Posts Tagged ‘Mexican’

LOS AMIGOS TACOS

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1118 Davie Street, Vancouver

Tel: 604-559-0220

Web: https://www.facebook.com/losamigostaqueria

Twitter: @losamigostacos

Advice: No reservations, counter service.

Tacos

Tacos

Located in the heart of Davie Village, is this Mexican taco joint that serves authentic eats. It’s a simple set-up, run by a Mexican family who used to cook back in their home country of Mexico. Although the menu features several types of tacos, you can mix it up, the best value is to order 4 tacos for $8.50 or $7 if you want them all to be Vegetarian. I had 4 tacos on the plate, the delicious Tinga (Shredded chicken in a chipotle sauce topped with sour cream and cheese), Mole (Shredded Chicken with mole sauce with a slight hint of chocolate flavor topped with sesame seeds & sour cream); Rajas (Roasted poblano pepper with corn & zucchini. Topped with sour cream and Mexican cheese); and a Super Veggie (Potato, Kale & corn topped with pico de gallo salsa).

Presently there is only one dessert on the menu and it’s the popular Churros ($2.50) a straight sugar coated Mexican donut.

Review by: Richard Wolak

MOLLI CAFÉ

molli cafe 1

1225 Burrard Street, Vancouver

Tel: 604-336-6554

Web: not yet

Twitter: @MolliCafe

Advice: No reservations.

One of my favourite cuisines is Mexican, I love the flavours of the varied types of dishes from the many different regions that make up their culinary landscape. In recent years, many new Mexican eateries have opened serving dishes from their home regions, we are fortunate in this city. Owned by chefs Rafael and Bernice who are both equally passionate about serving Mexican inspired dishes from their home country. Both are experience chefs who have worked in the top kitchens in Vancouver restaurants for the past few years before deciding to open their own.

Pollo Torta

Pollo Torta

Conchas

Conchas

Cortado

Cortado

I had the delicious Pollo Torta ($8.75) with pulled chicken, cheddar cheese, avocado, tomato, chipotle onions and cilantro along with one of their house baked Conchas a delicious bun topped with a crunchy icing sugar of sorts and a Cortado made with Moja coffee. The menu features a selection of Tortas, Tacos, Quesadillas, Soups, Salads, baked goods along with a full espresso beverage line-up.

Watch for an expanded menu down the road featuring different types of mole, and more specialty dishes.

Review by: Richard Wolak

Tasting Plates Latin American Flavours

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On June 25, 2014 we presented our Tasting Plates Latin American Flavours event that showcased 7 restaurants all over Vancouver featuring cuisine from Mexico, Peru, San Salvador and more.

It was an exciting night of tasting all sorts of Latin American food and drink starting off with a selection of coffees at A.G.R.O. Coffee Roasters where registration took place.

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A.G.R.O. Roasters

MENU

Our Tasting Cups included:

1)    A variety of organic coffees from Latin America including, Columbia, Peru and El Salvador.

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La Mezcaleria

MENU

Our Tasting Plate included:

1)    PACIFIC RED SNAPPER CEVICHE

Tomato, lime, red onion, serrano and cilantro.

2)    GUACAMOLE

Fresh avocado, cilantro, lime, onion, jalapeño and tomato.

3)    TOSTADA OAXAQUENA DE FRIJOLES

Refried cowboy beans with Mexican cheese, fresh tomato, lettuce and sour cream served on a corn tostada

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Chicha Restaurant

MENU

Our Tasting Plate included:

1)       Ensalada De Quinoa: (V)

Mango, avocado, roasted red pepper, red onion, cilantro, mint. Jalapeño Huacatay dressing.

2)       Bolas De Yuca:

Croquettes stuff with assorted cheese and chilies. Served with a Huancaina sauce.

3)       Calamari and chorizo Anticuchos:

Skewers served with a basil and aji Amarillo mash, Peruvian black olive aioli.

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El Azteca

MENU

Our Tasting Plate included:

1) Ceviche de pescado (fish)

2) Guacamole mumuca (V)

3) Cochinita Pibil

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Las Tortas

MENU

Our Tasting Plate included:

1)    Cochinita Pibil Torta

2)    Tortilla chips w taquera salsa

3)    Churros

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Sal y Limon

MENU

Our Tasting Plate included:

1)    Cheviche tosdatas

2)    Chicken tinga tostadas

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Guanaco Food Truck

MENU

Our Tasting Plate included:

1) Hand-made tortilla filled with pork chicharrón* or ground chicken, vegetables, cheese, loroco and savory refried black beans.

