Sunderland match day food ups its game: Review of Mexico73 and Roker End Cafe
A visit to A Love Supreme has long been part of the matchday routine for many Sunderland supporters.
The building on the corner of the stadium is one of the most instantly recognisable landmarks, the old shop a treasure trove of merchandise and memorabilia.
A recent expansion has taken this famous fanzine’s offering to new heights, with the opening of the Roker End Cafe.
On matchday it is a bustling hive of activity but it is also open through the week and offers a classic menu, generous portions at good prices. Their breakfast options, whether it be a sandwich or a full English, are a treat and they also offer a raft of homemade sandwiches and cakes for a little later in the day.
The coffee is excellent but the real joy is the way the character of the old shop has been retained.
The walls are adorned with old fanzine covers and the merchandise means you can combine your stop with a satisfying trip down memory lane.
There can’t be anywhere better for a chat about all things Sunderland and football.
The expansion has also offered Mexico 73 the chance to offer high quality comfort food on matchdays from the same building.
It’s the latest arm of the hugely-popular Mexico 70 restaurant, which opened last year on High Street West in the city centre.
The 73 menu is an enjoyable and very reasonably priced twist on their classic menu.
Offering a taco of the day and a raft of loaded fries options; the twist on cheesy chips you never thought you needed.
The Thai Beef option is already infamous but for our pre-match meal we went for the Carnitas.
A generous offering of pork and guacamole, it’s the cheese sauce and chipotle mayo that gives it an edge.
Coming in at £4.50, it’s only slightly more expensive than your usual pre-match burger or pie but it’s more filling, fresher and tastier.
We were also surprised and impressed with the vegan offering. The jackfruit loaded fries have been put together with real thought, and though it’s an unusual taste and texture to get used to if you’ve not had it before, those familiar with it will be impressed.
The vegan cheese is a good accompaniment and the marinade stands up to its equivalent.
With Korean Pork also on offer, there’s plenty of variety.
The concept of cheap and cheerful Mexican food before the match might seem a little bold, but this clever menu gives you comfort of your normal fast food choice but with genuinely good flavours.
Crucially, you’ll be left with plenty of change for a pint when you get in the ground.
Improving the offering for supporters around the ground has been an open goal for a while now and this enjoyable blend of tradition and variety is an undoubted winner.