EDIT: Tin Tan is permanently closed as of August 2016
Tin Tan is a Mexican Taqueria in Berlin that started out in 2014 as the casual sister restaurant of finer dining restaurant Papalotl, an establishment that closed down in September 2015. Tin Tan is now all there is left of this Mexican food empire and it’s a quite controversial Berlin restaurant – this place raises a lot of emotions. The public opinion about Tin Tan has always been very divided, people either hate it or love it, with a strong majority of the food scene residing in Camp Hate. After a lot of visits to Tin Tan and plenty of contemplating if it’s worth an article, I finally understand what this place is about and why you shouldn’t hate it.
We’re talking about fatty, pulled beef here that’s been slow braised to juicy perfection in all kinds of delicious spices.
But one step at a time. Tin Tan is named after a famous Mexican actor/singer/comedian and is located on Chausseestraße in North-Eastern Mitte. The lovely venue is painted in warm colours with huge paintings covering the walls with a counter and the kitchen overseeing the place from the back. Summer time you can slip past the counter and enjoy your meal on a couple of benches in the backyard.
Now to the food. The menu is structured around three main elements and that’s tacos, alambres and quesadillas. For the tacos you can choose between a wide range of meats which you then can assemble yourself in a tortilla with the served condiments. For the quesadillas you basically get the same meats baked between two tortillas with massive amounts of cheese and for the alambres you’ll get a mix of meats and vegetables in a hot pan. You will not find a single burrito on the Tin Tan menu, the popular dish that falls into to the modern tex mex food style is not authentic enough for the Tin Tan crew and has been banned of the menu.
You will not find a single burrito on the Tin Tan menu, the popular dish that falls into to the modern Tex Mex food style is not authentic enough for the Tin Tan crew
The reason Tin Tan deserves a mention on the blog is simple: 95% of the food at Tin Tan is very average but a couple dishes are truly great. I’ll make it easy on you and tell you exactly what to eat. The first thing you have to order at Tin Tan is the Guacamole, the bowl of the bright green avocado with the homemade, crispy nachos is so good that it can brighten up any day. It will also keep you entertained before the rest of the meal arrives, something that always scores high in my book. The second thing you have to order are the Frijoles, essentially a black bean stew served in a cup and really unlike any other bean dish served in Berlin as they are fucking fantastic.
If you then order the killer under-the-counter habanero hot sauce and layer your steaming hot taco with juicy beef, a squeeze of lime, onions, coriander and a fat spoon of hot sauce you are in for a win my friend.
Now you’re ready for your main course order. From all the meats at Tin Tan only one qualifies as great and that’s the Suadero beef. We’re talking about fatty, pulled beef here that’s been slow braised to juicy perfection in all kinds of delicious spices. If you order the Suadero tacos, you’ll get a full pan of this smashingly tasty meat that you then can use to fill the home made tortillas that come in the cutest little pouch to keep them warm. If you then order the killer under-the-counter habanero hot sauce and layer your steaming hot taco with juicy beef, a squeeze of lime, onions, coriander and a fat spoon of hot sauce you are in for a win my friend.
That’s it, this combination of dishes in enough to make Tin Tan interesting for me. The rest is quite boring, except for maybe the Cochinita pork. I’ve been very disappointed though by the other meats and also by the alambre and quesadilla dishes that often struck me as fatty and sloppy. The Suadero taco on the other hand belongs to the finest examples of its kind in Berlin and I also think the tortillas are damn good and probably the best you can get in Berlin. You really need more reasons to love a place?