Saturday, June 18, 2011

Cartel Taco

Hamilton & Dunsmuir Street 
(Sometimes at Robson & Howe)

I have been waiting for this cart for a long time. At it's original location last Summer, it was frequently absent and the day I did find it open, they were having problems with their hobs. Now, despite being at a new location too remote to access easily when walking around Downtown, it is doing well. Yesterday, it was given a prime spot in a little market that has popped up in a newly pedestrianised area, but just for the day. (There are 2 permanent carts there and one spot given to different carts each week). So, finally, I got to try their Korean tacos.

There are two meat options and one vegetarian. The meats are Bulgogi beef and pork butt. The veggie option is a papaya salad. You can choose to order 1, 2, 3 or 4 tacos. I chose 3 for $8 and opted for two beef and one pork. After waiting for a long time and watching a girl who had ordered after me get served first, I finally got my tacos. I decided to try all the optional extras such as cilantro and onion salsa, both green and red mole sauce, kimchee and spicy tomato salsa. I was given one small sliver of orange and two of lime. "Squeeze the orange over the pork and the lime over the beef", I was told. Who am I to argue with such knowledgeable chefs, I did as I was told. 

I enjoyed both tacos very much. The meats were sweet and salty, the salsas just zingy enough but not overpowering, the kimchee added crunch and saltiness and the mole sauces were fresh, bright and a little spicy. Exactly what you want from a taco. One thing I have to say is that I didn't like the corn tortillas. They were rubbery and added nothing to the mix. I would have preferred a slightly crisper or toasted tortilla and not corn, but that's my own personal preference.

The only problem with this cart, as I mentioned earlier, is it's quite remote location, otherwise I would definitely go on a regular basis. (Don't expect to be full even after 4 tacos if you have a large appetite, however).

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