Sal y Limon – Vancouver, BC


Sal y Limon
701 Kingsway Ave
Vancouver BC
(604) 677-4247

I’m a big fan of Kingsway as a foodist’s destination. The scruffiness of this diagonal slash of a street seems to impose a level of gastronomic authenticity that you will not see in other parts of this city. Embedded into the various strip malls along this drag are some true gems – mostly of the ethnic hole-in-the-wall variety. This road is of course well known to fans of Vietnamese food, but this post is about a Mexican Tacos and Tortas newcomer to the section many people call “The Triangle” at corner of Fraser St.

When someone texted me a picture of the menu of this newly opened hole in the wall a couple of weeks ago, I was instantly intrigued and have been angling to check it out. The subsequent social media buzz about this restaurant further stoked my interest.

I finally made the effort last week and ordered a selection of tacos (al pastor, cordero, pernil) and a carne asada torta (grilled beef sandwich). The tacos are small (as they should be) and served on doubled-up tortillas…but they were not inexpensive at $2.25 each – about the same range as La Taqueria’s offerings. A bit high for Kingsway joint, I thought.

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Taqueria Playa Tropical – New Westminster, BC


Taqueria Playa Tropical
334- 6th Street
New Westminster, BC
(604) 544-5006

“The Royal City” of New Westminster has a long history in this province, as it was founded as the capital of the Colony of British Columbia in the mid-19th century and was the first to be recognized as an incorporated city.  Its history notwithstanding, the city of approximately 60, 000 people today remains a smaller player when it comes to being a destination for exciting dining options, and certainly no one restaurant comes to mind when I think of this area, as the place to check out if ever here.

With a few major roads that cut through the hilly city, I’ve only really checked out some simple, hole-in-the-wall type establishments, usually for a late breakfast or brunch.  But it was brought to my attention by The Friday Lunch that an intriguing new place had been spotted – the Taqueria Playa Tropical.  Heck, the name alone brings a smile to my face.  And being so close to Burger Burger has to mean it has good karma, right?

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La Taqueria – Vancouver, BC


La Taqueria Pinche Taco Shop
322 West Hastings Street
Vancouver, BC
(604) 568-4406

Its been over a year but I finally made my way down to this by now, well known taqueria not far from Victoria Square where the Remembrance Day ceremonies took place this week.  There seems to be a mix of die hard fans and those who are skeptical of its authenticity or just plain disappointed by the flavors or even the portion sizes out there in the blogosphere about La Taqueria.  I always take all of these opinions just as they are, individual thoughts and impressions that each of them are absolutely entitled to.  In the end it comes down to me (and everyone else) to decide if they enjoy the food, with varying factors influencing just how we interpret and therefore accept them on our taste buds.

To conduct my own personal experiment as a first time customer in this compact shop on West Hastings Street, the order of the day was this plate of four of their meat taco options…

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Papalote – San Francisco, CA


Papalote Mexican Grill
3409 24th Street
San Francisco, CA
(415) 970-8815

The Mission district has what I call a lot of “flavour”.  Colorful characters, simple ethnic shops, groceries  and eateries (many of the Latin persuasion), and a very “real” feeling about it compared to the more tamer parts of this beautiful city by the bay that I adore.  I headed down to this part of town to meet some folks before visiting their home on the edge of this area, and after being pitched a few options for something to get for takeaway chose the taqueria.  My local guide said this place was very well known and he’d had some good meals there so left it in his capable hands to drive us over after I arrived by BART.  The scene below is where I was standing waiting for my ride just across from the 24th street station, ironically in front of a McDonald’s…

So we soon ended up on the street by Papalote.  From the outside, it looked nothing special, sort of diner-like as I peered into the space where you can eat in.  Walk-in-and-take-out traffic seems to be heavy here too, as we were soon joined by a few people grabbing a menu card and giving their order to the cashier.  I was enticed by the many offerings, including the tasty sounding vegetarian ones, but in the end opted for the fish tacos.

