Friday, September 16, 2011

Food Friday: La Taqueria

Somebody asked me the other day if I'd stopped writing about food.  The fact is, I haven't had too much to write about in Vancouver.  Not that there aren't exciting things to eat here (a thriving new food culture scene for example) but I've simply not been out to try them.  I've had a couple large projects that have been occupying a lot of my time, and I'm saving my money and calories for an upcoming visit to Barcelona.

But today I managed to be both hungry and not too busy at the same time, and wandered over to a new taco spot near my office.  La Taqueria has been open in Downtown Vancouver (322 West Hastings @ Hamilton) for a while, and their new location (at Cambie & Broadway) has recently opened its doors.  I was initially somewhat sceptical as to its heritage and authenticity.  If you've never been to Mexico, or even Southern California you could be forgiven for believing that "real" tacos came from a box and use shells hard enough to slice through the roof of your mouth.  The real deal are served on soft corn flour tacos (two at a time to prevent leakage) and use fillings made from the cuts of meat that have to be cooked for a very long time to make them edible ... in other words, the best stuff possible.

Walking into La Taqueria the first thing I noticed were the wonderful aromas of corn tortillas, chillies, simmering meat ... if you could have added the stifling Mexican humidity I'd have almost believed I was back in the Mayan Riviera looking for lunch.  My initial fears about authenticity had been addressed in a single breath.  The menu ... well Lordy!  More items than just chicken and beef!  All the taco "must haves" are there; Langua (tongue), Al Pastore (marinated pork), Carnitas (pork cooked to heavenly oblivion and served with pickled onions), Pescado (fish), Asada (steak), Pollo con Mole ... way too many choices for a single trip.  Oh darn.

For $9.50 you get 4 meat tacos (they're $2.50 each, but seriously, one???) or if you're feeling particularly pathetic there are Vegetarian & Vegan options (which come with a series of prayers from the kitchen staff asking the Allmighty to have mercy on your meat-less soul).  In all seriousness, the veggie options looked very good ... in fact I really like cactus tacos (with a side of meat).  They also have daily features, today's being cochinita pibil and a wide varity of Jarritos and other sodas.

On my plate today ... the aforementioned conchita pibil, langua, pastor y carnitas!  There's an offering of salsas, guacamole (highly recommended) and pickled veggies on a side table to season the tacos how you like them.  All were top notch.  Very fresh, and deep with flavour.  The carnitas were the star, producing one of those moments of culinary nirvana that can only be achieved with pork fat and tortillas.  I've had equally good tacos elsewhere, but none so close to my office, or the Skytrain for that matter.

I think I may be in trouble ...

Extra:  You may notice La Taqueria refers to themselves as a "Pinche Taco Shop."  So what exactly does "pinche" mean?  Well, let's just say you won't be saying it in front of your Mexican grandmother.  Follow THIS LINK and don't say you weren't warned.

La Taqueria
2549 Cambie Street
(SW Corner of Cambie & Broadway)
Vancouver, BC
(604) 558-2549


Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...