Double-Tortilla Tacos at Tacomio & Double-Starch Grilled Cheese at Hi-Five

Tacomio (block away from Taishoken Ramen) opened in March but I hadn’t tried it until last week. They do guisados (Mexican stew) style tacos. Are they good enough or different enough to dethrone the current king, La Taqueria?

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The first and only time I tried guisados was in Portland at a place called Mi Mero Mole (you can read about it here). I remember the flavours of guisados being less in-your-face and more mild, with a restrained seasoning. Would these guisados be similar?

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It’s a small place with two counters to sit at.

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I thought they extended their weekday hours to 8PM, so maybe check their Instagram for the latest news.

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More and more foodie-worthy places are popping up in the dirtier areas of Chinatown/Gastown/DTES. And that pop-up that’s been happening at 337 East Hastings is just 1.5 blocks from the infamous Main & Broadway intersection.

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Interesting mural showing how diverse Mexico really is.

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The menu. You can also see it on their website. Tacos are $3 each, 4 for $10, or 6 for $15. Value-wise, the 4-for and 6-for deals are the same.

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They had 5 selections at their salsa bar, which is arranged from least spicy on the left, to killer spicy on the right.

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“Don Juan” is the mildest. You sexy thing.

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One of the guys there recommended “Pinche Gato” for my Rajas con Crema (Creamed Corn Taco). It’s medium-spicy.

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Looks like this “La Llorona” uses habanero.

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The spiciest salsa in a tiny glass skull. Doesn’t look like many people have tried it.

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Also fresh pico de gallo.

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And pickled cauliflower and carrots. Help yourself!

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My order, which kept getting bigger and bigger as I talked to the staff 😛

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Strawchata, which is their strawberry horchata. Really helps cut the heat. I quite liked the flavours in this horchata…multiple sweet flavours from the strawberry, cinnamon, almonds(?) and rice, but overall not too sweet at all. I’d get it again!

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They generously gave me a Hibinade to try cuz they saw me taking a shit-ton of photos. Very kind of them and much appreciated. This Hibinade is a limeade with hibiscus (jamaica flower). Punchy and strong but too sweet for my taste. I do love their stickers though. A smart way of branding their generic containers and takeout bags.

You might be fooled into thinking this tastes like raspberry, but it’s mostly tart and sweet lime and a bit of floral quality from the hibiscus.

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Duo of chicharrones/tortilla chips and guacamole. Unfortunately you can’t order the chicharrones by themselves. They only come with tortilla chips 🙁

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The chips are thick, crunchy, hearty, and seasoned just right. The chicharrones were a touch underseasoned. The chicarrones at Tacofino Tacobar are better, but these are an acceptable scaled-down substitute.

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That guacamole is killer. Fresh is the operative word here, and it’s nicely balanced.

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Rajas con Crema taco, which contains roasted poblano peppers, creamed corn and pea tips. The pickled jalapenos on top weren’t that spicy, so shouldn’t concern the spice-averse. Note the double-tortilla. I struggled a bit to taste the roasted poblano peppers in this one. It somehow wasn’t as satisfying as La Taqueria’s creamed corn taco.

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Nopalitos con Chorizo, which contains fresh cactus, housemade chorizo and roasted jalapeno (plus pickled jalapenos on top).

The flavour of the fillings (even the chorizo one) are on the mild side. I wish the flavours were a bit stronger and the fillings a bit more moist…especially if they use double-tortilla. I feel that the double-tortilla thing throws off the balance, making the fillings taste drier and milder than how it would taste with just one tortilla. You could rectify it by adding more salsa, but then I want to taste filling. They should either add more filling, make the fillings saucier, or go back to serving these on a single tortilla. Or I could only eat a single layer of tortilla like I do sometimes at La Taqueria…

I wasn’t totally disappointed by my visit though. The staff are super-nice and obviously care a lot about their food. Their menu is tight but with just enough variety to warrant re-visits. They just need to do a few tweaks to make it a better eating experience for me. I’m open to coming back to try other tacos or maybe their daily special tacos (which lately have been fresh fish), but next time I want tacos, do I choose a guaranteed home run at La Taqueria or give Tacomio another shot at bat?

Tacomio on Urbanspoon


Hi-Five Grilled Cheese

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Hi-Five is a grilled cheese sandwich takeout window that opened up in Gastown at the end of January. They’re at 22 East Cordova near Carrall, so just around the corner from Irish Heather/Salty Tongue. Just look for their signboard.

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I ordered the Yes Ma’am because who doesn’t like double-starch?! All of their sandwiches have something to like about them though. I like the rock/art-related names 🙂 You can ADD BACON to any sandwich! But be careful ordering tomato soup cuz you’ll have to be double-fisting it on the street. Ahem.

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Their panini press setup.

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Yes Ma’am with American cheese and mac ‘n cheese made by Six Acres (located just a couple blocks away, near the Gassy Jack statue). Just the right amount of crispiness on the outside, hot and melty on the inside.

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The mac ‘n cheese part contains gruyere, grana pandano and aged cheddar. So you’re actually tasting FOUR cheeses in one sandwich! Double-starch never tasted so good!

I like how the prices aren’t exorbitant. Perfect pre- or post-beer snack in a convenient location. They’re gonna do so well this summer. I’m there.

Hi-Five on Urbanspoon

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