My duties as one of this year’s Vancouver Foodster #TacoChallengeYVR judges had me chasing down the Ay Mamacita food truck all around town. And I was eventually able to corner them at the Olympic Village, to not only try their limited edition Taco entry, but to taste my way through basically their entire menu, as well.
The truck is a one man show, with Alejandro as the Chef and operator, feeding customers with his family’s recipes; which is well represented in his competition taco: the Choriqueso.
This taco features his family’s chorizo recipe, a homemade Mexican pork chorizo sausage with fresh guacamole, tomatillo salsa verde, melted asadero cheese, pumpkin blossoms, pickled onions, and sprouts. All on a heirloom corn tortilla. The twist was the pumpkin blossoms, I just wish I could see and taste more of them. I would have placed the blossom atop of everything as a visual, edible garnish; instead of under the pile of fresh toppings and sauces.
I won’t be going into too much detail of how it actually tastes here, as to not spoil my judging results. You will have to stay tuned for the round up post of all the tacos tried.
After we finished the best taco entry taco, we went on to try the others available. 3/4, only leaving out the vegetarian corn truffle and cheese option, which in hindsight sounds like the most creative one, and that we might have missed out.
Their tacos consists of traditional ingredients and recipes given creative leeway. Like the Chicken Alambre which reminded me of a BLT, and had me craving ranch dressing as a result. So I highly recommend asking Alejandro for his side sauces here. There is a medium and hot option, and I found for my tastes, both were most helpful in injecting a little seasoning into everything, and bringing it all together. Naturally the tacos are made for all palates, and sometimes a little finesse is necessary.
Bacon, roasted peppers, melted cheese, pickled onions, and salsa verde. The chicken was left in large chunks, so be sure to ration it out, or be left with your last bite, protein free. I did like the familiarity of the bacon, it added some sweeteners with its maple glaze.
Though I prefer the Baja Garlic Prawns with cabbage, chipotle mayo, chunky tomato and corn salsa, scallions, and sprouts. This was probably the best out of the three. Here, the large pieces of moist, garlicky shrimp delivers, its sweetness brought out by the corn. With the addition of the crisp sprouts and green onions for freshness. There was a lot of great texture in this one to leave your mouth feeling happy.
The Beef Carne Asada is flank steak, poblano peppers, salsa roja, caramelized onions, pickled carrots, and cilantro. Soft and chewy, it needed some crunch to add texture to the moisten beef and softened tortilla. And for flavour it was tangy and fresh, but needed more seasoning and substance. Here, the hot sauces were helpful as well.
If you want something more travel-friendly they also have a rice bowl with your choice of protein along side saffron rice, roasted market vegetables, green pea crema, pickled red onion, pickled carrots, cilantro, and sprouts. Here we went for more chorizo, liking how we had it in their taco earlier. Don’t be disappointed by reading too much into it being listed as a rice bowl, it doesn’t eat as rich or as satisfying as one. The chorizo was the heaviest part of this dish. However, it is a great healthy option for lunch, especially as it is more vegetable than rice. It sits light and refreshing and acts more like a salad, but with enough of the rice to keep you full.
In retrospect, all of what we had ate the same way: healthy and clean. They should really advertise their offerings as authentic and healthy Mexican cuisine, as to best set expectations and not having customers compare their offerings to Tex mex or a lot more calorie driven Mexican offerings.
Be sure to try the Choriqueso for yourself, and if you like it you can vote for it for the people’s choice award at https://vancouverfoodster.com/taco-challenge/
302 Industrial Ave, Vancouver, BC V6A 2P3