May 5th, 2013. Happy Cinco de Mayo~~~

Taqueria Playa Tropical

Taqueria Playa Tropical

 
 
 
 
Holidays are a wonderful reason to enjoy food, and Mexican holidays are even better because we can get piggy with tacos!!  I actually discovered this super authentic Mexican hole-in-the-wall in New West and was chomping at the bit to try it out.
Taqueria Playa Tropical

Taqueria Playa Tropical

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Taqueria Playa Tropical is on 6th Street with a few other local gems. When I walked in there was a Mexican band playing, the small restaurant was packed full and decorations had been put up here and there to give it a festive feel.
Taqueria Playa Tropical

Taqueria Playa Tropical

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
The super friendly server sat me at a fairly spacious table with a menu and I proceeded to inspect the menu for my options.
Taqueria Playa Tropical

Taqueria Playa Tropical

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Obviously I had to order some Guava Juice. I love sweet tropical fruit!!  Guava and Watermelon. My favourite 2 fruit flavours 😉
Taqueria Playa Tropical

Taqueria Playa Tropical

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
The tortilla chips came in this adorable stone mortar which was cool.  Salsa verde and rojo were both pretty legit, too!  I just love condiments ;D
Taqueria Playa Tropical

Taqueria Playa Tropical

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
I ended up ordering a trio of tacos: Camaron, Carne Asada and Carnitas. The Carne Asada and Carnitas are my usual barometers for any given taqueria. I figure any self-respecting taqueria has to be able to deliver on these 2 staples.
Taqueria Playa Tropical

Taqueria Playa Tropical

 
 
 
 
 
 
First, the Carne Asada. The brightness of the fresh cilantro, tomato and onion were a refreshing foil to the straightforward beef. I appreciated that the beef wasn’t over done, it had enough moisture so that it didn’t get stringy and tough. Good start!
Taqueria Playa Tropical

Taqueria Playa Tropical

 
 
 
 
Next, the Carnitas! The carnitas was slightly drier than I expected but it had the right amount of heat with the perfect amount of sweet undertone.  And of course the guac was just on point! Just like the toppings on the carne you could tell my just looking at the guacamole that it was fresh. Vibrant color and flavour with the sharp tang of onion and cilantro cooling the heat of the pork. I still enjoyed it 🙂
Taqueria Playa Tropical

Taqueria Playa Tropical

 
I went out on a limb with the Camaron. I usually don’t order shrimp because it’s so easy to over-cook it, get shrimp that’s not fresh, or too small. I have to say, my choice paid off big time! I think I actually almost liked this taco the most! The shrimp was cooked just right having the right amount of spring, crunch and tenderness. Sweet grilled onion with some garlic, celery and cilantro topped with melted cheese.  This? You should eat this. It’s not aggressive, but it’s this wonderful harmony in your mouth! And of course you can always add a little salsa on it to amp it up 😉  This one was so good!
Taqueria Playa Tropical

Taqueria Playa Tropical

 
 
 
 
I give Taqueria Playa Tropical my seal of approval and would come again. It definitely has moved to the top of my list for Mexican food in Vancouver!

October 6th, 2012. Monica’s Bridal Shower~

monica's bridal shower

monica’s bridal shower




  As Monica’s bridesmaids Meliza, Rina and I had a fun time meeting up at McDonalds for coffee and planning the bridal shower, among other things.  We decided we’d have it at Rina’s home and John Ryu even offered to cater for the event!  Yay!

monica's bridal shower

monica’s bridal shower






We spent the night before putting up most of the decorations, but we did still have a lot to do on the day of.  It’s all in the details and we definitely wanted it to be a perfect day for Monica!  Thank goodness it was a gorgeously sunny day!

monica's bridal shower

monica’s bridal shower








Assortment of glass flower vases borrowed from our church so we could add some bright yellow flowers for some color accent 🙂  Mix and match is in, right? 😉


monica's bridal shower

monica’s bridal shower








Meliza even baked cupcakes for the occassion.  Now that’s a dedicated and loving maid of honor right there 😉  Delicious and so pretty to look at!



monica's bridal shower

monica’s bridal shower







Since the shower was held mid-afternoon we wanted to do kind of a standing afternoon snack situation.






monica's bridal shower

monica’s bridal shower


One simple truth in life: It’s always good to have at least a couple of chef friends 😉  John is kind of our go-to guy for when we need extremely delicious food that looks amazing, is made with care, and fits the budget!  Comedian and chef all in one, John in the kitchen is funny as well as completely capable of putting together great food 😀

monica's bridal shower

monica’s bridal shower




We figured Mexican themed food would be a good way to go for fresh flavors and impact.  Fresh Guacamole anyone?  Perfectly chunky, creamy, with a nice level of heat. Mmmmmmm…. Guacamole!!

