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Maizal RMF, #TacoChallengeYVR

I was at the end of my taco quest, having been tasked with the responsibility of trying and judging all the creative tacos of this year’s Vancouver Foodster Best #TacoChallengeYVR. And on this day, Maizal’s creation would be the last out of the 7 competing, that I had to judge.

I have passed by their restaurant many times before, but have never thought to try their cuisine. And in hindsight I was definitely missing out. Thankfully as a judge, I got to not only try their tasty challenge taco, but explore more of their menu as well. And spoiler: I am a fan.

Sadly, you would not know to order their competition taco, as they have no signs and/or posters advertising its availability. And you are absolutely missing out as a result.

This is their Taco Yucatan. Black tiger shrimp marinated in anchiote salsa and served on a black tortilla infused with squid ink. Then finished with Monterey cheese, and a pineapple and mango habanero salsa. It isn’t listed on the description or pictured on the competition website, but ours came with a pile of crispy yam shreds that made all the difference. They elevated the dish providing contrast to the firm shrimp and softened tortilla.

Without giving any more away, I can say you have until the 29th to try this and all the other creations. But stay tuned for my round up post for a more detailed recap of each entry.

And since we were here, we thought to explore more of their menu starting off with the nachos. I am already a fan of nachos. So trust me when I say, these are up there on my list of best nachos in the city!

Tortilla chips with sour cream, pico de gallo, guacamole, green and red salsa, cotija cheese, and pickled jalapeño. There was so much going on to leave you with the perfect ratio of topping to chip. Spicy cheese and a creamy bean paste that did not weigh down the tortilla, all pulled together by the cooling tang of sour cream. You would spend $26+ for this quantity and assortment anywhere else, but at Maizal it only runs for $12.95. Such a great deal.

The Chicken Flautas are 2 crispy rolled tortillas filled with chicken, served with beans, lettuce, cream and cheese. It ate like two giant spring rolls stuffed full with tightly packed shredded white meat chicken. It was a little dry and bland so needed the sides to build upon, like a rice bowl where you create your own ideal bite. However I could have still used a dip of some sort. A side of salsa or some hot sauce to give it a better pop of flavour.

We also tried some of their regularly available tacos. The Pescado is battered cod, pico de gallo, chipotle mayo and cilantro. The white fish was crispy and light and the filling saucy and tangy. This was a classic fish taco that delivered on expectations.

Their lamb taco was not listed on the menu, but came highly recommended. The shredded lamb meat was so well seasoned and flavourful, it was definitely our favourite of the 3. Ideal with the addition of some hot sauce for zeal.

The Taco pastor was another familiar classic taco. Marinated pork, pineapple, pico de gallo, and cilantro. This was so zesty and punchy that the pineapple did well to balance and help brighten up the taco.

And with all the impactful flavours above, it was nice to be able to end with a little dessert. The Tres Leches cake was subtle, its milk and caramel base was not too sweet. It reminded me of a cross between rice pudding and bread pudding in texture.

In closing, I really enjoyed everything at Maizal. Creating a great reminder that you can’t judge a book by its cover. The decor feels like a cookie cutter franchise, but in reality they are more like a hidden gem. A great spot for authentic Mexican cuisine with staff that are so approachable and friendly. Next time I am craving Mexican I will definitely be back here. Forget the other “popular” Vancouver Mexican taco places, come to Maizal instead, you wont regret the nachos!

Maizal RMF
2815 Main St, Vancouver, BC V5T 3G1
(604) 709-0813

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