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Archive for the ‘Mexican’ Category

This year’s Dine Out brought us back to some restaurants that we’ve been to in the past. Baru Latino was one of them. We checked it out for Dine Out 2010 (when it was held in April to not get in the way of the Winter Games), and six years later we’re intrigued to give it another shot.

Food

The Beef Tiradito was like beef carpaccio; instead of the usual vinegar-based sauce that we are used to, it came with a chimichurri sauce. The beef itself didn’t have much flavour, but the chimichurri was seasoned well with herbaceous notes. There was a lot of flatbread to go with just a few pieces of beef slices.

Beef Tiradito

Between the two appetizers we ordered, I liked the Baru Ceviche more. There was a decent amount of ceviche, with a good mix of seafood, tomatoes and avocado. It tasted fresh, and creamy, but it could use a bit more acid to brighten it up even more, so make sure to use that lemon wedge on your plate.

Baru Ceviche

Mr. opted for the Chicken Mole Stew. (more…)

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Thanks to the folks at Popcorn, we were offered the opportunity to try La Mezcaleria, a Mexican restaurant brought to you by the brains behind La Taqueria. It is supposed to be the first Mexican restaurant that offers Mezcal, tequila and cocktails from different regions of Mexico.

La Mezcaleria

Food

With our menu tasting, we sampled a ceviche, two entrees, and a dessert. Of the ceviche options, we chose Aguachile (literally means “chili water”). Ceviche is usually quite acidic due to the use of fresh lime juice, so one might think green apple would just make this over the top sour. Surprisingly the hint of sweetness in green apple, along with the high water content in cucumber made this ceviche more refreshing. And the use of chili added some heat to the dish, which gave this an extra layer of flavours. I liked the combination of scallop and tuna in this dish but found them a bit fishy. The highlight for me was probably the house-made tortilla chips. They were fresh, crunchy, and had the right thickness so they wouldn’t break on you. I could just eat them alone, a lot of them. Great for snacking – they would go so well with the guacamole too.

Aguachile

The Tostadas De Pato used duck confit, which I didn’t think was commonly found in Mexican dishes. (more…)

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Last weekend, New Westminster hosted its own street cart fest, called Columbia StrEAT. The stretch of Columbia Street between 4th and 6th were closed off to pedestrians only, where food trucks were parked and tables were set up for some feasting. 16 food trucks in Vancouver came to the event, along with live entertainment from New West’s own 2 Days & Counting.

Turns out the event attracted 20,000 people, twice as much as expected. I wasn’t surprised to hear the number; if you saw the crowd at the event, you would guess the same as well.

Crowd at Columbia StrEAT

Crowd at Columbia StrEAT

And the huge turnout also meant long and lengthy line-ups. With the group of 10 of us, our line-up at each truck ranged from 1 hour to 2 hours. Seriously, we weren’t sure what motivated us to stay in lines, but it’s probably the “you’re almost there” mindset that tricked us to stand for such a long time.

And for some (luckily, not our group), they waited and waited only to find out that the food truck has sold out of their desired dishes, or the complete menu. I was mind-blown when I found out that some trucks were sold out at 7pm — the event was supposed to run till 9pm!

We managed to try food from 3 of the participating trucks: Roaming Dragon, Casalinga and La Taqueria.

Roaming Dragon

They are one of the first few food trucks entering the Vancouver market a couple of years ago. (more…)

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Another trip to the States brought me back to Portland. Watching how much Vancouver’s food truck scene has grown in the last year, I wanted to check out the food trucks in Portland again to see how we differ from them. We went to the food truck pod at SW 9th Avenue and SW Alder Street as it has the largest collection of food trucks. As we were walking towards the area, we saw many people holding a bowl of something; our search led us to discover the Whole Bowl.

The Whole Bowl food truck in Portland

The Whole Bowl food truck in Portland

Food

The concept of the Whole Bowl is simple. They only sell one item – a bowl of healthy concoction of brown rice, red and black beans, fresh avocado, salsa, black olives, sour cream, Tillamook cheddar, cilantro and Tali Sauce. Tali sauce is the Whole Bowl’s secret sauce. According to them, it’s a vegan, lemony-garlicky sauce. This is just brilliant! They can do all the prep work ahead of time, and on-site all they have to do is to assemble everything into a bowl. (more…)

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The culinary scene has definitely flourished in the past few years. One of which is the rise of guided food tours. Many companies have joined the playing field and offer food tours usually by the type of cuisine (e.g. food trucks) or by geographical location (e.g. Gastown). A few weeks ago I was invited  by Dishcrawl, a new player in the Vancouver market, to check out its Kits Bits & Bites tour.

Suggested by its name, it was a tour of four Kitsilano restaurants. Throughout the evening, we stopped by each restaurant and tried a trio of tasting plates. We didn’t know the list of restaurants ahead of time, only to be given a meet-up location and be surprised.

And so we met up at our first stop, Simpatico Restaurant, a Greek & Italian restaurant that has been around since 1969.  Can’t believe I’ve never heard of it! It is also the first ever restaurant Vancouver to introduce whole wheat crust pizza to their menu. I was quite excited to try this restaurant.

Simpatico Restaurant

Simpatico Restaurant

Simpatico Restaurant (2222 W 4th Ave)

Around the table we were given a few plates of Hummus and Pita to share. The hummus was creamy and smooth, with a citrusy, lemon finish. The pita bread was grilled nicely, crispy on the outside and soft and pillowy inside. Following that were two of Simpatico’s popular dishes. The Baltimore Benny Pizza was named after Simpatico’s chef and it’s a meat lover’s pizza. (more…)

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On our way to a business meeting, KB, AM and I stopped at Patron Tacos & Cantina for lunch. It is around the Robson/Cambie area with a lot of new eateries popping up.

Patron Tacos & Cantina

Patron Tacos & Cantina

Food

Every table starts with some in-house made Tortilla Chips & Salsa. Tortilla chips seem to be the standard affair, thin and crispy, but the salsa was less chunky than most salsa. It was darker than most, and was quite flavourful with some heat and spices. I could keep on snacking on those.

Tortilla Chips & Salsa

Tortilla Chips & Salsa

At lunch, Patron offers several lunch combos range from $9.50 to $13, which seem to be of smaller portion size from its regular/dinner menu. I chose the Huarache combo because I’ve never had it before. It’s a fried corn dough with toppings including feta cheese, sour cream, black beans, salsa and Chicken Tinga. (more…)

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