Heading down the stairs into the dimly lit basement of El Patron, colourful carnival bunting, a pair of bongos on a stage and a mustachioed barman hinted at the promise of our Saturday brunch turning into a Mexican fiesta. As the tables filled and the live music – a man playing the aforementioned bongos and a lady singer and pro-wriggler – began, the Mexican vibe certainly began to take shape, although the fiesta was more of a siesta on our visit. It was a lovely relaxed brunch, but it didn’t have the promised party atmosphere. It was the first ever one, and so likely has teething problems that should soon be ironed out. For example the promise of supplied stick-on moustaches, ponchos and sombreros had yet to be organised – although the super friendly barman found me some on request. The fact I was the only one in the place wearing them mattered little to me thanks to the three-hours of free-flow frozen margaritas.
Your appetite is kicked off with a plate of nachos with green and red salsa dips – pretty basic but decent enough. Then you get to tuck into your breakfast burrito. Each one comes stuffed with fluffy scrambled egg, pinto beans and salsa, and then you choose three extra fillings from guacamole, chorizo, salsa verde, more pinto beans and gooey cheese. It’s tasty and surprisingly filling -but not quite filling enough to stop you from over-indulging in the dessert of traditional sugary deep-fried churros (like straight doughnuts). Washed down with free-flow frozen margaritas in fruity flavours topped up as soon as you’d drunk the last drop, the mix was tangy and refreshing, if a little sharp. Opt for the strawberry.
Once the teething problems are sorted this pleasant brunch should become a party stop in no time, and for a good-value £25.
141 UPPER RICHMOND ROAD • PUTNEY • SW15 2TX