monica's bridal shower

monica’s bridal shower









The Pico de Gallo was super refreshing as well.  The saltiness of the chips with the bright acidity of the salsa: so yummy!!




monica's bridal shower

monica’s bridal shower


The definite highlight of the afternoon, though, was definitely the Ahi Tuna Tostadas.  Black and white sesame seed encrusted ahi tuna lightly seared atop a light wasabi cream cabbage slaw and slice of creamy acocado on a deep fried crisp.  The spring onion on top added a little extra spice and pop of color.  Pretty, super delicious and had me going back for more!

monica's bridal shower

monica’s bridal shower




Monica loves a good spinach dip!  For our warm dish we had this Homemade Spinach Dip served with soft baguette slices.  Was a crowd pleaser for sure 🙂  Thanks, John, for all the tasty food 😀

monica's bridal shower

monica’s bridal shower








Good food, fun games, sunshine and a great girlfriend celebrating with friends for getting married!  What a wonderful afternoon 😀

Chronic Tacos (New West)

February 19, 2013

May 1st, 2012. Chronic Tacos

chronic tacos (new west)

chronic tacos (new west)

 

 

 

A Chronic Tacos in New West?? So close to me??  I’m there!!  All day I planned to zip by here for some eats after work before zipping out to Langley for Lifegroup at Carmi & Evangel’s.  Despite a very crazy-random hiccup (my boss’s car ran out of gas on the Port Mann bridge on the way to his son’s baseball practice and I had to deliver fuel to him) my unbending dedication to tacos had me heading back in the opposition direction as fast as possible to beat the clock while not driving illegally!  Yes, that’s how much I love tacos.

chronic tacos (new west)

chronic tacos (new west)

 

 

 

A joint made popular in California and spread to Vancouver this one in New West was the newest location to open and I had to give it a try.  Looking at the menu I was a little surprised with how steep the prices are and had to do some mental contemplation on how to make the most of this meal.

chronic tacos (new west)

chronic tacos (new west)

 

I ended up getting a taco AND a torta!  For the taco I went with the Al Pastor (spicy marinated pork with pineapple and onion).  The slight sweetness from the pineapple was not very prominent and I would have liked some more heat, but the salsa verde and the cilantro and onions I added on brought more flavor and added some juice.  I thought the taco was a little dry.

chronic tacos (new west)

chronic tacos (new west)

 

 

 

 

Mmmm..there’s nothing quite as lovely as the vibtrant colors of a good taco 😉

chronic tacos (new west)

chronic tacos (new west)

 

 

 

 

Last time I had a torta was in NYC….and since I have been in NEED of a good torta!  I got the Carnitas Torta.  Look at the size of that!!  I made sure to get lots of limes so I could load up as I go 😉  And I was prepared to take what I couldn’t finish of this sandwich home with me.  Bonus snack!!

chronic tacos (new west)

chronic tacos (new west)

 

 

Mmmmmmmmm~~~ fried bread goodness, creeeeaaaaammmmmy avocado/guacamole, substantial amount of slow cooked pork, refried beans and a whack of salsa rojo and salsa verde.  It was not quite as moist as I would have liked, but it was still darn delicious 🙂  For a taco place in New West I’d give this torta another go round for sure!

March 4th, 2011.  Sanfords Restaurant

sanfords restaurant

sanfords restaurant

So I’m here so often that I’m just going to put a few items together.

First we have the Yellowfin Tuna Tartare: the tuna is marinaded in a sesame soy sauce which enhances and brings a richness, is topped off with the lovely house guacamole, and served atop a cucumber wasabi aioli.  Totally fresh, super yummy, and deceptively a big portion

sanfords restaurant

sanfords restaurant

 

 

Special of the day was a Pulpo Salad.  The octopus was perfectly cooked being mice and tender without being rubbery an I loved the vinaigrette dressing.  I will have to say, though….again, it’s a larger portion than meets the eye!

 

sanfords restaurant

sanfords restaurant

 

 

 

  Sanford’s Guacamole: fresh hass avocado, tomato, red onion, lemon and olive oil served with whole wheat tortillas.  The simplicity and freshness of the ingredients is what makes this guacamole.  Delicious!

 

 

 

Never a disappointing meal at Sanfords  😉