-Chicharrón/Pork

-Pollo/Chicken

2) Pupusas in appetizer sizes and pieces of fried cassava

or for Vegetarians

1) Our Vegetarian Tasting Plate we will offer bean and cheese, zucchini and cheese or just plain cheese with loroco. (V)

-Queso Y Frijoles/Cheese & Bean -Ayote/Zucchini (V)

-Queso/Cheese & Loroco

All Pupusas were served with Yuca Frita.

The restaurants featured many unique and tasty dishes to our guests to eat and drink throughout the evening.

Thank you to our photographer Alvin Lee for capturing the night so well (see more photos here) as well as to our Community Partner Latincouver.

By: Richard Wolak

Making Mole at La Mezcaleria

Chef Susana Trilling

Chef Susana Trilling

Since I love mole and have always loved mole, attending a media tasting of how to make mole had me front and centre yesterday. La Mezcaleria hosted a gathering that featured Chef Susana Trilling from Oaxaca, Mexico who was in Vancouver to participate in Eat Vancouver as well as the Tequila Expo.

making mole 2

making mole 3

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making mole 7

Mole and a side or rice

Mole Enchiladas and a side or rice

Together Chef Susana Thrilling and the La Mezcaleria Executive Chef Alejandro Cruz guided us through the making of Mole. Susana’s bio is vast, although born in Philadelphia, she has lived in Oaxaca, Mexico since 1988 giving classes in her kitchen at Rancho Aurora where she wrote My Search for the Seventh Mole, A Story with Recipes (1996) and Seasons of My Heart; A Culinary Journey Through Oaxaca, Mexico which is accompanied by a 13 part PBS series of the same name (1999).

Making Mole is fairly complex, taking hours and a lot of patience stirring and stirring, this is a great video that I found if you wish to learn more about the making of mole from Susana.

The mole recipe that Chef Susana Thrilling and Executive Chef Alejandro Cruz made for us is the recipe used at La Mezcaleria for their own dishes and I loved eating the dish.

La Mezcaleria is located at 1622 Commercial Drive, Vancouver. You can reach them by phone at (604) 559-8226 or follow them on twitter @LaMezcaleriaYVR

By: Richard Wolak

Tasting Plates Latin American Flavours on June 25

Tantalize your taste buds at several Latin American restaurants all over Vancouver.  This evening tasting extravaganza goes from 6pm until 10:30 pm and is presented by Vancouver Foodster.

lasm

Each restaurant will be serving up Tasting Plates for guests to enjoy and you will have a chance to visit many different types of Latin American restaurants throughout the evening, meet some new food loving friends, meet the chefs, and learn about each of the participating restaurants.

Latin American cuisine refers to typical foods, beverages, and cooking styles common to many of the countries and cultures in Latin America. During our event you will have the chance to taste and experience dishes from Bolivia, Brazil, El Salvador, Peru and different regions of Mexico. You will also have a chance to try a variety of Latin American food and drink which may include ceviche, tortillas, tamales, tacos, pupusas, arepas, empanadas, tortas along with various salsas and other condiments. Desserts that you may have a chance to try include dulce de leche, alfajor, rice pudding, tres leches cake, teja and flan. You may also have a chance to try and experience beverages such as horchata, chicha, mate, hibiscus tea, cacao and aguas frescas.

If you haven’t been to our previous Tasting Plates events, Novus TV featured one of our previous events on City Lights (view here).

Visit our Tasting Plates site and view our past events, photos and more!

  • Vegetarian options will be available at many of the participating restaurants.
  • Bring along a friend or two, your significant other, your family or come solo.
  • A food networking dinner event connecting Vancouver’s vibrant food community.

Visit each of the participating restaurants at your leisure by bike, moped, transit, car, walking, skateboarding or carpooling.

Registration: A.G.R.O. Roasters & Cafe – -this is where you will show us your printed or digital tickets and will pick up your Tasting Plates Cards.

