The Shadows’ twangy 1960 hit Apache is on the stereo, a ram skull is pinned to the wall and framed photography depicts vintage motorbikes, sombrero-clad horsemen, dusty frontier towns, lonesome motels and clusters of cacti.
Bar Texaco sure knows how to ease you into the Tex-Mex headspace. The bar is the work of chef Kevin Dick (ex-Three One Two and Cutler & Co) and his partner Sheree Dylan, who’s responsible for much of the decoration.
Being a bar, there are easy-drinking tap beers and tinnies available, plus a good selection of natural-ish wines. But the venue’s ample collection of tequila, mezcal and bourbon is the thing to explore as you plough through Texan-style brisket with a simple salt and pepper crust; pork belly that’s soft and melt-y rather than brittle and crunchy; smoked half chicken; jalapeño kransky; and typical sides such as coleslaw and mac’n’cheese.
The Mex flavours are on display in four tacos on house-made corn tortillas: carne asada (beef), al pastor (pork and pineapple), sweet potato and Baja fish with chipotle mayo. There are also burgers and veg-heavy sides. Except for the burger buns and mac’n’ cheese, everything is gluten-free.
Seating is a mix of deep booths and large tables, and there’s a small courtyard out back if you want to eat alongside Betty, the venue’s Lang 84-inch Deluxe smoker imported from Georgia.