Saturday, June 12, 2010

El Centro - The Center of Vancouver's Taco Universe

As most of you know I was born in Mexico City and moved to Vancouver in 1999. It was definitely a huge culture shock at the time and while I love being a Canadian citizen and enjoying the benefits of a peaceful and violence-free life, there are a lot of things I still miss about Mexico.  The main three things I crave are the warmth of the people, the amazing weather, and the outstanding food.

Mexico has one of the richest and most extensive food cultures in the world. Our lives revolve around eating with our friends and relatives and spending hours discussing controversial topics and laughing and singing over a meal. Some of the best food I have ever eaten was made in Mexico and that's mostly because people there are proud to spend two days in the kitchen to prepare something for you - it's the way they show their love.

Due to my adoration of Mexican food, I'm always on the hunt for high-quality Mexican spots in Vancouver. Tacos are my weakness and even though I have been to the highly praised La Taqueria and really enjoyed it, I was also happy to discover El Centro while walking around downtown Vancouver a couple of weeks ago. El Centro is a small and quaint restaurant with a nice patio facing the highly fashionable and trendy street of Robson. The staff are extremely friendly and the main waiter is as yummy-looking as the food itself - you'll see!

The food and drinks are well-priced and delicious. When I visit El Centro I just tend to get one order of each taco variety - chicken, al pastor, beef asada, and cochinita. The flavours of the tacos are rich and authentic just like in Mexico. Each taco order is served with two fresh tortillas so that you get two tacos for each kind of filling - a great deal for $2.50 each! The famous Don Guacamoles would charge you an arm and a leg for similar portions - I have nothing against their food but their prices are simply ridiculous.  I have had also ordered the pork torta at El Centro and even though it was good I would probably recommend to go to Las Tortas instead if you are craving authentic Mexican torta subs.

Overall due to El Centro's food, location, service & music I would highly recommend giving it a try next time you are looking for a nice Mexican meal downtown.

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