Participating Restaurants:

Chicha Restaurant

136 East Broadway. Vancouver

Web: http://www.chicharestaurant.com/

Twitter: @ChichaVancouver

Cuisine: Peruvian

GUANACO FOOD TRUCK

2148 Main Street (in front of Brassneck Brewery -for our event)

Web: http://www.guanaco.ca/

Twitter: @guanacotruck

Cuisine: Salvadoran

SAL Y LIMON

Unit #5, 701 Kingsway (at Fraser)

Web: http://www.salylimon.ca/

Twitter: @Salylimonvan

Cuisine: Mexican

LAS TORTAS

3353 Cambie Street, Vancouver

Web:  http://www.lastortas.ca/

Twitter: @LASTORTAS

Cuisine: Mexican

LA MEZCALERIA

1622 Commercial Drive

Web: http://lamezcaleria.ca/

Twitter: @LaMezcaleriaYVR

Cuisine: Mexican

azteca

EL AZTECA MEXICAN KITCHEN & BAR 

1130 Mainland Street

Web: http://elaztecavancouver.com/

Twitter: @elaztecavan

Cusine: Mexican

 

A.G.R.O. ROASTERS & CAFE 

550 Clark Drive

Web: http://agrocafe.org/

Twitter:@agro_roasters

Cuisine: Cafe and Coffee Roaster

Purchase Tickets Here:

 

Advance Tickets: $40 per person. $120 for a 4 pack of tickets or $162 for a 6 pack of tickets (get a group of your friends/family together and save by purchasing a 4 pack or a 6 pack). Regular Tickets $50 per person after June 23, 2014.

Note: Eventbrite fee and GST is extra on all tickets purchased online.

Ticket price includes tasting plates at each of the participating restaurants throughout the evening. (Beverages are included at some restaurants which will be noted, you are welcome to purchase wine, beer, cocktails or mocktails at each of the participating restaurants).

Note: ALL Tickets must be purchased in advance online. All ticket sales are final. No exchanges or refunds; however you are welcome to transfer the ticket to another person for the same event if you notify us in advance with name (s) of who will be attending in your place. Event produced by CMI Chat Media Inc.

COMMUNITY PARTNER

LATINCOUVER

latincouver

EL AZTECA MEXICAN KITCHEN & BAR

1130 Mainland Street, Vancouver

Tel: 604-638-0127

Web: http://elaztecavancouver.com/

Twitter: @elaztecavan

Advice: No reservations.

La Werta

La Werta

I have always had an interest in Latin American food and culture, ever since taking Spanish in high school and travelling through the region years later. In recent years the Latin American food scene, in particular Mexican food has grown immensely in our city. Although El Azteca had been open for over a year, their menu and direction has recently changed with creative chef Jesus Brown Garcia leading the kitchen. Last week I visited for the first time enjoying one of their house cocktail creations the La Werta which was quite refreshing, taking cue from my charming server Moises.

Aguachile

Aguachile

Taco Canaco

Taco Canaco

Mole Chicken Enchiladas

Mole Chicken Enchiladas

The menu is filled with dishes from the Chef’s home town of Mexico City as well as from other regions in Mexico. I loved the Aguachile ($13) lime marinated pacific shrimp with a little heat kick, avocado, purple onions; great flavours, served with a bowl of house-made tortilla chips! The Taco Canaco ($13) chefs creation, Salmon & Scallop Tacos with a delicious cilantro tequila sauce on the side was next. Since I love Mole, it was a must that I try theirs, having the outstanding Mole Chicken Enchiladas ($16) with a chocolatey mole sauce, smokey black beans and rice.

Buenllo

Buenllo

Since everyone knows that I love desserts especially ones that are not the usual fare, I had the  delicious Buenllo a flat churro dusted with sugar topped with vanilla ice cream and a thick warm chocolate tequila sauce to end the wonderful journey of Mexican flavours.

I can’t wait to try their weekend brunch!

Review by: Richard Wolak

LOS CUERVOS TAQUERIA AND CANTINA

Los Cuervos 1

603 Kingsway, Vancouver

Tel: 604-558-1518

Web: www.loscuevos.ca

Twitter: @LosCuervosTacos

Advice: A great place to go with friends or go solo and sit at the bar.

Tinga De Pollo Tostada

Tinga De Pollo Tostada

Canaron Taco & Chayote Taco

Canaron Taco & Chayote Taco

It’s bright, colourful and energetic, this taqueria and cantina has everything you would want in this neighborhood. As I was exploring the neighborhood recently, this was a spot that many suggested I visit, that I did, going in solo. I had the Tinga De Pollo Tostada ($5) warm pulled chicken, chipotle-tomato sauce, green onion, lettuce and crema; the Canaron Taco ($4) lightly battered prawns, guacamole, tamarind sauce, pico de gallo, flour tortilla; along with the Chayote Taco ($3.75) with Chayote with black beans, sweet corn puree and crispy hominy of which that were delicious and full of latin flavours.

