My favourite Mexican place is Vancouver is Dona Cata. When I tell people this, a common response, is “Have you tried Don Guacamole's?” Jobin and I had been trying to pick a place to go for a belated birthday lunch, I threw out a bunch of suggestions, on being Don Guacamole’s. Jobin’s Mexican assistant had just been telling him about the amazing Pozole and beef tongue tacos there…needless to say, our lunch destination was decided!
This restaurant is on Robson and Jervis, close to the west end. The interior is pretty simple and uninspired, basic black with large windows letting in a lot of sunlight, a wall of tequila bottles, high tables and barstools, basic bistro set up, a small patio (although it was way too cold today) and soccer playing on the large screen TV’s.
After ordering, the server brought us complimentary started tortilla chips and salsa (a smoky chipotle, salsa verde *the best, a basic pico de gallo, and lime wedges*kicked up the flavour on everything.) The presentation was clean and quite slick and we really enjoyed all three salsas, they were fresh and tasty.
When eating Mexican food, I trust recommendations from Mexican’s. Jobin’s assistant recommended the Pozole and the beef tongue tacos. He ordered both and I too, ordered Pozole.
His Lengua taco (beef tongue seasoned with herbs) was served on two corn tortillas diced onions and cilantro ($3.50). The assistant did not steer him wrong….the meat was flavourful and juicy and he commented that with every bite, it tasted better.
Next up, we hit our bowls of Pozole ($10). I’ve had the Tom Douglas brunch version of this dish in Seattle at Etta’s. It was a brunch version with two poached eggs and a bit more gourmet and high-end….drooling just thinking about it….so it was hard to not compare the two. The Etta’s version was better, but maybe not as authentic?
POZOLE is basically the ultimate bowl of Mexican comfort food: a slow-cooked, tomato and pepper -based broth with hominy (mexican corn), braised meat, lettuce, onions, oregano and chile. We had the option of shredded chicken or braised pork in our Pozole, we both went for the pork and I’m pretty confident with that decision. The bowl was loaded down with chunks of slow-roasted pork shoulder that was tender, juicy and falling apart.
The shredded iceberg lettuce wasn’t that great- fresh veg is necessary to balance out the hearti-ness of the dish but I would’ve preferred fresh cilantro/spinach/cabbage....something a bit more vibrant. It was also served with two crisp tortillas to either crumble in the soup, or to top with spoonfuls of the juicy meat and broth. All in all, a filling delicious meal that I would come back for…..but I couldn’t help missing the awesome vibe of Dona Cata…pink walls, salsa station. It’s the best but I still need to try Le Taqueria on Hastings.
1333 Robson St