I probably wouldn’t have gone to La Taqueria if Dolph hadn’t taken me and Pickles (née Yvonne, who was unfortunately bitten by a radioactive pickle) there last December—I rarely take the dreaded 99 to or from school—but nowadays I find myself hopping on the B-Line to grab a quick bite every once in a while.
This time, Dolph and I (minus our brine-y friend) made our way to La Taqueria on Cambie off Broadway after browsing through the Book Warehouse, which closed down last month. The place was bustling with the after-work crowd, but we managed to find a table to sit at while we pondered on the menu. We ended up ordering 4 tacos each, which came to $11 per person.
Dolph got the Daily Special (bottom taco), which had potatoes, cilantro and sour cream atop two corn tortillas. She commented that this was neither spectacular nor surprising—the potatoes tasted as they should, with a consistency closer to mashed potatoes than individual potato chunks. To the right is the Tinga de Pollo: chicken with chorizo in chipotle tomato sauce, then topped with cheese and sour cream. Dolph thought that this taco was only alright—it wasn’t as “exotic” as some of the other ones you could get, and the sour cream was put on a little too heavily for her taste.
Moving onto my plate, I had the De Lengua (top taco, with a few pieces of pickled red onion I added on myself), a beef tongue taco served with salsa verde, onions and cilantro. I usually love beef tongue—if prepared right, the texture and taste can be really enjoyable. La Taqueria did a great job, as it was juicy without being too wet and soft without being mushy. To the right is the De Cachete, which is a braised beef cheek taco that is also topped with cilantro and onions. While there was a ton of beef on the taco, I thought that it was slightly too greasy and wet this time around.
She and I both ordered the Carnitas, a pork confit and pickled red onion taco (on my plate it is the one next to the De Lengua). This is one of our favourite tacos to order—the barbequey flavour of the pork, combined with the white onions, cilantro and picked red onions makes for a very impactful treat. It’s also a nice change from the beef tacos, which tend to be on the mushier side; the Carnitas has a more interesting texture that comes from the pulled pork. I tend to load mine up with extra red onions, as you can see in the picture below. They usually all fall out when I take a bite out of the taco, but whatever, I like them so much I end up eating them all anyways. Our other mutual favourite is the Pescado (bottom taco), better known as the fish taco. The flakey cod filet (the fish is different depending on the season) was topped with cabbage mix and pico de gallo (onions, tomatoes and jalapenos), and was incredibly juicy. This, too, we order because we like the different texture of the fish. It’s also very refreshing because of the citrusy sauce, and it’s a good way to end the meal.
In terms of service, the staff at La Taqueria are very personable and friendly, and seem to have a great relationship with their customers. Despite my not being a regular customer (I go once in a while, but always on different days of the week), a few of the waiters already know me by name, and know my regular order. The restaurant is very bright (both in colour and lighting) and clean, and they also provide a self-serve salsa stand with four kinds of salsa, jalapenos and pickled red onions and free water. All this, coupled with their great attitude, makes for a great experience, whether you’re with friends or eating alone.
2549 Cambie Street