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Mexican in Vancouver


peppyre
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Thought I would see what the downtown Mexican restaurants were up to for Cinco di Mayo. I started at the Mouse and Bean and asked the woman who greeted me what they were doing foodwise for Cinco specials and her reply "we don't really celebrate the holiday in Mexico, it's more for the Americans to make a party". Ok........and then I remembered why I like to go to Taco Rico more than the M and B - Pork or lack of it.

Off I went to Taco Rico (Sabrosa) to find they were gone, moved last week, to 309 W. Pender. I had visions of a move to accommodate a cerveza licence and I beat a path up there (a block up and a block East of the old place). The place has to be a cheaper rent situation because it has none of the style of the old place, no cerveza (dammit!) and it looks like they just moved in and set up shop with the old decor (orange walls, black ceilings). The menu is the same (nothing special happening for Cinco either). I did have a tasty Torta (sandwich) with nice spicy Pork al Pastor and an Aquas Fresca (Horchata - a cinnamon perfumed, almond drink).

Still need to make it to Chilo's.

Something tells me the best Cinco di Mayo in B.C. will at Sheloras.

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Is Chilo's still in business? On the past two Wednesday nights we have gone out there only to find it closed. Looked in the windows to what appears items scattered around and disorganized. Both times we instead had dinner at the other Mexican / Salvadorian place two doors down on the corner which has been very good. Its a great sign to me when everyone else in the restaurant was Spanish beside my friend and I.

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We went to Chilos today too. Twice.

I had a beer, which came full of hot sauce, lime and salt. All that was missing was having it topped with ice, I guess they didn't want to freak the gringo too badly.

that's cervesa michelada!!!!!!!! we just spent a week in sayulita and sipped on those all afternoons with our ceviches while watching the surfers do their thing. oh...chilo's here we come!

i wonder how they'll feel about me bringing some sand to dig my toes into........ :raz:

Quentina

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Is Chilo's still in business?  On the past two Wednesday nights we have gone out there only to find it closed.  Looked in the windows to what appears items scattered around and disorganized.  Both times we instead had dinner at the other Mexican / Salvadorian place two doors down on the corner which has been very good.  Its a great sign to me when everyone else in the restaurant was Spanish beside my friend and I.

I just went there Sunday around noon. Had 3 lamb taquitos (as Chilo calls them...aka "little tacos"). They were great! Tender, sorta juicy chunks of lamb...but there was a bit of cartilage/bone in a couple of them...but I didn't really mind cuz i love eating the cartilige bits off of bones. Wife had a couple "salero" (beef rib/side) that she absolutely loved. Almost like stringy beef brisket. There was a different salsa on the table today--one he made especially to go with the lamb. It was a red salsa but a little different shade from the usual red salsa he has out.

I talked to Chilo a bit and he said that he had a great cinco di mayo -- lots of drinking. Maybe that's why they were late opening on Saturday :biggrin:

I have noticed that weekdays have been spotty...sometimes open sometimes not...and never during the day, only at night. Friday through Sunday is a good bet though...but actual opening time can vary between noon and 2ish i think. Then he stays open till around 9 or so...

Maybe next time I go (or someone else from this board goes) I should ask him point blank what his actual opening days/times are :wacko: His wife ("Lupe") is in mexico atm, so maybe he'll open up more often if she's around to help?

album of the moment: Kelley Polar - I Need You To Hold On While The Sky Is Falling - 2008
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Just had dinner at Chilo's last night. He said that he's open every night now.

I had 2 salero, 2 lengua, 2 carnitas. That was probably 1 taco too much :raz: was feeling very full an hour later...

album of the moment: Kelley Polar - I Need You To Hold On While The Sky Is Falling - 2008
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Wasn't Menudo a boy band in the 80's.  Did you "have" them?  What on earth is Menudo (besides the band - if you could call them that).

Help me understand.

Menudo is a tripe soup that's popular in Mexico. Apparently it's good for hangovers. :wink:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Menudo_Soup

I drove by a Mexican grocer on Kingsway, close to Joyce, called Los Guerreros. Anyone been???

Edited by makanmakan (log)

Quentina

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I drove by a Mexican grocer on Kingsway, close to Joyce, called Los Guerreros.  Anyone been???

Yes, I have been there. Very limited and over-priced selection. Many products seem like they don't turn often and were quite dusty.

Cheers!

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if you're looking for mexican products:

Los Dos Amigos (41st & Knight, right beside the new Duffins donuts) - i've bought horchata mix and tomatillos from there.

