Sunday, March 29, 2015

New Taco Joint in Vancouver Gastown: Tacomio Restaurant Review

One of my favorite cuisine is Mexican food so I was pretty darn excited to try out a spanking new taco restaurant called Tacomio. Located in the hip Gastown neighborhood in Vancouver, Tacomio is a small fast-food style joint with warm, sunny decors and a unique, festive ambiance. Although the place is fast-food styled, everything is made fresh daily and almost everything on the menu is made from scratch. To see what I devoured, read on.......
Tacomio offers a variety of taco options, with even a few vegetarian choices. The taco fillings are all visible right at the counter and they are numbered to match the menu so you know exactly what you are getting. I get super impatient at reading menu descriptions so I love the fact I can just point to the fillings I want and see it prepared right in front of me.
Chicharrones: Crispy Pork Rinds & Corn Crisps
We first tried some Chicharrones, a mix of deep-fried pork rinds and corn chips with a side of housemade guacamole. The guac definitely tastes super fresh and flavorful and the pork rinds are fluffy, crispy, and surprisingly not at all greasy. The corn crisps are long and thin which makes them super dippable.
For the tacos, we tried everything that was on the menu for the day, including Carnitas (confit pork shoulder), Pollo con Mole (claybaked chicken with housemade mole), and Conchinita Pibil (braised pork shoulder). My favorite was probably the Canitas and the Rajas Con Crema which is made with roasted poblano pepper and creamed corn. The creamed corn is incredibly rich, satisfying, and subtly sweet and creamy. I am usually more of a burrito person because taco shells tends to be dry and boring but the ones at Tacomio are soft and delicate.
Taco selection from Tacomio
Last but certainly not least are two of the drink offerings. The first, the Aguamia (Tacomio's daily creation), consists of fresh squeezed orange juice topped with hibiscus foam. The drink is super refreshing and I love how beautiful the pink and orange gradient looks in that cup (summer mani inspiration anyone?)! We also tried the housemade horchata (rice milk based drink with vanilla and cinnamon). I've only tried horchata once, from Sal Y Limon, another great taco joint in Vancouver. However, the horchata there simply taste like sweet almond milk. So I was pretty happy to try out some authentic horchata with actual rice pulp dispersed all through the drink. The drink is very yum and only subtly sweet, and it even has a frozen strawberry ice cube inside!
Freshly-squeezed orange juice with hibiscus foam & Housemade Horchata
The interior of the restaurant itself is definitely noteworthy. Everything from the light fixture to the wooden counters make the place super warm and welcoming. There is even a cute hand-painted mural on the wall showing different exports of Mexico.
Inside Tacomio
Finally, Tacomio has several variety of housemade salsas ranging from mild to "dangerous". La Bomba, aka the "dangerous" is actually super super hot! I tried some absentmindedly for my first bite and was just overwhelmed by the tingling sensation on my tongue. I love spicy stuff and have a pretty darn high tolerance for spicy food but this stuff was certainly the bomb!
Salsa Table
If you love Mexican food, you have to check out this place! I've been to most of the Mexican places in Vancouver and I have to say this is definitely my fave so far for tacos!
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