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Joey’s Global Grill & Lounge – Edmonton, AB


Joey’s Global Grill & Lounge
9911 19 Avenue NW
Edmonton, AB T6N 1M4
(780) 465-1880

Joey’s South Common is the upscale version of the more common Joey Tomato’s found throughout this and other cities.  Taking advantage of a beautiful summer day in Edmonton, we slid out of the office a good half-hour before noon to ensure we could grab a table on the outdoor patio.  Good thing we did, as most of the tables were already filled by the time we got there – although this could have been due to the sunny Friday afternoon in which we chose to visit this establishment.  The outdoor patio is equipped with a full bar, water features, shade umbrellas, and plenty of staff to keep drinks refilled, and the plates moving.

After perusing the “world-inspired” menu, the ‘Baja Fish Tacos’ caught my attention.  My lunch companions ordered the ‘Tandoori Chicken Flatbread’, and ‘Viva Salad’.  We shared a laugh when we got to reminiscing about a lunch at this same restaurant years ago, when I ordered this same salad — but distinctly recall it being called the ‘DIVA Salad’ (as I had to endure quite the verbal onslaught from my friends at the table that afternoon).  Maybe other customers shared this experience, resulting in the name change?  Who knows!?

The service on this day was very quick – replacing drinks just as they crossed the half-way point – and the food arrived surprisingly quick considering how busy the patio was.

My trio of tacos arrived on a clever taco stand, with a plentiful side dish of Mexican hot sauce (which was actually mild, even for my low heat tolerance).  Flavor of the tacos was quite tame — which made the sauce a must.  Overall – not the worst fish tacos I’ve ever had; however, the biggest drawback to my meal was the unfortunate luck of sitting downwind of my companion’s tandoori chicken.  Don’t get me wrong – I am an Indian food junkie — but if 75% of what we perceive as taste actually comes from the olfactory receptors – I was smelling Indian food, while putting Mexican on the actual tastebuds…

Baja Fish Taco

Baja Fish Taco

The tandoori chicken flatbread looked great, and as mentioned – smelled great.  The server commented that this was her choice of the trio, but two of our group didn’t find it all that exciting.  Comparing this to your average Indian restaurant, I would have to say this falls short.  Maybe to those who haven’t experienced really good Indian food – this might suffice as a nice introduction to the cuisine?

Tandoori Chicken Flatbread

Tandoori Chicken Flatbread

Last, but certainly not least is the ‘Viva Salad’.  I’ve been a big fan of this salad (as far as meal-worthy salads go).  The apples add a nice sour note, the Craisins provide a nice sweetness, and the roasted chicken is tender and seems to absorb just the right amount of the balsamic dressing.  Maybe it was the heat, but the lettuce was a bit on the wilty side, but still within a tolerable state.

Viva Salad

Viva Salad

I find my experience(s) at Joey’s most fun when the intention is to go for a few drinks and a couple bites.   Every experience I’ve had for lunch or dinner, has resulted in at least one individual who was a little let down with their meal, while another is satisfied.  Maybe this is due to their attempt to bring such a variety of world influences to a single menu – which makes them the restaurant equivalent of a “Jack of all trades, and a master of none”.

Joey's Global Grill (SouthEd Common) on Urbanspoon

Red Burrito – Vancouver, BC


Red Buritto
University of British Columbia campus
Vancouver, BC

Heading into the long weekend, I felt it would be appropriate to post a very brief report, in similar fashion to a previous entry. We at Foodosophy can certainly use a break from our busy schedule, so we hope you can understand our brevity today.

May I introduce, a contender for the title of Weakest Fast Food Tacos Ever Created.

– bland, flavorless meat that was stewed in a watery broth
– the meat and watered down sour cream transferred too much moisture to the tacos, rendering them a soggy mess
– uninteresting toppings that added little to the overall lack of taste
– each of the four tiny tacos in the set could literally be eaten in two bites, because most of it was dropping out of the runny shell

Quick and fast perhaps. But a satisfying meal, it is not.

Red Burrito on Urbanspoon