La Taqueria

November 15th, 2011

Location: 322 West Hastings Street, Vancouver, BC  View Google Map
Website: Click Here

The best tacos I ever had were from an unembellished little truck in downtown Puerto Vallarta. I took a wrong turn somewhere and noticed several construction workers gathered around the vehicle chowing down. We had clearly veered off the tourist track because the women serving the tacos didn’t speak a lick of English – there was a lot of pointing involved in the transaction. Thank goodness it worked. The shrimp tacos were very straightforward but so very tasty. Unfortunately, Mexican food in Vancouver has never been particularly inspired; more Tex-Mex than Mexican, it generally seems like a different species altogether than the dishes I sampled in Puerto Vallarta, which were not drowned in cheese at every turn. La Taqueria is definitely a step in the right direction. Offering meat and vegetarian tacos served in soft corn wraps, it is modelled after this type of street food that’s so widely available in Mexico. The Pollo Con Molle taco (Maple Hills chicken with chocolate mole sauce) holds tenderly braised chicken flavoured with the rich, nutty mole sauce and the Pescado is filled with seasonal fish grilled to perfection and topped with a refreshing house made pico de gallo. Frijoles Charros Con Queso is the classic refried beans – an unpretentious but tasty bean and cheese combo. At the small, counter-space-only spot on West Hastings, I have seen the smiling server behind the cash register explain the rather elementary menu 5 times while I’ve waited for my order (and I’m sure 100 times before and 100 times after) and he does it with a smile every single time. They’ve opened a second larger location on Cambie Street, a testament to their simple, home cooked flavours. (EL)

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