You're standing on Colmore Row and your nose is telling you there's something exotic a' cookin' across the 'pigeon park' park square, on Temple Row. Roasted meats is it? Chilli and cheese? You can't help but follow your nose and wonder what's on the other side.
This little spot in town used to be dominated by a sausage stand. It had been there for 27 years. A bit tired, a bit worn it, but everyone knew it as the spot for the sausage stand. Well slap bang and whollop, not anymore. Two months ago Habaneros Mexican Street Food Van landed, and gave this little spot a much-needed shake. Gone is the dreary sausage stand, and in its place is the freshly painted bright box that screams new and exciting.
It smells pretty good too - they serve healthy, fresh, and fast Mexican food, as a tribute to their travels. Owners Karl and Ben are Brummie lads, but they know what they're doing.
When I went, Karl was serving a guy who was quite relaxed about his beef burrito, and when he asked which sauce the customer would like to top his rice, beans, beef, slaw and salsa burrito, the customer responded with; 'whatever', at which point Karl explained that the lime mayonnaise and BBQ beef sauces would make a nice marriage.
They serve wraps, burritos, tacos, and drinks. But don't pass them off as another hot food stand that doles out mediocre meals. The Habanero shack was born out of a love for 'proper' Mexican food, served easily (hand-held), and with fresh, healthy ingredients. And God knows Birmingham is seriously lacking in places in the city centre that serve fresh and healthy food.
At £4.50 per bite it's a decent way to lunch if you're in town. It beats spending ten or twenty quid in a restaurant, especially when you're on the move. Karl and Ben quite literally stuff the wraps and tacos with meat, rice, cheese, salsa, and sauce - it's a meal in itself. Just be careful with your bites, you wouldn't want to lose any of the precious filling that you've just paid for.
Get there before 3pm to try their chicken wrap because it's one of their best-sellers. The beef burrito is yummy too, and they usually have the vegetarian option available when the meat has ran out. They're on the road at the weekend, but If you're hankering for a little Mexican flavour mid-week, Habaneros it is.