Obviously any visit to Tacofino is always going to draw instant comparisons to the OG food truck. I had expected the menus to be virtually identical and the quality of the food to be pretty similar. I was right on the latter, but the menu definitely took me by surprise. Tacofino Ocho (located in Mt Pleasant) is definitely more sophisticated than its buddy over on Vancouver Island, but it still creates a warm and welcoming vibe. I say without hesitation that the quality of the food was superb.
We arrived in time for the Happy Hour specials but to my dismay their oven was broken (?!) meaning the highly anticipated nachos were off the cards. The margaritas were still good to go fortunately and instead of the nachos we opted for some saucy ribs. The ribs were positively delicious, albeit more of an appropriate size for one person.
My main reason for loving Mexican food as much as I do is because I cannot get enough of fish tacos. We ordered two of the fish and two of the chicken and both were fresh, flavoursome and gone in three bites! The fish was fried perfectly: the batter was crispy and not too greasy and the fish flaked away in my mouth. We realised that we hadn’t yet got our taco fix, so the main dish we ordered was a pork belly one, which came with tortillas and salsa so that we could make our own tacos. Again, the meat melted in my mouth, but I just couldn’t get enough of the sauce! Yum.
What’s a dinner out without dessert, so naturally we landed on churros. We agreed that these were right up there with some of the best churros we’ve ever had: perfectly seasoned (with cinnamon and sugar, duh!) and crunch on the outside but so soft and doughy on the inside. They came with a dulce de leche sauce that I was less of a fan of (it tasted too much like condensed milk for my liking) but Andy and the waitress both found praise. I wasn’t even hungry by this stage but I definitely could have eaten another churro.
Tacofino has a bunch of restaurants around Vancouver, including Gastown, Kitsilano and Yaletown. However, I particularly like the location of Ocho as well as its interior: forming the restaurant around the bar is an easy way to create ambiance and intimacy, and I don’t know why we don’t see that arrangement more often.