Vancouver Eats: Tacofino

ca22bacb9806a510d486c2f19a5f51f7             Via Pop Sugar

When you can’t decide what to eat, there’s always tacos.  That’s something we can always agree on.  We’ll be undecided, some of us not that hungry, some of us confused, and we’ll hem and haw over what we should eat and where to go. But if someone suggests tacos there’s pretty much always a round of unison that follows.  And then we roll out of the house.  Really quickly when it’s for tacos at Tacofino.

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Because there are tacos and then there are Tacofino tacos.  Not quite your authentic Mexican joint, not even owned by Mexicans or anyone of any Hispanic decent, a lot of Japanese influences in flavours (chicken karaage in the chicken tacos, kabocha squash tacos, Mmmmmm), started out as a food truck in Tofino, but serves damn good tacos!  The best fish tacos in Vancouver, hands down.

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Mom and Dad first discovered Tacofino when they went to Tofino years ago.  They came back raving about two things, the beautiful resort that they stayed at and these fish tacos that were ridiculously good from a small food truck somewhere in town.  Now, Tofino is just over a 6-hour drive from Vancouver.  A tad bit too long for fish tacos.  To satisfy her Tacofino fish taco cravings, Mom found that Rob Feenie’s fish tacos at Cactus Club were an acceptable second.  Not a replacement by any means, but just enough to make up for the 6-hour drive.

To this day, when I think of Cactus Club, I think about their fish tacos with that mango salsa on top and that’s pretty much all I have on the rare occasion I go there to eat.

 

Tacofino brought their trucks over to Vancouver, lucky for us!  And those lunches at Cactus Club came to a screeching halt. Dad and I would go over to the Vancouver Art Gallery on a nice day to line up for the perfectly battered fish tacos and enjoy them out in the sun.  They’ve now since expanded into a dine-in restaurant at their commissary kitchen location, and a burrito and taco bar in Gastown, minutes away from where we live.

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That’s where we went for lunch the other day.  Surprisingly, it was Mark’s first time to try them and Karla’s second time, although it’s been legendary to them from all the “best fish taco ever!” and “you have to try it!” critical acclaims in the Sy household over the years ever since Mom and Dad’s fateful trip to Tofino.

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We started with their salsas and guacamole platter with homemade deep fried chips.  Mmmmmmm.  I especially love the mole that comes with it. We each had their famous, beautifully battered, cod fish tacos, and then shared the chicken taco, pork al pastor taco, and squash and cauliflower tostada. All were, as usual, fantastic.

The wonderful thing about food memories is that they stay with you forever.  Just the sight, thought, or whiff of something can bring back such intimate details and emotions.  We will forever associate these fish tacos at Tacofino with Mom and her trip with Dad to Tacofino.  Sure enough, every time I enjoy them I have Mom on my mind just as I do with all the delicious food she introduced me to in my lifetime.  And thanks to her love of cooking and feeding, Tacofino’s fish tacos are just one of many.

Happy New Year to everyone!  Hope you resolve to create more food memories with the people you love!

-SS

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