I loved the open kitchen where I could watch the chefs in action, the servers are friendly and fun making for a memorable experience. There were a few bottles of home-made salsas on each of the tables for use at your discretion, whether you like it mild, hot or hotter. You will also find a good cocktail list with Tequila, Mezcal and more!

This is one of those wonderful finds, which I hope decide to offer a weekend brunch!

Review By: Richard Wolak

New Dishes at La Mezcaleria

I always look forward to tasting the new dishes these chefs create at this Mexican eatery on the Eastside, I recently tasted some of their newest creations.

1st Dish:

Tamarind Squid

Tamarind Squid

Tamarind Squid Barbequed squid, with sweet soy and tamarind marinade, garlic peanuts, cilantro and chile de arbol.

2nd Dish:

Sopes Tortilla Soup

Sopes Tortilla Soup

Sopes Tortilla Soup Traditional pasilla chile spiced tomato soup with crispy tortilla strips, diced avocado, shredded mozzarella and sour cream.

3rd Dish:

Mixotes de Cordero (lamb) and Mixotes de Pollio (chicken)

Mixotes de Cordero (lamb) and Mixotes de Pollio (chicken)

Mixotes de Cordero (lamb) Slow steam cooked lamb in a guajillo chile sauce with cinnamon, tomatillo, peppers and onions; and Mixotes de Pollio (chicken) Slow steam cooked chicken in a green tomatillo sauce with onions, cilantro and poblano peppers. Almost like a stew, with rice and beans.

4th Dish:

Guava Cake

Guava Cake

Guava Cake, Pineapple Mint Agua Fresca

One of the newest additions to the menu is the Mixiote which is a traditional pit-barbecued meat dish originating in central Mexico. The meat is cubed with the bone and seasoned with pasilla and guajillo chili peppers, cumin, thyme, marjoram, bay leaves, cloves and garlic. It is then wrapped in small packages made of the tough semi-transparent outer skin of the leaves of the maguey or with parchment paper which is the way they do it here, it reminded me of Papillotte cooking which one would find in French cuisine.

La Mezcaleria

1622 Commercial Drive, Vancouver

Tel: (604) 559-8226

Web: http://lamezcaleria.ca/

Twitter: @LaMezcaleriaYVR

By: Richard Wolak

LA CASITA TACOS

photo 5 (1)

1773 Robson St, Vancouver

Tel: (604) 685-8550

Web: http://lacasitatacos.ca/

Twitter: @lacasitatacos

Advice: DIY salsa bar. Office delivery.

Salsa Bar

Salsa Bar

Located in the cultural melting pot of the Western end of Robson, surrounded by ramen eateries, is this Mexican taco joint that serves authentic eats. To accompany your tacos, there are salsas made fresh daily adding that authenticity of being in Mexico.

Cod Fish Ceviche

Cod Fish Ceviche

Plate of 4 Tacos

Plate of 4 Tacos

Churros

Churros

I indulged in the Cod Fish Ceviche ($7) Cod fish marinated in the lime juice tossed with tomatoes, cilantro, jalapeno and topped with fresh avocado and corn chips for dipping to start. Since I was in a taco joint, it was a must that I had a Plate of 4 Tacos ($10 for 4) with the delicious Chicken Mole Taco – White and dark chicken seasoned with onion, salt, pepper and oregano; Carnitas Taco with its fresh flavours, the Baja Fish Taco – Pacific cod in a Mexican beer batter. and the Beef Carne Asada Con Rajas Taco – Grilled beef sirloin with poblano peppers and onions. Presently there is only one dessert on the menu and it’s the popular Churros ($2.50) a straight sugar coated Mexican donut with whipped cream.

You will also find a selection of boozy and not Mexican drinks, a heated patio and friendly servers.

Review by: Richard Wolak

LA MEZCALARIA

1622 Commercial Drive, Vancouver

Tel: (604) 559-8226

Web: http://lamezcaleria.ca/

Twitter: @LaMezcaleriaYVR

Advice: Reservations a must.

It’s no secret that I love Mexican food and culture and this new East side spot on the drive has nailed it on the food and drinks side as well on the decor side with its hip ambiance. The room has an open kitchen with a cool setup for diners to eat and watch the chefs in action as well as a full bar offering a similar perspective to chat with the bartenders.

Margarita and Special

Verdes Chicken Enchiladas

Papa Flautas

My friend Josh Langston joined me for dinner starting off with a couple of their house drinks, followed by our sharing of their outstanding Verdes Chicken Enchiladas ($13) with a green tomatillo sauce which had a nice spice kick, outstanding refried beans and Spanish rice; we also shared the vegetarian Papa Flautas ($12) 4 flautas filled with roasted garlic and mashed potato. This is food made with love, you can see how passionate the chefs are and you can truly taste this in their cooking.