Jalisco's (Lonsdale Quay) - i noticed they had fresh cactus for sale when i went last weekend. also have fresh salsas, etc. located in the food court section of the quay, beside the sushi place.

Killarney Market (49th & Elliot) - they've got a small section of mexican products...chilies, salsas, mole, candy. also have fresh tortillas and mexican cheese in the back beside the processed cheese and milk.

there might be more places...perhaps on Commercial?

album of the moment: Kelley Polar - I Need You To Hold On While The Sky Is Falling - 2008
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Thanks muchly, Vancouver and Flowbee. Yes, I have found a place on Commercial, just next to Federico's Supper Club, that carries a lot of Mexican products. They also have Jamaica, which is great for summer coctails!!

I will check those other places out though.

Quentina

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  • 1 month later...

Mia Stainsby reviews North Vancouver's La Mexicana in today's Sun: La Mexicana Gourmet Foods.

Gleeson opened La Mexicana Gourmet Foods in North Vancouver a few weeks ago, a modest little enterprise serving a familiar array of Mexican dishes -- enchiladas, burritos, soups, tamales and tacos, as well as some grocery items.

She does a good job. Her rice, which accompanies many of the dishes, is cooked with TLC. She uses chicken stock to cook it, then flavours it with garlic, onion, cilantro and fresh tomatoes.

Cheers,

Anne

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3 things:

- Last weekend I had occasion to try out Taquiria Tienda El Polivoz, and I pretty much agree with Mr. Talent. It's not quite on par with the taquerias/burrito shops I had the luxury of frequenting when I lived in the Bay area, but its far and away the best of its breed in this area. Know that there are two different types of mexican restaurants (and for the purposes of this post, "mexican" means the kinda grub you get in places that call themselves mexican in California, and by extension, the much of the rest of the US. Disclaimer being that these places are not necessarily run by people of mexican national lineage, nor do they necessarily serve food the same as that which can be found in mexico proper. "Mexican" in the US refers to anyone of spanish speaking origin, and mexican-american food is its own proper genre. But I digress). Anyway, mexican restaurants can be broken down into taquerias/burrito bars on the one hand, and sit-down mexican places on the other. Most of what we traditionally get north of california can be considered from the sit-down category. Taquiria Tienda El Polivoz is very much the an authentic burrito bar, and as keith points out, the almost-exclusively "mexican" clientele is as good a certification as exists. It was howhever missing a few critical elements: A) A proper taqueria should have a big bin of fresh tortilla chips sitting under a heat lamp which patrons may help themselves to. B) As well, there should be a selection of salsas ranging from mild and chunky to very hot, as well as verde, chipotle, and tomatillo salsas. C) Lastly, but perhaps most importantly a proper taqueria/burrito bar needs to actually have a bar, behind which stands a nonplussed looking "mexican" person who will make your burrito to your specification, but will give you a perplexed look no matter what you ask for. Taquiria Tienda El Polivoz did have warm chips, but they could have been fresher, and they weren't in the requisite bin. They had only one salsa, and it was a little heavy on the chipotle flavouring for my liking. This is a bit of a faux-pas in mexican circles, as chipotle is considered an optional flavour, not a quintessential element. And the whole bar part of the experience was missing. Admittedly, most of this would only matter to a purist, but I thought it important to put it out there anyway.

- The next day, Tasty and I had occasion to vist Mi Mexico (300 Telegraph Rd, take the meridian exit and head towards bellis fair. turn right/south immediately at telegraph wich is the first street east of the I-5. Its the big pink mexican place on the right) also in Bellingham down the road from 300 Telegraph Rd. It’s a faithful representation of the sit-down mexican place. You know the kind of place... Requirements are that a bowl of chips and some salsa arrive at your table once you sit down, meals all come on plates that are very hot, all mains come with rice and beans, and they must have a respectable margarita list. Anyway, Mi Mexico didn't disappoint. Well, actually I was unimpressed initially with my margarita, and the nice "mexican" waiter rushed off and came back with a new one that was much better and had about twice as much alcohol in it. Other than that everything was great. Tasty had the grilled chicken taco salad (very authentic) and she and I spilt the carne asada and pollo fajitas and I also had a Quesadilla. All very nice, and similar to what you would find in an average sit-down mexican place in california (anyone know celia’s from the bay area?)

- Since I was in mexico in April, I've been on a bit of a margarita kick. In an authentic mexican margarita there are four ingredients: freshly squeezed lime juice, tequila, cointreau, and jirrabe. Since I've been back, I've been on the lookout for jirrabe, but to no avail. I even checked that mexican grocery on commerical by federicos. Anyway, I think its pretty much just simple syrup. But I'm hoping that you smart people can help me. It’s pretty critical cause my margaritas are tasting kind of weird right now without it.

