La Taqueria opened another Taco Shop this summer in the South Cambie area, just off of Broadway. I remember going to the original La Taqueria location quite awhile back in downtown Vancouver near Gastown, and not enjoying it as much as everyone around me. I seemed to be one of the very few that didn’t really like it and came away from the experience with disappointment.
Well, I’ve been back to the Cambie location several times at this point after moving to the area for the summer, and have thoroughly craved and had great experiences there. I went for the first time with a girlfriend who was visiting from out of the country, and she was craving some good Mexican food after living in Southern China for the past several years. She just left to Kuwait for a two year contract, and wasn’t sure what to expect there either, so I thought it would be the perfect lunch to have a couple of times before she set off again to the great dry unknown.
The first thing I’ve noticed after walking by the taco shop on a regular basis is how it’s always bumping busy. There has been a lineup at least to the door pretty much every time I have looked in, and this isn’t just during the usual lunch rush either. Be it 2 or 3 pm in the middle of the afternoon, this still seems to constantly be the case. It’s difficult to find seats at times, but the turnover is usually quite quick and you don’t have to wait long in the end, or else always have the option to take the food to go.
Going up to the order counter, I’ve been continually impressed with the fantastic service, as well as the number of Spanish-speaking patrons in the lineup that converse with the staff. The cooks in the kitchen churn out tacos extremely fast, and everything seems to be very well organized – this was the case even after the shop was only open for a couple of weeks.
A variety of tacos can be purchased from the vast meat, fish, and vegetarian (even vegan) selections, at $9.50 for 4 meat tacos, or else $7 for 4 vegetarian options. Individual tacos can also be ordered, with prices ranging from $2-$2.50 each, and there is also the option to get meat or vegetarian quesadillas (which I haven’t tried yet).
Some of my favourites to date include the Al Pastor (or pork marinated in achiote chilli and pineapple), Carnitas (or pork confit with pickled red onions, De Lengua (or braised beef tongue), and Pescado (grilled fish with pico de gallo).
Also, if you haven’t been before, once your taco has been brought out by staff, they will explain all of the condiments and sauces available to you and how to mix them to meet your spice and flavour requirements for your specific order. All in all, a great experience and a perfect fast lunch!
The only thing I have left to try there and have been recommended wholeheartedly by a girlfriend who used to eat out of taco trucks in Southern California is the Horchata, a drink made up of cinnamon, rice milk, almonds, and sugar (among a few other possible ingredients).