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Mexican in Vancouver


peppyre
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We visited El Pulgarcito today. A little Salvadorean cafe on Hastings, close to Nanaimo. 

We had a snack of Pupusas, Tostadas and a Torta.  Pretty good, simple and tasty.  Not to mention cheap!  One thing I did take note of was that the pupusas weren't greasy at all as the Rinconcitos ones can tend to be. 

Check it out!

So after calling Chillos half a dozen times with no answer, crossing my fingers he was open, I was looking back through the earlier posts and came across this one about El Pulgarcito. So we headed out to E. Hastings to try this place. The three of us ordered a Quesidilla, and 2 large Beef Burrito's. The Burritos when they came out were the size of a duraflame log, ok, not quite, but they were huge. Everything tasted pretty good, not the best, not the worst.

I brought home a Salvadorian Tamale for my señora bonita. It was described by Patricia, the cute owners daughter as a softer version of the Mexican Tamale wrapped in a banana leaf. When I got home it was eaten so fast I didn't get a chance to try it. But it looked and smelled good, and I was told it tasted good as well.

Their menu is decent, covering Taco's, Burrito's Papusa's, Steak (I'm assuming like Carne Asada), and a number of other items. Plus they had a decent list of Breakfast items like Huevos Rancheros. I'll be back to try some of the other items.

Very friendly service, cheap prices ($7 for the beef burrito log), easy parking and consistent hours, and decent to good food is a pretty bueno combo. If they served Cerveza or what some other places call "Fizzy 7-UP" and was a bit closer in, then I'd change my description to Muay Bueno combo.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm always interested in trying some new mexican food. So because of some good feedback here, I went to Chilo's tonight. Had one of each taco (chicken / pork / beef). I liked the beef the most. They were good, not great. Nothing wrong with them, just no wow. The home made green and red sauces were very good. There was no menu, just the woman telling you what was available. I think that was kind of cool.

I have to admit I was a bit nervous regarding cleanliness. The paper napkins stored on the floor, spilling out of their pack were my first clue. I think it's those little things that make you go "should I really eat this food"? Oh, I should mention the quesadilla had processed orange cheese in it. That was the clincher for me.

Overall impression, would not return.

Edited by Stinky Cook (log)
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We had lunch at the Taco Shack yesterday after getting back into town from a wedding in Ontario. Flew the discount Air Canada plane, so no food on the plane and pretty hungry when I got in, so in the words of Harvey Keitel in Reservoir D's, "Let's get a taco".

Good tacos, I liked the homemade tortilla shells and the salsa was good and punchy. The staff were cool and interested in how we liked the food. Loud Santana music played out of a cheap ghettoblaster would add to the whole East L.A. taco truck vibe.

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a friend and I went for lunch yesterday to see if the shack lived up to the hype.

They were out of chicken at the time that we ordered so we only got steak and fish tacos and I found both a bit underseasoned, and the steak a bit dry.

Otherwise, good fresh ingredients, but it's still not quite up to par with my american taco experiences which have the benefit of being made my real mexicans.

I've heard it's coming, but carnitas would be great. It's inclusion might also speed up the wait for the tacos which seemed like close to 10 minutes, but I think another couple's order got bumped ahead of us by accident.

Based on the food itself, I'd give chilo's the go-ahead for the moist, tasty meat (including tongue!), but chilo's unreliable hours and decor/location do them no favours either.

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We stopped by the Taco Shack on Saturday evening. I'm not really familiar with the California Taco Stand idea, but love fresh, authentic mexican food. My son (6 years old), my husband and I each had an order of tacos. We tried one of each kind; steak, fish and chicken. I really enjoyed them and the homemade tortillas. The medium green salsa and the hot spicy were very flavourful. I found the fish taco a little bland. The chicken and beef were well seasoned and tasy, if slightly dry. We had intended to make this our dinner, but it really only seemed like a snack to us. We ordered another two orders of beef and chicken tacos, and my son and I were quite satisfied. My husband, however, was still hungry and came home and raided the fridge. I would happily stop by for a light lunch or evening snack again, but it seemed hard to make a meal of those tacos.

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Chilo's never ceases to put a smile on my face. After battling 6 pm traffic from downtown to 35th and Victoria, all I could think about were tasty tacos. Ordered 3 Asada and 3 Carnita tacos with a Asada quesadilla kicker. My bride ordered the Viera (Goat Soup) and an Asada and pollo tacos. Our friend had another 4 tacos mixed of Asada and Carnita. Along w/ 3 Ice Teas the total damage was $35 w/ tip. Pretty damn reasonable for good food.

Lupe had her daughter who can't be older than 12 take our order, she was better and more friendly than most servers we've encountered in other places.

It's a bit funny, every time I come in there they are blasting volume wise some Mexican Soap Opera or show ..... a simple request to turn it down is always met with a smile and a quick grab to the remote. Chilo and Lupe are really wonderful people and are smoothing out their working hours. I don't mind a little dis-organization and confusion when they mean well and are trying so hard.

