Devouring Vancouver – one taco at a time at the Taco Crawl
If you’ve ever heard the expression, “Party in your mouth”, well for me it’s a Mexican Fiesta when it comes to devouring tacos as the potpourri of spices, protein, vegetable accompaniments surrounded by a dollop of anything from salsa, hoisin or even curry, comes together in an explosion of flavours that makes my taste buds feel that all is well in the culinary world.
3353 Cambie Street, Vancouver
Pulled pork and Mexican zucchini
I call the tacos that Las Tortas makes “stack them high” tacos as you can add as many extras that you want from the taco station, from onions, salsa, jalapeno peppers to burn your tongue off Habanero sauce to enhance the flavour of our already tasty and tender pulled pork and Mexican zucchini taco which we received for our tasting plates. At this point of the Taco Crawl, I appreciated having a vegetarian taco to offset all the meaty ones I was woofing down. Tacos at Las Tortas are made of corn, which means you can bring your gluten-free foodies so that they can feast on tacos to their heart’s content. And for people looking for something heartier, Las Tortas gourmet sandwiches are delicious. Tacos are $5.75 and sandwiches $10.
Nopales with salsa and Cochita with achiote paste & red onion
Patron Tacos & Cantina
265 Robson Street, Vancouver
At all food events organized by Richard Wolak, be it Tasting Plates or his themed “crawls”, I always come equipped with Tupperware as there’s always too much food. Because it was game night at BC Place, it was tough to find a parking spot close to Patron Tacos so I literally ran in to order the tacos and took them to go in my Tupperware. I didn’t actually eat the tacos until the next day and they still tasted fresh and flavourful despite having to be heated up. I was surprised that I liked the Cocjota which was basically refried beans as most of the refried beans I’ve had in the past were usually bland, but Patron took the trouble to properly add spices to give it a great flavour. The Nopales (Opuntia cacti) had a hint of heat which gave it that extra punch without kicking your taste buds in the teeth. I also noticed that tacos from Mexican establishments serve double tacos so that your taco never becomes soggy or your filling falls out. One taco at Patron Tacos is only $4 and four at $13.50. But two was enough to make me feel full. I’ve been to some establishments where I was still hungry after four tacos. Besides tacos, Patron has seafood ceviche and desserts such as churros, flan or 3 milk cake. You can sign up to be a VIP member to enter contests, receive free tacos on your birthday and other promotions.
Papas Mexicanas – potatoes with cream, Res En Cascabel – beef in cascabel chili sauce
La Catrina Tacos
1187 Denman Street, Vancouver
On La Catrina Tacos’ website, you will see the slogan “Tacos to Die For”. Well, although they were delicious, but I’m not sure I’m quite willing to give my life up for a taco. But at $3 a taco (fish tacos are $4), it’s so affordable that it’ll be easy to try everything on the menu twice in a week. There’s also four vegetarian taco choices so that you don’t have to have such a meat-intensive experience. Our Res En Cascabel (beef) paired with the Papas Mexicanas was a perfect pairing of meat and potatoes and I loved that they didn’t drown the potatoes in cream which happened in Barcelona whenever I ordered Potatoes Bravas which is a similar dish.
South Indian Dosa Taco stuffed with creamy tomato flowered exotic – chicken
7233 Fraser Street, Vancouver
Cuisine: Southern Indian
I’ve heard of Asian tacos with steam white buns for shells but never had an Indian taco. Although technically a “dosa” is not a taco (as an Indian friend of mine pointed out), but a crepe made from rice batter and lentil (gluten-free) served with sambal and chutney, as far as I’m concerned falls within the definition. I liked this taco the most, as it had a thin crispy crepe filled with fragrant curry infused chicken and potatoes that wasn’t too icy and came with sambal (mixture of chilli peppers with shrimp paste, fish sauce, garlic, ginger, shallot, scallion, palm sugar, lime juice, and rice vinegar) that added another layer of flavour. Dosa Hut advertises itself as Indian Chinese cuisine so I’m thinking of coming back to try dishes such as Manchurian style chicken fried rice.
Bubble egg waffles with white chocolate rose lavendar ice cream and Frozen Creme Brulee Banana
Tmix Tea & Dessert
3432 Cambie Street, Vancouver
Cuisine: Dessert cafe
The French have their macarons, tortes and croissants while the Chinese have their bubble egg waffles, shaved ices and bubble teas which seems to be the new dessert trend in Vancouver which makes sense since 50% of British Columbia’s population is Asian. At Tmix Tea & Dessert, our tasting plates considered of bubble egg waffles and our choice of ice cream of which there were 13 selections to choose from such as Salted Caramel, Taro, Red Velvet Cheesecake and Earl Grey. Because I can’t eat ice cream, my friend was ecstatic and choose Frozen Creme Brulee Banana and White Chocolate Lavender, both of which were delicious as I was able to a 1/4 tsp of each without suffering. Insert many many many tears here. If you’re feeling adventurous, try some really authentic Asian desserts such as matcha grass jelly au lait, Matcha Green Tea Red Bean Frappe or just go hog wild decadent with Ferrero Rocher Frappe blended with ice cream. By the way, happy hour at Tmix Tea is 1-6 pm daily with 20% off drinks.