They have an extensive mezcal selection, as well have their version of a Cheese Fondue that I am already craving for my next visit which will be very soon!

Review by: Richard Wolak

Mexican Fiesta at Lubavitch Vancouver

On February 10th I was invited to attend a Mexican Fiesta dinner at the Lubavitch Centre where Chabad Catering created a delicious all you can eat meal featuring Kosher Mexican dishes created by Chef Menajem. The room was filled with families, who enjoyed an all Kosher dinner themed with dishes from Mexico.

Chicken Mole

Corn Tortillas

Shredded Beef and Onions

Tamales de Pollo

My favourite dishes of the meal were the Chicken Mole, Tacos with shredded beef and onions along with the Tamales de Pollo.

Q & A with Chef Menajem Peretz

Can you tell me how the Mexican Fiesta came about?

Since I moved here their have been a lack of options when it comes to kosher food it is always frustrating, although we do have a few restaurants/cafeterias in Vancouver, there aren’t many choices out there.

In December we started planning something for families to do on the 24th of December, and we did an All you can Eat Chinese  food, after a great event I decided to do ethnic food once a month.

I lived in Mexico back in 2000, and I wanted expose the community into more authentic Mexican Food.

Actually after this coming Passover we have planned to do an All you can Eat BBQ dinner.

Was this your 1st theme kosher dinner or have there been others?

As a mentioned before I did the Chinese Dinner and back in Ottawa we always created theme dinners.

Could you explain your kitchen setup, as I understand this dinner was kosher and was meat oriented

I run a 100% kosher kitchen I have both facilities (Meat and Dairy), in the case of the Mexican dinner I decided to use the meat kitchen considering that I had more dishes to offer, but when the time is right and we plan an Italian dinner I will choose the dairy kitchen.

What type of food does Chabad Catering offer in addition to these theme dinners?

We are a catering company, but we go above and beyond for our customers to design the entire party. Although we are located in Vancouver we service our clients at any location in need. From weddings in Whistler to a party in Victoria or a family reunion in Banff we move all our equipment to the location, my policy is to please my customers in any need or circumstance.

When is your next theme dinner and what will the theme of the cuisine be?

I am Originally from Argentina, so the next theme dinner after Passover will be an All you can eat Argentina BBQ.

The dinner was held at the Lubavitch Centre at 5750 Oak Street in Vancouver. If you are interested in having your event catered with Kosher cuisine, contact Chef Menajem Peretz at Chabad Catering.

By: Richard Wolak

THE MEXICAN

1049 Granville Street, Vancouver

Tel: 604-569-0955

Web: www.themexican.ca

Twitter: @ThemexicanYVR

Advice: Take out is always an option if there are no available seats. No reservations.

Horchata

Chicken Enchiladas

Chicken Enfrijolades

Champinones Quesadillas

From the moment I walked into this authentic Mexican cantina, it was as I arrived to a small town in Mexico, ready to enjoy some traditional dishes. I have visited a few times already and each time I have enjoyed the same love for the food and the servers. Most recently, I had a Horchata ($1.65) cold and refreshing beverage along with the house specialty, outstanding Chicken Enchiladas ($15.50) with shredded chicken, with a delicious ancho chile sauce topped with cheese, onion, sour cream along with a salad. I have also had the Chicken Enfrijolades ($11) cheese filled tortillas covered with bean sauce topped with cheese and sour cream with salad; on one of the visits, my friend Kenji had the Champinones Quesadillas ($4) with mixed mushrooms cooked Mexican style.

Three Milk Cake

You will find an extensive menu featuring many Mexican favourites including Sopes, Tacos, Tostadas, Quesadillas and a large selection of house specialties. Make sure you have some room for dessert, they seem to only offer two choices,  on the last visit I ordered one of their traditional desserts which was delicious, the Three Milk Cake ($6.15). If you love Mexican, get over there soon!

Review By: Richard Wolak

SAL Y LIMON

Unit #5 – 701 Kingsway, Vancouver

Tel: 604-677-4247

Web: n/a

Twitter:  @Salylimonvan

Advice: order the home-made potato chips over the tortilla chips, visit the complementary salsa bar. No reservations.

