Tag Archives: mexican

Carnitas & Tortilla Heaven at Chancho

Hello blog world! It’s been a while. I’ve been much more active on Instagram the past few years (almost 7000 posts!), so I encourage you to check out that platform if you’ve been hesitant to join. You’ll get to see all my day-to-day stuff that never makes it onto the blog, plus all the in-depth stuff I usually post here but have been too busy to do. Either way, thank you so much for reading.

I’ve been to Chancho once before at their original location on Seymour, around the corner from their current larger space on Davie. It was takeout carnitas and plus a bundle of their excellent kernel-to-tortilla tortillas. I immediately thought they were the best tortillas in town — thin, great flavour, with that bit of tug and resiliency. I visited their new space recently and it’s even better. Thankfully, the focus is still on carnitas but their tortilla game has gotten even more interesting! Read on…

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Happy Hour Quickie: Say Eight at Tacofino Ocho

I didn’t intend to review Tacofino Ocho but I wanted to try their grilled whole rockfish served with tortillas for ages, so you might find this quick post interesting. We ended up also having their big slab of pork belly which was excellent!

Explanation of “say eight” — comedian Brian Regan visits the emergency room and nurse asks him to rate his pain:

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First Look: Fresh, Handmade Tortillas at Maizal on Main St.

There’s a new Mexican taco place on Main St. called Maizal (Facebook, Instagram). It’s surprising that within the span of a couple months, TWO places have opened up in Vancouver that make their own tortillas in-house: Chancho (where Nuba used to be on Seymour) and Maizal. I did a quick little visit to Maizal with Moyenchow and here’s my early thoughts.

(As far as I know, there’s no relation between this Maizal and the Maizal in Toronto.)

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There Must Be More To It Than That: Happy Hour at Fayuca in Yaletown

Let’s get this out of the way first: “Fayuca is a term used in Northern Mexico to describe petty contraband goods smuggled over the border like clothes, liquor, and food.” – Scout Magazine. So the name of the restaurant is a sly nod to how they approach their food, bringing influences from all along the Pacific coast. But, as they say, don’t call them Mexican.

Long story short: I don’t think their happy hour menu really shows what they can do. I wasn’t thrilled. These are Chefs with a captial C, and this restaurant did a lot of collaborations and events with the YVR Food Fest, so I thought they would be capable of much more.

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First Look: Veggie Mexican at Lucha Verde on Davie St.

Last year was all poke — this year’s trend seems to be Mexican! With the opening of Fayuca, El Santo winning Vanmag Gold Award for Best Latin (disappointing review here), expansion of Tacofino into Yaletown, La Mezcaleria into Gastown, etc, Mexican cuisine is getting hot. But what I’m after is just plain good eats. Surprisingly, the most impactful (there’s a Sherman word for ya!) “Mexican” experience I’ve had that consistently impresses me is the tacos at Four Winds Brewing in Delta. They use tacos as a canvas, and bring in smartly constructed flavours. I’m not even going to touch the notion of authenticity. There’s a huge range of regional Mexican cuisine that we are just frickin’ ignorant about in Vancouver. I’m just concentrating on whether the shit tastes good or not. So does Lucha Verde taste good?

NOTE: Lucha Verde wasn’t even a week old when we visited. I think you’re all intelligent enough to take what I say below in perspective. They were still training new servers but we still got good, attentive service. The owner was wearing a TMNT t-shirt!

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It’s not you, it’s me. Ok yeah, it’s you: El Santo in New West

You might’ve heard that El Santo in New West tied for Gold with La Mezcaleria for Best Latin in this year’s Vancouver Magazine Restaurant Awards. We came in with a certain level of expectation, perhaps a more modern, tweaked, elevated take on Mexican cuisine. But we came away confused, disappointed, and frankly stunned with the generally bland, one-note, and at times off-balance flavours.

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#EatTheWall: Mexican Tortas at Molli Cafe

For the next while, I will endeavour to eat all the cuisines whose race/culture that the Orange One has insulted or referenced over the past year:

  • Mexican
  • Punjabi (Indian/Pakistani)
  • Muslim
  • Chinese
  • African-American
  • Ukrainian
  • Jewish

I had some Southern fried chicken at Big Al’s pop-up at The Lion’s Den Cafe recently, so that takes care of African-American for now. I think if I eat at Efendi Uyghur on Kingsway (Globe & Mail review here), that’ll take care of both Muslim and Chinese 😀

For today, I re-visited Molli Cafe to try out their tortas. I tried their tacos before (pretty good) but my torta itch was only lightly scratched with the tortas from TK Sub Cafe so I was hoping Molli Cafe would do a better, more satisfying job.

In short: my stomach was VERY satisfied but the itch for tortas still remains.

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Lunch Quickie: Slight Sadness at Sal y Limón

Something’s not right here…Sal y Limón in “Fraserhood” has been around since 2012 and has perpetual lineups, but reviews of them are all over the place. Some gushing praise, some bitter disappointment. I guess it’s expected with a place so freaking popular, that every Tom’s Harry Dick is gonna get on Z*mato or Welp and wax lyrical about those big-ass burritos. Here’s my take on this place after eating seven tacos.

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Lunch Quickie: Avocado & Corn Overload at La Mezcaleria

La Mezcaleria‘s second location in Gastown is finally open. They’ve had their original place on Commercial Drive since April 2013 but I’ve never been. Their molten cheese fondue served in a volcanic rock pot is one of their most Instagrammed dishes — for good reason! I mean, check this out:

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Anyways, this was a lonely solo lunch for me, so I’d have to save the molten cheese for next time. I got a couple dishes and was plenty pleased about it, so I’m pretty sure I’ll be back with a group for fondue and mezcal flights.

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Lunch Quickie: Fine Tacos at Molli Cafe

Vancouver has a huge concentration of restaurants, no joke. Even for someone as greedy as me, I can’t eat at every place I want to due to time, money, and mood. It took me being on a staycation before I was finally able to check out Molli Cafe. It’s a cute, small space with friendly service. Recommended if you’re in the area.

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