Having completed our five stop Gastown cocktail crawl, “Drunken Noms”, “Picky Diner” and I ended the night as how we started: with tacos.
I have only been to “Tacofino” where it originated, in Tofino. So this would be my first taste outside of the surf island life. There are now a few locations available around the lower mainland, but this would be the first of its name with a sit down service area, this nice. However for a quick bite to sober up on we didn’t indulge.
The exterior was all brick with its name painted in white against the red. Their iconic logo of a pair of hands clasped in prayer with a taco between them, was the “x” that marked the spot.
This Gastown location has their restaurant divided into two. One for tacos and one for burritos. The tacos are a sit down affair in Blood Alley; and the burritos, a bar stool and counter top arrangement on Cordova.
A specific menu and a narrow corridor divided the two, with the furniture being the most noticeable difference. Across both spaces, the entire floor was tiled in uniform hexagons. Green with geometric lines haphazardly intermingled with tiles of white and black. From below our feet they lead and opened up to the formal dining area. I took a peak at tables and chairs with large enough isle ways for servers to navigate between them.
They also have a patio out back. Encased behind a stone fence, it is a walk up to an elevated seating area. Strung with lights and signed with a sandwich board, it was easy to spot walking past the alleyway.
Back at the quick burrito counter we ordered off the menu printed on the wall. It was a ceiling to floor list of various tacos and burritos with the option to have the former a “walking version”, and the latter in bowl for easier mobility as well. Fish, crispy chicken, chorizo, vegetarians and vegan. Quick and easy.
“Drunken Noms” swears by their crispy chicken burrito, deeming it a great sober-upper snack. This one was a two hander filled with their breaded and fried chicken, rice, vegetable slaw, and tomatillo salsa. She beast-mode her burrito, making it through mid way before having to stop. She packed the rest to go. I never knew a burrito to travel well as leftovers, but she seemed sure it would.
Wanting to share, “Picky Diner” and I ordered the only tacos they had: the fish. An order of 3 came at a very reasonable price of $6. Breaded and deep fried fish over flour tortillas, topped with pico de gallo salsa and shredded lettuce. They were refreshing with all the greens, and lightness of the fish with a spritz of lime.
I insist on ending every meal with something sweet and they had one of my favourite treats here. Their “Diablo cookie” is the bringing together of chocolate and chillies. Sweet and spicy battle. And what you get is a well balanced, not too sweet dessert, with a soothing back of the throat burn.
We grabbed a seat by the counter, on one of their woven chairs. The seat was a serious of cords intertwining around a metal ring. They looked like dream catchers without the tassels or feathers. The little nook we were in included a mobile of potted plants strung up with rope and wood and a back lit photo of a beach at high tide.
Their washrooms were labeled with either a taco or burrito decal, I had to ask which I was. Taco. After thinking about it, I can see why.
Would I come back? – Yes.
Would I line up for it? – No.
Would I recommend it? – No.
Would I suggest this to someone visiting from out of town? – Yes.
I would like visit again and maybe hit up all seating areas at once. A burrito at the bar, a taco in the dining area, and maybe some margaritas on the patio with either? Don’t deny your cravings.