Finding an authentic restaurant serving delicious Mexican food has often been a challenge to find in our city, that is until now. Last night, my friend Ajay Masala Puri joined me for dinner to discover this hidden gem. Some would say it’s off the beaten track, and I’d say it’s in the heart of EastVan’s new restaurant row. The décor is simple and you aren’t here for that anyway, you are here for the authentic Mexican dishes. A couple of families run the place together, having been in the restaurant business back in their home country of Mexico.

Super Vegetariana Huaraches

Cordero al Cilantro (lamb) Huaraches

Home-made Potato Chips

Salsa Bar

Brownie con Lechara

I had the Super Vegetariana Huaraches ($8.75) a home-made corn tortilla topped with delicious black beans, vegetables, panella cheese and more goodness. I made my dish a combo for an extra $2 (you have a choice of soup, coleslaw, potato chips or tortilla chips) which included home-made potato chips and salsas from the salsa bar along with a Horchata sweet cinnamon-flavored milk which was also very good. Ajay had the Cordero al Cilantro (lamb) Huaraches ($8.50) and his was a combo as well. We both then shared the one and only dessert, Brownie con Lechara ($3.75) which was Yum.

You will find an extensive menu featuring many Mexican favourites including Sopes, Tacos, Burritos, Huaraches, Quesadillas and Tortas along with very friendly service and reasonable prices. I am already looking forward to my next visit to try the Smoked Chicken Huaraches!

Review by: Richard Wolak

COMA FOOD TRUCK

Mobile within Vancouver

Tel: n/a

Web: http://www.comafoodtruck.com/

Twitter: @comafoodtruck

Advice: Follow them on twitter for daily open hours and location.

Korean style BBQ Burrito

You have heard of Tex Mex, now there is Korean Mex, yes you heard me right, here at Coma Korea meets Mexico as flavours merge and tantalize your tastebuds. There are a few different offerings on the menu which mixes up Korean ingredients with Mexican flavours and known dishes. I had the tasty Korean style BBQ Burrito ($5.99) filled with cheese, vegetables, corns, tofu, Korean sweet and spicy beef wrapped as a burrito. You will also find Korean Nuggets, a Korean style sweet and spicy chicken dish; Stuffed Seaweed Rolls and more, next time I am going to have the Kimchi Quesadilla!

Review By: Richard Wolak

ARTURO’S MEXICO TO GO TRUCK

Between Canada Place and the SeaBus terminal on West Cordova Street, Vancouver

Tel: n/a

Web: www.arturos2go.com

Twitter: n/a

Advice: Monday to Saturday, 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Located between Waterfront Station and Canada Place, this large silver mobile truck which you certainly can’t miss is serving up a simple menu of some Mexican specialties.

Burrito Salad Bowl

I had the Burrito Salad Bowl ($7) a burrito without the tortilla, with shredded lettuce, black beans, spanish rice, vegetables, salsa and a tasty tinga chicken marinated in smoked Jalepeno, fresh stewed tomatoes and spices. All the ingredients are of the highest quality, and everything is made fresh daily including their 3 different salsas. Next time it is a must that I try the Tortilla Soup at $3, the word on the street is that is the best tortilla soup in the city!

Review by: Richard Wolak

CALLI

UPDATED 3/4/12 BUSINESS HAS CLOSED
1102 Davie Street, Vancouver

Tel: 604-633-9950


Advice: Ask for mild or hot salsa. Tortilla chips are not complimentary you will need to order them if you want them.

Chicken with Mole

Red Chicken Enchiladas

I had heard about this new Mexican spot in the West End and got in for lunch recently with my friend Noam. I was happy to found this neighborhood gem, inside it was bright and colourful and the service was very friendly. The focus is on traditional Mexican fare and you will find many of the specialties you have known about in this part of the world, from Tortilla Soup to Enchilladas, Fajitas, Tacos and Burritos. I had the delicious Chicken with Mole ($8.95) the tender shredded chicken was seasoned with their traditional Mole Poblano a sauce made with different types of chillis, chocolate and spices. Noam had the Red Chicken Enchiladas ($8.90) three soft tortillas stuffed with shredded chicken and covered with fresh tomato sauce, melted jack cheese and sour cream. Both of our dishes came with red rice, refried beans and salsa. I had a bottle of the non alchohol Sangria ($2) beverage to drink. The food is fresh, tasty and the prices are terrific.

Review by: Richard Wolak

Photo credit: Noam Dehan

DONA CATA

UPDATED 7/30/14 BUSINESS HAS CLOSED
5076 Victoria Drive, Vancouver

Tel: 604-436-2232


Advice: great selection of salsas at the salsa bar.