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We were just walking by the 700 block of Davie and noticed a opening soon sign for "El Taco". It's directly under Fitness World in the old location of the Sweet Hot Motion Cafe. I found this little blurb about it:

"El taco- a funky lil mexican resturant will opening up at granville & davie st very soon (apx.3weeks)....Its great for a quick healthy bite to eat and will be open till 3am...Yum Yum. It all started in Nelson BC 2 years ago...My father & sis opened it up and it did so great there they just had to open another in Van. Please come check it out and support good friendly people.......Just thought I'd let you know..

Enjoy~

Korina"

Also, a bit further up Davie almost next to Samurai Sushi is a Shwarma place that was advertising "Tacos Al Pastor", 3 for $5. They were decently good with a nice salsa and good flavour.

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We finally got to Chilo's last week and loved it! It was definitely like stepping back into a neighborhood taqueria in Mexico. We sat down and a woman came up with her notepad and rattled off the night's offerings in Spanish! A little taken aback, I asked her to repeat it and we ordered what we understood in our very broken Spanish. We had a couple carnitas, chorizo, lengua, and camaron tacos and a shared a bowl of pozole. Lovely, simple and so very flavourful. The salsas, green and red were nicely spiced.

Will definitely be back for our next taco craving and to practice our Spanish....and to watch a cheesey Spanish movie! :smile:

Quentina

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We were just walking by the 700 block of Davie and noticed a opening soon sign for "El Taco".  It's directly under Fitness World in the old location of the Sweet Hot Motion Cafe.  I found this little blurb about it:

"El taco- a funky lil mexican resturant will opening up at granville & davie st very soon (apx.3weeks)....Its great for a quick healthy bite to eat and will be open till 3am...Yum Yum. It all started in Nelson BC 2 years ago...My father & sis opened it up and it did so great there they just had to open another in Van. Please come check it out and support good friendly people.......Just thought I'd let you know..

Enjoy~

Korina"

Also, a bit further up Davie almost next to Samurai Sushi is a Shwarma place that was advertising "Tacos Al Pastor", 3 for $5.  They were decently good with a nice salsa and good flavour.

So after getting our fill of watching all sorts of people push silly flying contraptions into the water this afternoon at Science World for Flugtag, we decided a taco was in out near future.

Since El Taco had just opened I was very excited about giving them a try. In a Taco Blog that I follow, the blogger and Taco expert advises to just try the Asada Taco of a new place to see if they are any good. If the Asada is good, chances are everything else will be good as well, and the opposite is true.

So going into El Taco I look over the menu and see the Taco description of Meat, Veggie, or Chicken. I should have just stopped there but I trudged on and asked what kind of meat is it? This confused the cashier a bit and she responded back a bit rudely "Beef!" Again, should have just stopped and walked away but I'm stubborn. So I asked what type of beef? Hoping to hear Asada, etc., but this really had her thinking hard and she answered "You know, from a cow." :blink: So I ordered a meat taco, 1 for $3.50 with instructions about where the salsa bar was but I could only help myself to one of them. :sad:

Now I can put up with alot of Sh*t if the food is worth it, so I wait a few minutes and they call my name to come get the Meat Taco. The cook hands me my taco that looks more like a Meat burrito served open face. It's loaded with lettuce, beans, onion, and a few cubes of meat in the meat sauce topped with some cheese. I studied the selection of salsas very carefully since I knew I could only have one and chose the Chipotle. My friend ordered the same thing, got his taco and salsa instructions, and then we went outside on their little patio.

I'm hoping very hard that this meat taco is great for two reasons, I'm hungry and the amount of angst to get the taco is unbelievable and second, It's about 4 blocks from where I live. Now I promise this opinion of the Taco is based solely on taste and not my experiences ..... it was astonishingly bad. Shocking really. In my belief of simpler is usually better ... the taco is king, and they just made a complicated mess of bland. The few cubes of meat were stringy and mushy in a watery non-flavor sauce, it just tasted like nothing, even with salt and salsa.

I guess I have been spoiled by Chilo's and the Taco Shack.

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I studied the selection of salsas very carefully since I knew I could only have one and chose the Chipotle.  My friend ordered the same thing, got his taco and salsa instructions, and then we went outside on their little patio.

I would have piled on every salsa they had while staring icily at bovine expert behind the counter. . . What are they going to do? Chase you down the street screaming "no adobo for you"?

Thank you so much for saving me the 3.50. :smile:

Edited by annanstee (log)

The sea was angry that day my friends... like an old man trying to send back soup in a deli.

George Costanza

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The blog is for So Cal.  Not alot to do with around here except for lamenting why we can't eat as good as they do.  Lucky So Cal Bastards.

See what happens when you do a good deed? Now I'm cursing your name as I finish one review after another for bringing the page to my attention. Damn you man. It doesn't pay to do a favour. I want a good taco right now so badly. That page should be required reading for anyone wanting to operate a taco stand in the city.

