Taco Challenge 2021 Winners

The  Vancouver Foodster 8th Annual Taco Challenge was a success featuring taco creations from restaurants around Vancouver. Each restaurant featured their taco creation from May 6-30, 2021. Our media judging panel determined the ultimate winners of the challenge, and this was quite the task as each judge who tasted each creation with a rigorous process based on taste, originality/uniqueness and presentation/appearance.

The Winners are:

1st Place (tie):

{101 points}

Baja’s Food

Surf and Turf Taco Duo

Price: $15

Created by: Chef Luis Ponce

Description: Braised Pork Belly taco with Baja’s Food’s curated dry rub: black pepper, oregano, cumin and epazote. Braised. Finished with a roasted tomatillo verde puree. Corn tortilla, chicharron dust, cilantro, red onion and cucumber pickle. Red chile morita orange coulis.

And the Bajas’s Fish Taco a deep-fried battered red snapper. Corn or flour tortilla, coleslaw, mango pico de gallo, red onion, and cucumber pickle. Red chile morita orange coulis, and avocado crema.

Ingredients:

Pork Belly Taco: pork belly, salt, oregano, epazote, black pepper, tomatillo, garlic, onion, pork lard.

Fish taco:  red snapper, salt, pepper, flour, carbonated water, mustard, baking powder, oregano, garlic and onion powder, cumin, avocados, lime.

Offered: Tuesday – Saturday 11am – 4pm

Available: takeout and delivery by uber eat and doordash.

Baja’s Food

302 Industrial Avenue (Pickup location)

Tel:778-926-7089

Web:https://bajasfood.com/

Instagram @bajasfoodcom

1st Place (tie):

(101 points)

Little Mexico Cantina

El Pulpo

Price: $6

Created by: Chef Bruno Prada

Description: El Pulpo (the octopus) is a unique taco with the tastes of the seas. Created in Steveston village by the water, the natural habitat of this authentic species of the sea. El pulpo with his long tentacles is inviting everyone to little mexico cantina to join a lovely experience.

Ingredients: Soft corn tortilla topped with chipotle mayo, smoke paprika octopus, dry chorizo, corn salsa, pickle onion and cilantro.

Offered: all the time

Available: Takeout and delivery

Little Mexico Cantina

3131 Chatham St #150, Richmond

Tel:(604) 272-5123

Web:https://www.littlemexicocantina.ca/

Instagram: @littlemexicocantina

2nd Place:

(97 points)

Lucha Libre Truck

Chilorio Especial

Price: $4.50

Created by: Esteban Cuevas

Description: It’s a 4-inch tortilla made in a comal with a bed of cheese and chilorio (Pulled pork cooked in adobo cooked for 7 hours) topped with mermelada (red salsa with chile de Arbol and chile Morita) and us Jardin (cilantro and onion).

Ingredients:

Offered: Lunch and dinner on the days the truck is operating

Available: Takeout only

Lucha Libre Truck

(rotates locations)

Web:https://luchalibretruck.ca/

Instagram @luchalibretruck

3rd Place:

(93 points)

Guacamole Mexican Grill

Rajas Taco

Price: $14 (order of 3) or $4.66 each

Created by: the team

Description: The Rajas taco is a traditional home favorite, simple in composition yet full of flavor.  It’s main ingredient is the Poblano Chile which can be known to be spicy but more often than not mild. So the flavor varies from taco to taco. The taco is a traditional Mexican Recipe

Ingredients Smoked Poblano Chile, corn, Cream base sauce, Premium Mozzarella cheese.

Offered: Takeout – Monday to Wed 4 PM to 8PM, Fri 4 PM to 8PM, Sat and Sun 11:30 AM to 8 PM

Guacamole Mexican Grill

13646 Grosvenor Rd, Surrey

Tel: (604) 580-0840

Web: www.guacmexgrill.ca

Instagram @guacmexgrill

In the People’s Choice Awards category, the public who tried the Taco Creations were the ones who had the opportunity to cast their vote throughout the challenge.

The Winners are:

1st Place People’s Choice:

Baja’s Food

Surf and Turf Taco Duo

Price: $15

Created by: Chef Luis Ponce

Description: Braised Pork Belly taco with Baja’s Food’s curated dry rub: black pepper, oregano, cumin and epazote. Braised. Finished with a roasted tomatillo verde puree. Corn tortilla, chicharron dust, cilantro, red onion and cucumber pickle. Red chile morita orange coulis.

And the Bajas’s Fish Taco a deep-fried battered red snapper. Corn or flour tortilla, coleslaw, mango pico de gallo, red onion, and cucumber pickle. Red chile morita orange coulis, and avocado crema.

Ingredients:

Pork Belly Taco: pork belly, salt, oregano, epazote, black pepper, tomatillo, garlic, onion, pork lard.

Fish taco:  red snapper, salt, pepper, flour, carbonated water, mustard, baking powder, oregano, garlic and onion powder, cumin, avocados, lime.

Offered: Tuesday – Saturday 11am – 4pm

Available: takeout and delivery by uber eat and doordash.

Baja’s Food

302 Industrial Avenue (Pickup location)

Tel:778-926-7089

Web:https://bajasfood.com/

Instagram @bajasfoodcom

2nd Place People’s Choice:

Little Mexico Cantina

El Pulpo

Price: $6

Created by: Chef Bruno Prada

Description: El Pulpo (the octopus) is a unique taco with the tastes of the seas. Created in Steveston village by the water, the natural habitat of this authentic species of the sea. El pulpo with his long tentacles is inviting everyone to little mexico cantina to join a lovely experience.

Ingredients: Soft corn tortilla topped with chipotle mayo, smoke paprika octopus, dry chorizo, corn salsa, pickle onion and cilantro.

Offered: all the time

Available: Takeout and delivery

Little Mexico Cantina

3131 Chatham St #150, Richmond

Tel:(604) 272-5123

Web:https://www.littlemexicocantina.ca/

Instagram: @littlemexicocantina

3rd Place People’s Choice:

Guacamole Mexican Grill

Rajas Taco

Price: $14 (order of 3) or $4.66 each

Created by: the team

Description: The Rajas taco is a traditional home favorite, simple in composition yet full of flavor.  It’s main ingredient is the Poblano Chile which can be known to be spicy but more often than not mild. So the flavor varies from taco to taco. The taco is a traditional Mexican Recipe

Ingredients Smoked Poblano Chile, corn, Cream base sauce, Premium Mozzarella cheese.

Offered: Takeout – Monday to Wed 4 PM to 8PM, Fri 4 PM to 8PM, Sat and Sun 11:30 AM to 8 PM

Guacamole Mexican Grill

13646 Grosvenor Rd, Surrey

Tel: (604) 580-0840

Web: www.guacmexgrill.ca

Instagram @guacmexgrill

Our media judging panel determined the ultimate winners of the challenge, and this was quite the task as each judge who tasted each creation with a rigorous process based on taste, originality/uniqueness and presentation/appearance.

Each media judge scored each creation with a maximum of 40 points as follows: Overall Taste 20 points, Originality and Uniqueness 10 points, Presentation and Appearance 10 points. The highest number of points a challenge creation could have been awarded is 120 points.

Our Media judges for this challenge were: Shelley Hayashi, Tara Lee and Yuki No

Thank you to all the restaurants that accepted my invitation and featured the Taco Challenge creations on the menu for the past few weeks during this challenge.

I encourage you to visit the winning restaurants to try their Taco creations! See all the Taco Challenge Entries Here.

By: Richard Wolak