We had a bad experience with the taco restaurant that it was before, so was curious to see how this reincarnation fared today. And to be honest if it wasn’t for the new staff, my partner wouldn’t have ventured in for the first time in years, and then come back with me in this post.
Located in New Westminster this place isn’t necessarily a destination, but a nice option for Mexican cuisine in the area. Their slogan is “Where authentic is created” and with the Spanish music and the mother and daughter team working front of house and kitchen, I was optimistic.
This was furthered along by the very enticing menu. Everything was listed with vivid photos and well written descriptions. You choose your foundation from tacos, tortas, tostadas, burritos, gorditas, quesadillas, flautist, and sopes. Then you pick your desired protein from the list off the back. Carne asada, pollo asado, carnitas, chorizo, al pastor, and pescado. Or flank steak, grilled chicken, slow roasted pulled pork, Mexican sausage, pork marinated with onion and pineapple, and battered deep fried basa. They also have slow roasted chicken meat and chunks of lamb listed, but both were not available today. You can either keep your platter protein consistent, or mix and match 2-3 within your order. For example, if you get 3 tacos, you can have each one be different: a beef taco, one in chicken, and the last with pork. Meaning between our two orders we were able to try all the available above, minus the fish.
My partner had the three 4inch tacos, in soft shell corn tortillas. The regular order is garnished with white onion and cilantro, however he requested the without. This is the edited version, and despite mentioning no onion and cilantro due to dietary discomfort, our server forgot to mention it to her mother/chef. So she had to bring the tray back to the kitchen and had both picked out, and then brought back to us. What came back was grilled chicken on a tortilla, slow roasted pulled pork, and pork marinated in onion and pineapple. They didn’t look like much without its greens, luckily it came with two sauces.
You get your own carafes of sauces to use as sparingly or as excessively as you wish. The red was hot, it came without a warning, but I guess the colour is telling. The green was tangy and mild, it gave the tacos some kick. But not enough to hide how bland the chicken was. The pulled pork was better, it had a nice char to it. But my favourite of the three was the pork with pineapple, and its tangy barbecue-like sauce.
Similar, but with two 6 inch corn tortillas fried and piled high, were the tostadas that I had and preferred. Here, I also had my choice of proteins, but a lot more toppings along with it. I had the flank steak cut up into small cubes, and the ground Mexican sausage with some heat. The chorizo was more fulsome with chunks of potato, and the steak hard and over cooked, with less flavour. Topped with sour cream, lettuce, cilantro, and fresh cheese. All together it had the texture of a hard shell taco, and tasted more like tex-mex with the cheese and sour cream. It was everything I liked about “Taco Time”, but elevated and grown up.
I just questioned the side of fries that came with both orders, they felt out of place with or without ketchup. A side of dirty rice or seasoned potato chunks would have been more complimentary and more authentic, like their slogan advertised. Although they did add to the great presentation on the boards.
Would I come back? – Yes.
Would I line up for it? – No.
Would I recommend it? – Yes.
Would I suggest this to someone visiting from out of town? – No.
Not my first choice for tacos, but at their fair prices, and with use of quality ingredients, I won’t shy away from a return visit either. A viable quick meal option when in New Westminster. Don’t deny your cravings.
418 E Columbia St, New Westminster, BC V3L 3W9