Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Latitude- Yet another cool Main Street hang-out

Recently got together with two great gal pals the Style Guru (who just moved to Main Street) and my former roomate TV (who works in TV). We had planned on grabbing a bite to eat, and as usual, I had compiled a short list of dining options. The Style Guru mentioned that she's been wanting to try Latitude (around 16th and Main). I hadn't heard much about Latitude other than that it closed and re-opened/ re-branded this spring. It was close, I was curious, and we headed to Latitude. As we walked in, the first thing we noticed was that it was "Taco Tuesday". 2 for $5...not a bad deal but not remarkably cheap either. Pretty in line with my favourite taco places: Dona Cata, La Taqueria, and Chronic Tacos.

The second thing I noticed was the decor, vibe, and music inside. I actually mentioned to my dining companions, "This place has a 'Cascade Lounge' kinda feel." I found out later when I returned home and googled the restaurant, that they are the newest member of the Habit Lounge/Cascade restaurant group family (hence the closing and re-opening this spring). They have a delicious looking drink menu, which is the work of Cascade's mix-master, Nick Devine. 

The room was beautiful: sophisticated and sleek, but warm and inviting with comfortable seating inside and outside. Really cool looking light fixtures which gave it a touch of hipster decor, without overdoing it. Service was friendly and unobtrusive and even though we lingered long after finishing our meal- they didn't rush us. Also, a shout out to the nice staff who put aside my laptop bag when I left it there, and didn't make me feel like an idiot when I came to pick it up.

TV (who works in TV) and I both had the nightly drink special, Cans of Main Street Pilsner (Domestico) for $4, and Style Guru had a Paloma (Mexico)- El Jimador Reposado, grapefruit soda, pressed lime, pinch of salt, served tall, over ice for $9.25. 

The beer was nice- clean, crisp, and cold. Style Guru gave me a sip of her drink. Not too sweet, this cocktail was refreshing with a subtle kick and I could see myself sitting on a patio drinking a few pitchers of this on a sunny day.

The menu wasn't overly extensive but everything sounded tasty, with a focus on Central- South American- Latin meets Northwest Coast cuisine. Even though everything sounded good, it was Taco Tuesday and that's what we went for. 
TV (who works in TV) ordered 2 Carne Asada tacos *Grilled Steak, Guacamole, Horseradish Jack, Tomatoes, Onions.
The Style Guru and I ordered 2 Pescado Tacos and 2 Carnitas tacos (to get the 2 for $5 deal they had to be the same type of tacos) and Chickpea Fries to share.
These tacos looked pretty puny and not too impressive at first sight. Maybe its because they come on a extra large plate with no sides or fancy plating. But 2 tacos and noshing on chickpea fries ended up being enough food.

The Chickpea fries with smoked paprika mayo for $7 were really tasty and comparable to the Polenta fries at Cascade. They were hot and light with a crispy, garlicky, exterior and a soft, warm inside that wasn't too mushy. Well-seasoned and fluffy. The dip was awesome with an intense flavour and creamy texture.

On to the tacos...
Overall, these were tasty tacos, but unlike my other favourite places where the meat/main filling is the real start, these tacos were good because the whole taco was well put together. The construction of these tacos is well thought out and the toppings and sauces really made these tacos. 

The Baja Fish Tacos were served with cabbage, chipotle creama, pickled sweet onion and red onion. The fish was fried rather than grilled and the taco wasn't wet but instead quite crispy, crunchy and light. The pickled onions and the chipotle creama added a smoky, savoury, heavier aspect to the dish that were the perfect compliment to the light fish and cabbage.

The Carnitas Tacos were filled with slow roasted pulled pork, queso blanco, and vegetable pickle. Again, the pork would've been just okay on its own but when combined with the salty, creamy chunks of queso blanco and the vinegar-y kick of the pickled peppers and onions- Really good!

I liked my experience here. Main street really has no shortage of go-to cool places to eat and drink and I will now have to add Latitude to my list.

Latitude on Urbanspoon

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