It has the outward appearance of a specialty coffee shop, but there’s more going on at Frank and Blanco. It’s also a Mexican restaurant and tequila bar. A shiny La Marzocco espresso machine commands the front window beside a grinder full of White Horse coffee beans (White Horse’s roastery is 100 metres down the road).
A long bar out front connects to a spacious kitchen and tasteful brick-and-stucco walls are adorned with eye-catching floor-to-ceiling murals by local artist Lucas Eggleston. Behind the bar are selected varieties of tequila, which are central to the drinks menu.
Brendon Hill and Shahir Galal are behind Frank and Blanco. Their dream of opening their first establishment began several years ago. Both high-achieving bartenders, they've been embraced by the Sutherland community and thanks to a successful Kickstarter campaign, the duo is ready to serve the locals.
Hill and Galal have many years of experience between them, with international awards as proof. Head chef Thomas Stott has trained under acclaimed chef Peter Doyle while working at awarded restaurant est. in Sydney’s CBD.
The duo has taken an extra step with its house tequila. A partnership with Mexican producers Tequila Arette, which is currently the only distillery to make tequila from its own agave and are able to have it imported thanks to a partnership with Mextrade. They plan to visit the distillery to strengthen relations, raise awareness for sustainable agave production and instil a better understanding and appreciation of tequila in Australia.
The menu is a refreshing twist on Mexican cuisine. Stand-out dishes include the tequila and lime trout with charred-corn salsa, micro parsley and olive oil; the El Diablo prawns with harissa, lime and coriander soy; and spiced, pulled-pork tacos with tomato salsa.