El Camion

“The more you travel, the more you realize how little you’ve seen”

-Anonymous

I learned from a young age that travel opens the mind, heart and soul to new experiences. For this reason, travel has always been a passion of mine. As I mentioned in my last post about travel, I haven’t had much opportunity to pursue this passion, so I made sure that every last second of my most recent 10 day stint in England counted.

Aside from the motley crew of people you can meet while journeying through a different continent, my favourite things to discover are, in no particular order: new drink, new food and new tunes. I remember as an 18 year old exploring Europe for the first time ever, alone, I met an extremely well traveled fellow who had a 16G device set aside for all of the music he had gained and shared over his many years of travelling. Those moments where you taste something unforgettable, share a bottle of something pretty and peculiar or turn your ear toward an unfamiliar sound are some of the illuminating and awe inspiring moments of travel. And so, without further ado, an experience that is tailored for a blog where each of the contributors have a particular affinity for tequila…. a tequila bar in Soho London,  with some seriously electric soul.

EL CAMION

If you urbanspoon this baby, you will more than likely be directed to reviews of a cheap and cheerful Mexican restaurant. And when you walk in to El Camion, that’s exactly what you’ll find.

Unless you take a sharp right and wander downstairs. . .

So how did we come upon a seemingly underground tequila bar? We were grabbing a late night bite and struck up conversation with our waitress who appeared to have a handle on the local nightlife. She told us to head up to Brewer Street in Soho, to El Camion.

“It’s usually members only, but because it’s a Tuesday, you may have some luck.”

Off we went, a couple of hopeful tourists, to find a tall, dark and intimidating bouncer at the door of a completely empty Mexican restaurant. After a few minutes of surprisingly friendly banter, the bouncer said we seemed alright and let us into the restaurant. He quickly tuned in to our disorientation and guided us to the staircase, chuckling at our North American expense. We came to a set of closed doors that were bursting with energy, music and  leading us to some seriously good tequila inside. With a collection of over 300 bottles of Mexico’s finest  and most exclusive tequilas, we truly hit the jackpot and managed to steer clear of the tired path of tourists.

The menu boasted a rainbow of cocktails that all sounded delicious and tempted us once or twice, but sticking to their shtick we opted for more than our fair share of tequila.

Adopting house policy (top left) of avoiding salt and lime with any tequila shot, we shot the cheap stuff and chased with a red “sangrita”: a concoction of red wine, tomato juice and hot sauce. From brandy snifters, we sipped the “Pechuga” known for the chicken breast suspended inside the still in a basket of fruit during the third distillation (bottom left).

Perfectly in my element, I had one of those aforementioned moments where I couldn’t help but turn my ear toward the electric soul sound of Milez Benjamin twisting around the dj’s deck.  That, paired with some ominous art and a few more slams of 100% agave made for a traveler’s night to remember in the grungy, funky basement somewhere in the middle of London.

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