:wacko:

~11

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1) a proper taqueria/burrito bar needs to actually have a bar, behind which stands a nonplussed looking "mexican" person who will make your burrito to your specification, but will give you a perplexed look no matter what you ask for.

2) Since I was in mexico in April,.

~11

#2 seems to give legitimacy to # 1 on this site, and all around, too frequently.

i wonder why.

Drew Johnson

bread & coffee

i didn't write that book, but i did pass 8th grade without stress. and i'm a FCAT for sure.

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#2 seems to give legitimacy to # 1 on this site,  and all around, too frequently.

i wonder why.

Not sure what you mean.

I was pretty clear about US mexican restaurants not being represantative of whats really in mexico.

Sorry if I somehow offended.

:unsure:

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#2 seems to give legitimacy to # 1 on this site,  and all around, too frequently.

i wonder why.

Not sure what you mean.

I was pretty clear about US mexican restaurants not being represantative of whats really in mexico.

Sorry if I somehow offended.

:unsure:

I'm not Drew, but I believe he meant that many posters use the argument "I've been to [country] before, therefore I know [country]'s cuisine."

Personally, I'm getting really tired of the "authentic" argument. Citizens of a given country can't even decide what's authentic within their own country. How can we even hope to do it here?

Even though Bellingham isn't under the "umbrella" of this forum, I respect Mr. talents opinions and will be making a pit stop next trip down ... authentic or not.

A.

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The taco shack will open 1935 cornwall ave. As authentic as the taco trucks from LA whatever that authentic definition is

edited for date

july 13th

Edited by gerald (log)

Gerald Tritt,

Co-Owner

Vera's Burger Shack

My Webpage

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The taco shack will open 1935 cornwall ave.  As authentic as the taco trucks from LA whatever that authentic definition is

edited for date

july 13th

With all due respect for an enterprising entrepenuer willing to take a finacial risk, are you not setting yourself up for massive critisism if you're not taco truck delicious? And part of the taco wagon appeal is lunch costs a sum total of about three bucks.

Good luck, best wishes, and being almost as good as a Bellingham taqueria would be a major victory.

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Wow, I'll be sure to check it out, Gerald. Could you give us a preview of the menu?

I'm not really one to nitpick about authenticity; I just want my food to taste good. I was in Orange County/LA recently, and one of the places we stopped was El Gallo Giro in Santa Ana, which a few posters on EG claimed to be the most "authentic" in the area. It looked promising--huge line at lunch, we were the only non-Mexican people in there, and no one working there spoke English except the girl who got me my horchata. We ordered something like 4 or 5 items (some tame, like pork torta, and some more adventurous, like tongue taco) and were really let down by the lack of flavour...

We had a $2 carnitas taco from Grand Central market the next day for our first lunch, and it awesome, even though I don't know how "authentic" it was.

Edited by Ling (log)
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We ordered something like 4 or 5 items (some tame, like pork torta, and some more adventurous, like tongue taco) and were really let down by the lack of flavour...

i find that salting to taste can be a saviour.

Gerald: The Great Taco Hunt is a great yardstick to go by.

album of the moment: Kelley Polar - I Need You To Hold On While The Sky Is Falling - 2008
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The taco shack will open 1935 cornwall ave.  As authentic as the taco trucks from LA whatever that authentic definition is

edited for date

july 13th

Is that in your old locale, Gerald?

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 taco shack will open 1935 cornwall ave.  As authentic as the taco trucks from LA whatever that authentic definition is

edited for date

july 13th

With all due respect for an enterprising entrepenuer willing to take a finacial risk, are you not setting yourself up for massive critisism if you're not taco truck delicious? And part of the taco wagon appeal is lunch costs a sum total of about three bucks.

Good luck, best wishes, and being almost as good as a Bellingham taqueria would be a major victory.

As our recipes come from a taco truck in LA I feel confident that we will measure up. As for cost, i guess its been a while since you have been to a taco truck, A taco and drink will set you back 3 bucks, a order of taco's and a drink, about 6-7, depending on the real estate.

Gerald Tritt,

Co-Owner

Vera's Burger Shack

My Webpage

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It is our old locale, it is a temp store for 6 months then we will swap spots with the wedge in the winter.

our menu is going to be simple, tacos, burritos, quesdillas

homemade tortillas for the tacos, homemade guac and agi.

simple simple simple, fresh fresh fresh, tasty tasty tasty

Gerald Tritt,

Co-Owner

Vera's Burger Shack

My Webpage

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