Mole Chicken

Vegetarian Burrito

I was in for dinner recently with friend Ariane as we were craving some good Mexican food. I love this authentic east side spot with their colourful interior, the night we were there they had a duo in musical performance. I have often done take-out, this time stayed to enjoy the music and the atmosphere. I had the Mole Chicken ($10.50) with pulled chicken, mexican rice, house stewed beans and 3 corn tortillas. Their mole boasts over 25 ingredients and 5 chiles to create a flavourful sauce. Ariane had the Vegetarian Burrito ($7) beans and cheese wrapped around a flour tortilla with a side of pico de gallo. The menu features a large selection of tacos, and taco variations along with breakfast specialties and Enchiladas too.

Review by: Richard Wolak
Photo credit: Ariane Colenbrander

RINCONCITO SALVADORENO RESTAURANT

2062 Commercial Drive, Vancouver

Tel:  604-879-2600

Web: n/a

Advice: Order one of the authentic specialties if this is your first time.

Tortilla chips

Guacamole

Pupusas

Curtido

Tamarind drink

I was fortunate to have one of my friends be my guide into this authentic Salavadorian eating experience as he is from El Salvador. I took his lead and we ordered the Tortilla chips with Guacamole ($5), since this was my first Pupusas experience, I was delighted with the delicious and inexpensive Pupusas ($2.75 each – I had 3) frijoles y quezo — bean and cheese served with a spicy red sauce for dipping. We also ordered the Curtido ($1) a tasty Spanish coleslaw, and we both had the Tamarind drink ($2).

Platanos Fritos

Semita

For dessert we had the Platanos Fritos ($4) although this would have been better being a side dish with the savouries, we also had the Semita ($2) as the owner insisted that I try it.

The menu features many of the different Mexican and El Salvadoran specialties, in a very homey place where the service is as genuine as it would be if you were dining in El Salvador.

Review by: Richard Wolak

SALSA & AGAVE

SalsaAgave 003

1223 Pacific Boulevard, Vancouver

Tel:  604-408-4228

Web: n/a

Advice: Take out is always an option if there are no available seats. No reservations.

Chips and Salsa

Chips and Salsa

Chicken Enchiladas

Chicken Enchiladas

One of the best authentic Mexican restaurants in the city, this casual restaurant is not large by any means, the draw here is the consistently delicious food that brings in so many loyal customers from the neighborhood and from across the city. The menu features many of the different Mexican specialties, I have dined here many times and have tried several of the dishes, my favourites include the Mole Polano Con Pollo ($12) double chicken breast topped with mole sauce served with rice, beans and 3 soft corn tortillas; Chicken Enchiladas ($12) with red sauce, topped with melted cheese, served with Spanish rice and refried beans; and the Bean Burrito ($8). Since the restaurant is often full (limited seating) I have often gone the take-out route, calling in my order and then driving over to pick-up. In the Spring/Summer when the weather is good, their patio is an ideal spot for outside dining. Their daily specials are of great value which includes one of their popular entrees and a can of pop. Now that the restaurant is located down the street from Yaletown station it will be easier for people to commute to this area of the city if you are not able to drive. The menu includes soft Tacos and there is quite an extensive selection of fillings, Tortas, Tostadas, Sopes, Burritos, rolled Tacos along with soups and other more hearty Mexican dishes. Enjoy one of their sodas or juices from Mexico and if you have room for dessert then have their Crepas De Cajeta ($4) crepe topped with Mexican milk caramel.

Review by: Richard Wolak

EL CENTRO MEXICAN RESTAURANT

UPDATED 3/4/12 BUSINESS HAS CLOSED

1232 Robson Street, Vancouver

Tel: 604-688-9200

Web: not yet

Advice: They offer takeout but they don’t have takeout menus, ask the owner for a menu. Complimentary bowl of tortilla chips are served with a red and green salsa.

Tortilla Chips and Salsas

Tortilla Chips and Salsas

Mole Chicken Enchiladas

Mole Chicken Enchiladas

Walking into El Centro transports me back to Mexico, with its terra cotta walls and latino music playing in the background. This would be a great place to go with a group of friends after work or after shopping on Robson. Try one of their Tequila cocktails and then order some of their specialties to share or enjoy on your own. I dined solo and enjoyed the great food along with an authentic Mexican ambience. I had the Mole Enchiladas ($13) enchiladas filled with chicken, smothered with mole, served with rice and tasty black beans. The menu offers up many Mexican favourites, some other selections that you may want to try includes the Quesadillas, Chilaquila, Burritos, Enchiladas with green sauce or the Mole Chicken. For dessert they have the famous Churros (Mexican version of the donut).

