Tuesday, 4 September 2012

La Cantina Co, Taco Madness

By now you'd know that La Cantina Co has launched. Despite some teething problems with Truck Norris it was well worth the wait. I checked out the van for taco madness on their launch day and have since been a regular repeat customer.


On launch day La Cantina Co offered a 3 taco and jarritos combo for $16. An expensive lunch but but a great way of trying virtually everything on the menu. And despite a few little hitches (the van ran out of small change and making quesadillas tied up valuable taco making resources) day one seemed to go quite smoothly.

I ordered a guava jarritos to sip in the warm winter sun while waiting for my tacos.I hadn't seen these 'little jars' before but apparently they are the number one soft drink in Mexico. Fizzy bubbly always tastes better out of an ice cold glass bottle and these had nostalgically sweet fruit flavours with a little more carbonation than usual. Perfect for cutting through the heat of a taco!


I ordered three different tacos on launch day - beef, chorizo and black bean; pork and pineapple; and smoked chicken.

By far the standout, the strong smoke flavour of the chicken taco was balanced out by a tangy guacamole and creamy fresh cheese. The beef chorizo was rich, meaty and studded with small salty chorizo bombs. Though sweet and aggressively peppered the pork and pineapple needed a little more work. There was curious rubbery-ness to the pork and compared to the other tacos the sauce was bland and watery.


A few days later I caught up with the taco van again. First to sample the taco I missed - the mushroom and zucchini - and secondly to see if the pork taco had improved. It had. The pork seemed somehow meatier and the sauce was thicker and more flavourful. I can understand why La Cantina Co offer a vego option but for those of us who are omnivorous (or even carnivorous) the animal protein tacos are the way forward - they just seem to have more flavour. Not that there is anything wrong with the mushroom and zucchini - it just seemed lacking somehow.


A couple of handy tacos hints - make sure you eat the tacos as soon as they're placed in your hot little hand. The tortillas have been toasted on the grill and you'll lose that extra crunch if you take them back to the office. Do help yourself to their great hot sauce selection - the suave sauce made with tamarind is a favourite of mine and adds a lovely hot'n'sour pucker! And be sure to order a jarritos - they're delicious.

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