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I studied the selection of salsas very carefully since I knew I could only have one and chose the Chipotle.  My friend ordered the same thing, got his taco and salsa instructions, and then we went outside on their little patio.

I would have piled on every salsa they had while staring icily at bovine expert behind the counter. . . What are they going to do? Chase you down the street screaming "no adobo for you"?

Thank you so much for saving me the 3.50. :smile:

I whole heartedly agree with you except I have a strict policy not to piss off people who are preparing my food. Don't want to take the chance of any extra "Love" in the ingredients.

The blog is for So Cal.  Not alot to do with around here except for lamenting why we can't eat as good as they do.  Lucky So Cal Bastards.

See what happens when you do a good deed? Now I'm cursing your name as I finish one review after another for bringing the page to my attention. Damn you man. It doesn't pay to do a favour. I want a good taco right now so badly. That page should be required reading for anyone wanting to operate a taco stand in the city.

What can I say man, you asked for it. On my last trip to LA we went twice in two days to his only 5 taco rated place. If someone said god himself had prepared my taco's I would have believed them.

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Chilo's never ceases to put a smile on my face.  After battling 6 pm traffic from downtown to 35th and Victoria, all I could think about were tasty tacos.  Ordered 3 Asada and 3 Carnita tacos with a Asada quesadilla kicker.  My bride ordered the Viera (Goat Soup) and an Asada and pollo tacos.  Our friend had another 4 tacos mixed of Asada and Carnita.  Along w/ 3 Ice Teas the total damage was $35 w/ tip.  Pretty damn reasonable for good food.

Lupe had her daughter who can't be older than 12 take our order, she was better and more friendly than most servers we've encountered in other places. 

It's a bit funny, every time I come in there they are blasting volume wise some Mexican Soap Opera or show ..... a simple request to turn it down is always met with a smile and a quick grab to the remote.  Chilo and Lupe are really wonderful people and are smoothing out their working hours.  I don't mind a little dis-organization and confusion when they mean well and are trying so hard.

Good call PaoPao, this place is really hitting it's stride. They now have posted hours of operation and they continue to flesh out their offerings. I had an excellent shrimp cocktail last time I was in. Chilo's may be the only taqueria in town, but even in a town with many, I'd frequent this joint.

Jason

Editor

EatVancouver.net

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  • 5 weeks later...

^ Do they have fish tacos? I've been craving them since visiting La Carte Oaxica (spelling is probably way off) in Seattle.

p.s. I think google found a blog related to you PaoPao :biggrin:

Edited by fud (log)

"There are two things every chef needs in the kitchen: fish sauce and duck fat" - Tony Minichiello

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^ Do they have fish tacos?  I've been craving them since visiting La Carte Oaxica (spelling is probably way off) in Seattle.

p.s. I think google found a blog related to you PaoPao  :biggrin:

How about Go Fish? Their fish tacos are great! Took me right back to Sayulita.....sigh.

Quentina

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I gave El Taco on davie a shot this week, and while the chicken burrito I got pee'd all over the place, it was pretty tasty. I'm not sold on having lettuce in a burrito though, but I suppose that's easily corrected when ordering.

The tortilla suffered from the wetness of the filling inside though and not having been grilled, it was rather soft and damp.

Still, not a bad burrito. Much better than the flavorless offerings at steamrollers, though I don't think I'd go so far as to say it was much if any better than Taco Del Mar.

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Mmm, skirt tacos...

Forgive my ignorance, but is skirt steak the cut used for "carne asada"?

Si, senor (or is that BC, Senor?) - skirt (or flank) steak is generally used for carne asada.

Memo, I don't know where you've eaten carne asada, but here in Mexico (where I have lived for the last 25 years), the cut used for carne asada is usually peinecillo.

Skirt steak is normally used for arrachera or tampiqueña.

I've yet to see a flank steak in Mexico.

Edited by esperanza (log)

What's new at Mexico Cooks!?

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after seeing an awesome comedyfest show downtown, we had a gorgeous meal at guu (thurlow & robson). on the way home, we had 2 mexican resto sightings!

gallery_24789_3304_18083.jpg

Taco Time Cantina? first i've ever heard of it...i think we were walking down granville when we saw this. here's the menu board outside:

gallery_24789_3304_48282.jpg

then on our drive home, we saw this new mexican place just 2 BLOCKS DOWN THE STREET from chilo's:

gallery_24789_3304_86301.jpg

gallery_24789_3304_20436.jpg

sorry, i couldn't get a better photo of the posted hours of operation. but the words "authentic", "real" and "family" makes me intensely curious. i feel so naughty, considering going to another mexican place that's SOOOO close of chilo's. i wonder if he knows about this place? :hmmm: if you're wondering, it's right beside the fire station on victoria drive, near 38th st., across from the park. google maps link

who will be the first to test the waters?

album of the moment: Kelley Polar - I Need You To Hold On While The Sky Is Falling - 2008
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