look into other things I could do.”
She continued: “Then the guys who were opening Los Locos asked me to put a menu together for them; I started making the dishes and fell in love with cheffing again.”
Now Dani is thriving at Los Locos, where she describes the environment as “crazy and happy”, decorated with a distinctive Day of the Dead theme throughout.
While the atmosphere is upbeat and a little bonkers, the food is comforting, filling and full of flavour – not to mention excellent value for money. There’s something for every taste, with vegetarian and vegan dishes available and while the spices are plentiful to begin with, those who like it hotter have the option to add more.
“I’m definitely passionate about Mexican food and I’m a big fan of spices,” Dani said. “We’ve got all the traditional dishes on the menu and I’m now working on a tapas menu – even though it’s not mexican, people have been asking about it, so I’m just going to make it Mexican-themed.”
Along with tapas, the team are also planning to introduce a take away service and have put together a tempting Christmas menu for a flavourful take on festivities.
Los Locos looks set to become a firm favourite on Carlisle’s foodie scene, as Mexican fare makes a welcome return to the city.
Dani added: “Expect a happy atmosphere, filling comfort food and plenty of spice.”
Pass the tequila.
Los Locos is located at 68 Botchergate, CA1 1QS
Photography by Imagery by Kerry Clark