Review by: Richard Wolak

Celebrate Los Muertos at Zocalo

Chef Tanya Shklanka

Chef Tanya Shklanka

One of the most joyful and popular holidays in Mexico is ‘Dia de Muertos’ (Day of the Dead). The fiesta, which traces its roots back to the indigenous Aztec and Maya cultures, was originally celebrated in August. After the Spanish conquest, the Catholic Church moved it to the present date of November 2nd in an attempt to assimilate the ‘pagan’ celebration into the Christian holy days of All Hallows Eve and All Saints Day (Oct.31 and Nov.1). However, Los Muertos caught on with all strata of Mexican society and it grew into the wildly popular holiday it is today where friends and family gather to honour the dead with special meals and family shrines.

It’s a meeting place where friends and family gather to share a meal, indulge in gossip, check out everyone else and be entertained. In other words, it is the heart of every Mexican community. In celebration of Los Muertos, Vancouver’s Zocalo will be offering a very special three-course menu for the value price of $25 per person. It has been created in commemoration of ‘El Santo,’ Rodolfo guzman Huerta, Mexico’s most famous ‘luchador’ (masked wrestler – think Jack Black in Lucha Libre). El Santo came from the state of Hidalgo and Zocalo’s Los Muertos menu reflects dishes that he is known to have loved.

Day of the Dead (Los Muertos) display

Day of the Dead (Los Muertos) display

Main Street’s Zocalo is planning their 3rd Annual Los Muertos festival with a special menu created for the occasion. The delicious food is created by Chef/Owner Tanya Shklanka and her talented group of Mexican cooks and is guaranteed to put you in a festive mood and enliven your palate. For starters diners have a choice of Pozole Verde, a traditional soup served at weddings, family gatherings and fiestas, or Chile Relleno de Hongos which is a roasted poblano chile filled with portobello mushroom, onion and tequila ragout dressed with a pasilla chile sauce.

Chile Relleno de Hongos

Chile Relleno de Hongos

For mains there is a choice between Barbacoa de Borrego or Pollo con Mole Negro. Barbacoa de Borrego is melt-in-your mouth slow-cooked lamb accompanied by salsa verde, guacamole and homemade corn tortillas. Pollo con Mole Negro is Mexico’s answer to France’s Coq au Vin. Chicken stewed in a traditional sauce of black chiles, nuts, spices and tomatoes resulting in a flavourful dish served with rice and the ubiquitous warm corn tortillas.

Pollo con Mole Negro

Pollo con Mole Negro

Life is sweet and so is the end of this meal. The Mexicans invented chocolate and named it ‘food of the gods.’ What could be more heavenly than Hot Coochie y Pan de Muertos? Homemade Mexican hot chocolate with a bit of kick and accompanied by traditional Pan Muertos, a traditional sweet bread flavoured with orange and anise. The other choice is Capirotada – a Mexican style bread pudding chock-a-block full of goodies such as dried cranberries, blueberries roasted hazelnuts and panela cheese suffused with spiced piloncillo (raw brown sugar) syrup. Yum.

Hot Coochie y Pan de Muertos

Hot Coochie y Pan de Muertos

El Santo’s favourite libation was a cold Negra Modelo and that is the recommended pairing with the Los Muertos menu. If cerveza is not your drink of choice, Zocalo Los Muertos Menu also offers a special tequila pairing to accompany each course for an additional $20. The restaurant stocks Vancouver’s largest selection of tequilas; or you may prefer sangria, a Latino-inspired cocktail or a selection from their Carta de Vinos available by the glass, half litre and bottle.

When you have a holiday as fun and flavourful as Los Muertos, it’s a pity it lasts a day or two. The good news is that at Zocalo Restaurant, the Los Muertos menu will be available for 15 days starting November 1st straight through to November 15th. In addition to the special menu, Zocalo Restaurant will feature a traditional Shrine and to get things off to a festive start on November 1st, there will be a Mariachi band to entertain. Bring a little Mexican warmth to dreary November and live it up at Zocalo Restaurant with Los Muertos, November 1st through 15th. Reservations recommended 604-677-3521.

2515 Main Street, Vancouver

604-677-3521 www.zocalorestaurant.ca

I enjoyed tasting this fine menu and look forward to returning to Zocalo during this festival. More info on this wonderful festival can be found at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Day_of_the_Dead

By: Richard Wolak

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