Chronic Tacos Cantina: Deep fried ice cream sandwiches and Giant tacos
102 Water Street, Gastown, Vancouver
To promote their new menu Chronic Tacos in Gastown invited Diana from Foodology and guests to try out the new items. I was more than happy to join the party, I love tacos! Also at our table was Dee of Gastrofork and Anita of La Petite Foodie.
I’ve actually never been to Chronic Tacos and was impressed by the spacious restaurant space. I guess I’m used to eating tacos off of food carts or in hole-in-the-wall restaurants. Chronic Tacos has big comfy booths and TVs for watching sports, it’s a great place to hang out!
As we nibbled on our chips and fresh salsa, we checked out the menu items. Of course we had to try the tacos here. I was pleased to find that Chronic Tacos use corn tortillas, I much prefer them over the limper, thinner flour tortillas. Corn tortillas offer a chewier, more sturdy texture, especially if the tacos are stuffed full of goodies like the ginormous tacos here. However, if you prefer flour tortillas, Chronic Tacos has those available too.
I tried the marinated grilled steak taco, which I’ll have to confess I found spicy due to my low tolerance for spiciness. A normal person would find the spice level pretty mild. The fillings were generous though! I could barely hold my taco together without it splitting in the middle, good thing each taco was double layered with two taco shells. The lettuce and tomato in the taco tasted fresh and added a great texture to the taco. The veggies also acted as a cooling element against the spicy beef.
The other taco I tried was the beer battered fish taco, which was not spicy but boy, was it tasty! The fish was fried to perfection, crispy on the outside and moist and tender on the inside, flaky and fresh. The squirt of sauce was tangy and sweet, and again the veggies in the taco were crispy and fresh.
Each taco platter came with a side of rice and re-fried beans. Both were delicious and balanced out the platter nicely.
We also ordered the Baja ceviche, a wahoo fish marinated with lime, mango, and pears, served with a side of plantain chips. I’ve never had ceviche with mango and pear juice mixed in. It really gave the fish a subtle sweetness to curb that tangy lime juice. It was delectable. And the sweet plantain chips were a perfect accompaniment.
Coming to the table sizzling hot was a hot plate of flank steak fajitas fillings with the tortillas kept warm under foil. It smelled incredible-smoky and spicy. And you guessed it, one bite and my tongue was on fire. I’m a spice wimp! If you like spicy food, you’ll love this dish. And it’s always fun assembling your own fajita! You can pile it as high as you want with just meat and no veggies – which is obviously always the route I would go. Although, all of us were nibbling away at just the flank steak hungrily that I don’t know if any of it actually made it into a full fajita.
Speaking of my low tolerance for spice, I decided to brave a few jalapeno poppers, I love cream cheese too much to pass ‘em up. Turns out, the jalapeno poppers weren’t that spicy, and they were jam packed with creamy, melted cheese that oozed out deliciously between each bite. These would make a great snack while catching the hockey game at Chronic Tacos. As would the crispy beer battered prawns. I’m impressed by the big, plump and juicy prawn underneath that scrumptious batter. The prawn meat was still tender and moist while the batter was fried to a perfect crispiness.
Another cool item from the new menu is the southwest stuffed peppers, strictly a vegetarian item featuring peppers stuffed with tofu, spinach, rice and jack cheese and topped with mole, normally, I wouldn’t order this item but after reading the ingredients, I was quite curious what this would taste like.
The peppers looked normal enough on the plate but the flavours were pretty memorable – the nutty mole with the melted cheese and spiced rice and tofu were a good combo. The natural sweetness of the peppers were enhanced by the saltiness and spice from the jack cheese and the spiced rice.
I’m so glad we saved room for dessert because they serve deep fried ice cream sandwiches here! I’m pretty sure I drooled an entire puddle while waiting for these ice cream sandwiches to be served. I had my spoon ready to dig in as soon as the plate hit the table. I loved that the soft sandwiches were warm, and the ice cream had melted to the same consistency found in cream pies. I kind of felt like I was eating a warm cream pie. The crust of the sandwich was crunchy and sweet, and the ice cream was smooth and silky.
We finished the meal off with some churros, hot and crispy from the fryer. Heavily sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar, I loved the nutty sweetness of this dessert. And the scoop of cool ice cream was also delicious, cold and refreshing.
Thanks to Aidan Buan for hosting us, and introducing the new creative menu items. Chronic Tacos is definitely a great place for snacks and lunch and dinner. I can’t wait to visit again.