The Last Rodeo


AS THE SUN sets, I’ll be perched on a magnificent cowhide (fake, hopefully) couch eating a Mars Bars Taquito (genuine apparently) while Garry there on a bar stool slowly teaspoons the ice cream of a very alcoholic afogatto towards his leathery ole coupon.

Ah-hoo, Werewolves of London is wailing on the sound system with Warren Zevon swearing blind he saw a hairy-handed Lon Cheney Jnr walking with the queen.

Around us, similarly perched, are couples heads-a-bobbing, more than a few of the deep south (side’s) urban cowboys drinking mid-week shots. All of this punctuated with lots of those little red plastic food baskets that signify we’re in taco country.

Any moment now you’ll see the waiter, all nice super-chilled types in here incidentally, steer his way toward us through the detritus of beer-battered fish tacos, tin-foiled chimichurri burritos, on past ugly little bowls of that sick-looking (literally) creamy cheese streetcorn thang that tastes better than it looks. Not exactly hard.

Warren’s still ah-hoooooing like a batshit crazy thang so you won’t hear our exact words. But you will see my reaction. I’ll look down and recoil like someone’s just fired a Derringer. Pop, ah-hoo, pop, ah-ooo. It’s the bill.

Fifty-five bangers, I’ll say to Garry in surprise, and I was expecting, say, £40. But hold hard. He did have a pint, £4.80, and I had a Jarrittos Mexican Cola, £3, and then there was that big, plump, soft 'n' floury Chimichurri Steak Burritto, stuffed with salsa, pickled red onions, tater tots and cheese.

It was one of those concoctions that, whilst chatting and chewing, was causing something in my empty head to knock very, very hard just to get some attention. And ask this: what the bloody hell are you eating? Ummm. Not rightly sure. Kinda pickled, cheesy, okay steaky, floury thing. Quite filling. And £13.

Now The Last Rodeo? What a name. Love it. Last week, or last month or last time I drove by certainly this had an equally crackers, for Glasgow anyway, name: The Luchador. A Mexican masks and tights inspired, joint.

Which Garry here, a local, on hearing the tragic news that it had curled its toes and joined that mariachi band in the sky expressed genuine disappointment. Surprising me.

Hence, anyway, our visit tonight to this culinary Boot Hill, to what I take to be the same people, different theme.

Inspired, according to something I ate on the internet anyway, by the owners’ visit to Texas. I’m assuming they didn’t actually leave the airport. Or that’s what I uncharitably think on scanning the menu and asking the waiter-dude if those tacos are cornflour – you’re nothing in Glasgow nowadays if your tacos are not made with hand-ground nixtamalised masa harina, preferably blue, white is just acceptable.

No, came the shocking answer. Almost immediately, the band stopped marching. Whilst I peered through the window to see if the chuck wagon that supplies this place had the name of a leading wholesale foodservice supplier painted on the side.

Actually, all I could see was Garry, who had moseyed up unfashionably late, now out on the range, okay Pollokshaws Road, yapping into his phone over some breaking newspaper issue. Sigh.

Those tacos then? They don’t look that impressive. Being pale, floppy, rather lightly filled and weighing it at £8 for two.

The beer battered unspecified-variety fish-of-the-day (really?) with chipotle cream, mango salsa and old bay spice are pretty tasty. Crisp, soft, sweet, earthy and are swiftly finished.

Those migas? Scrambled tofu, salsa roja and tortilla chips. Eaten without comment. Which I certainly consider to be a pass.

We pick off the last of the tater tots, those moreish yet inoffensive fried potato balls, and scarf the Mars Bar taquito. Think cinnamon sprinkled sticks with super sweet caramelly goo and chocolate inside, two scoops of vanilla alongside, at a very reasonable fiver. And weigh this place up.

Fake? Hell, yeah? Kitschy? Definitely. But pretty enjoyable too.


The Last Rodeo

721 Pollokshaws Road


0141 423 0847

Menu: Tacos, burritos, Mars Bar taquito, tater tots. Pretty run of the mill Tex-Mex stuff nowadays with a faint kitschy twist. 3/5

Service: They’ve nailed the neighbourhood diner and bar feel and the staff seemed relaxed, warm and actually enjoying their jobs. 5/5

Atmosphere: This year’s theme? Apart from that cowhide couch and the odd tune on the sound system it’s not over the top. 5/5

Price: I thought this was a lot for what we ate, but then I did order a £13 burrito and two desserts and two £8 tacos plus drinks. Okay overall. 3/5

Food: If you’re looking for authentic nixtamalised masa harina, or even what kind the alleged fish of the day is, you’re wasting your time. But wherever they get the stuff from, it tastes fine. 6/10