Cross-posted from Calgary is Awesome.
The tiny, sparsely decorated family-run restaurant was not too busy when we got there on a Friday night, but it quickly filled up the longer we stayed. The place is so small that the pozole and menudo are only available on weekends. B. and I decided to share a few tacos ($2.25 each) as well as an order of tamales ($13.60).
I grabbed a glass of horchata while we waited for our food. This was so good – not too sweet, with just a touch of cinnamon.
We had three tacos, medium spice. I insisted on the beef tongue, then we rounded out our taco menagerie with pork and chicken.
The tacos were small, with doubled-up tortillas. Each was topped with a bit of onions, cilantro and salsa.
All the tacos were delicious with moist and tender meat – yes, even the chicken – and lots of flavour from the condiments. The salsa was quite runny so the tacos were a little messy to eat, but that’s all a part of it, right? We both decided that of the three, the pork was our favourite.
This was my first time trying tamales, so I wasn’t sure what to expect.
I must admit the first bites were weird. As a tamale n00b I’d hoped for a little more chew to the steamed corn husks and despite the colour of the sauces everything tasted very bland. It did get better once I started mixing all the components – rice, beans, sauce, tamale – in every bite.
We took a small container of guacamole ($9) and a bag of tostadas ($5) home with us. The guacamole was runnier than what I was used to, but it was full of flavour from onion, cilantro and chiles and had chunks of avocado. The tostadas were perfect for breaking up and dipping into the guacamole.
While I agree the food was legit as promised, I found everything to be pretty expensive, especially given the whole vibe of the restaurant. I get that you can’t get “Mexican prices” in Canada, especially for their location on Edmonton Trail, but I don’t think you will find me at El Charrito very often.