AT TABLE ! Unique in the Gard, El Mariachi transports you to Mexico

The El Mariachi bar (Photo Anthony Maurin).

Every Friday in the summer, at 11:30 a.m., Objectif Gard invites you to discover or rediscover the best restaurants in the department where the bill does not exceed 15 euros for a full meal, including a smile. This week, we are not taking you to Mexico but close to the arenas of Nîmes at El Mariachi.

From the entrance, the decor is set by a large mural fresco by Pyrate (Photo Anthony Maurin).

We are here in the only real Mexican restaurant in the city of Antonin! It is moreover more a taqueria than a pure and hard restaurant. Located between the arenas and the town hall, the restaurant is run by Mathieu, who is used to business with South American atmospheres because he is the one who set up the Latin barrio rue Saint-Antoine in Nîmes.

The terrace with great precision, the boss has just taken off his mask because the ladies couldn’t hear him… He put it back on immediately. At the Mariachi, we don’t joke about hygiene and sanitary constraints (Photo Anthony Maurin).

His new offer (the restaurant opened in 2020) stays on the theme and takes you to Mexico on catchy tunes and delicate dishes cooked by Karellen, his Mexican girlfriend. Duo of shock for single meal. Mathieu’s son, Milan, is in apprenticeship in the service after a great experience at the Petit Bec. A family matter.

The shrimp cocktail (Photo Anthony Maurin).

As soon as you enter, the decor sets the stage for the experience to come. A Mariachi painted by Pyrate, a multiplied Frida Kahlo, a portrait of the last romantic bullfighter El Pana, masks of lucha libre, sombreros, boxing gloves, traditional music, skulls… The small vaulted room and the terrace which is not very big either will force you to be a bit strict when it comes to booking if you want to try real Mexican food. Quite honestly, it is well worth the detour!

A burrito (Photo Anthony Maurin).

Home made

The tortillas and chips are made with 100% corn flour. Soon, but more or less already, Karellen will be making blue corn flour tortillas – “she tastes more like corn“according to her -, and red corn. Forget the Tacos as you know them, finish it guacamole dull or the burritos Americanized! A rarity that should be underlined because it is really what helps to make the difference. The kitchen is very fresh, a happiness in summer which will be just as much in winter!

Preparing blue corn tortillas (Photo Anthony Maurin).

At the Mariachi, the Tacos are necessarily traditional (even if two of them are aimed at a European clientele, the Tinga’s Tacos and pollo tacos). For dishes, tequilas or beers we do in the typical. Nothing is overplayed, everything is under control. You will also discover many other dishes for which Mathieu will give you explanations and guide you with the smile and cheeky character that characterizes him.

The tortillas being cooked (Photo Anthony Maurin).

A cuisine for gourmands, gourmets but which also appeals to children. You will never eat with forks… With your fingers it’s so much better! For 13 euros, the lunch menu guacamolito, pollo quesadillas and drink is offered to you. For two euros more, it’s a Tacos mix, ice cream gunslinger and the choice between a beer and a glass of wine that will make you take off. Come on, we take the menu at 13 euros with guacamole, carnitas and ice cream.

The menu will soon be changed (Photo Anthony Maurin).

Let’s sit down…

Arrive on the table before the rest, the sauces. One homemade, based on green or red tomato, another a little stronger, the valentinaand one last for the brave, El Yucateco. the guacamole house and chips tortillas that go with it are a delight made in Karellen. A difficult treat to eat slowly and which puts in the mouth for the future.

Guacamole (Photo Anthony Maurin).

Ah… more! The carnita tacos. It’s pork but in three pieces. Walnuts or pig cheeks, ribs and shoulder… All this marinated in spices, orange, seared then reserved before being cooked for four hours in an aromatic broth with onions, garlic, cumin and laurel. the meat shreds on its own and onion, cilantro and a quarter of a lime will go with any tacos you eat.

Margaritas (Photo Anthony Maurin).

For the tacos al pastor, it is Karellen who determines the pancake she wants to put as a receptacle for good food. Corn blue, yellow or red, accept the sentence, it’s for your good! In any case, you will eat pork marinated for 12 hours in a sweet pepper paste (achiote or roucou for the Franchouillards) with citrus fruits and spices. The meat is seared with onions and delicately placed on four beautiful patties that you can drizzle with a homemade sauce.

The sauces, the one on the left is “homemade” (Photo Anthony Maurin).

A feast

The problem is that it’s so good that we quickly get caught up in the game of saucer with the little piece of tortilla that remains between our fingers. Too bad, we even go there with our fingers when there is no more corn and no one is watching us! Other choices on the menu, the cocktail Camarones (shrimp cocktail), quesadillasthem enchiladasthem jalapenos fresh, the burritos

Preparing the tacos (Photo Anthony Maurin).

the guacamole is excellent and it’s very rare to find a real one!“, launches a Héraultaise, Mexican by birth, who is eating at the table next door. “The carnitas also, I naturally often eat Mexican throughout the south of France and I say that El Mariachi is in my top three from Marseille to Montpellier ” she continues. We nod with our mouths still full and our lips dripping. In the kitchen as in the dining room, it’s reassuring to see and hear the Hispanic accents responding to each other.

Future tacos al pastor (Photo Anthony Maurin).

Four Mexican beers are currently listed at Mariachi. tecate, El Indio, Corona and Bohemia. For the story, El Indio, is made not far from where Karellen’s parents live in central Mexico. But once the health barriers are lifted for good, there will be more of them. Still on the drink side, try the adventure margaritas… plain, with mango, with hibiscus. The winning trio is bewitching, you won’t be disappointed and the salt that surrounds the edge of the glass will awaken your taste buds. the Mojito shouldn’t be bad either!


Now comes an offer you can’t refuse… A gourmet tequila. Along with ice cream The gunslinger Coconut lands a tequila shot at XO Patrón coffee. Other possibilities, lime ice cream and a tequila Rested from Jose Cuervo, or a watermelon ice cream and a tequila from Jose Cuervo in traditional.

A mix? (Photo Anthony Maurin).

In the end and for an unbeatable price / quality ratio when you know the work it takes to get there, we can say loud and clear that any choice will be delicious, with a well-balanced subtlety, with a marked taste. and a well-honed know-how.

Cooking blue corn tortillas (Photo Anthony Maurin).

Once the health crisis is over, parties latina and concerts will be organized at the Mariachi. Ditto for the Terre d’agave evenings, to discover the new tequilas and new tacos. Sunday evenings will be football-belote-tacos evenings.

El Mariachi on social networks. 14 rue des Suppliers, 30,000 Nîmes. To book, call 06 23 84 64 08. Closed Saturday lunchtime, Sunday and Monday. Reservation strongly recommended as there are approximately 18 places inside and nearly 30 on the terrace. For the feria, the service should be non-stop from 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Please note, no bank card.

Coconut ice cream and tequila coffee (Photo Anthony Maurin).

(Photo Anthony Maurin).

Anthony Maurin

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