Hugo’s Churros

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The Hawkers Mercado in the new McArthurGlen Designer Outlet has been opened for the summer, but if I’m not mistaken, it has been closed since now as it was a temporary pop up location so shoppers could have something to snack on while the restaurants were being constructed. There are a variety of food stalls that you normally may find all over Vancouver.

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We came here for Hugo’s Churros, which also has a sister store called Hugo’s Tacos (which sells tacos). We actually saw the stall on the opening day when we went, but we weren’t too hungry, so we skipped it. A few months later, my Instagram feed has been filled with their pictures and I knew I had to go back.

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Their menu is small with Mexican food, but most people come here for the churro ice cream sandwich.

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Your churros are made to order so they are extremely fresh. You’ll have to wait at least 5 minutes since she will literally pipe out the dough and deep fry it after you order.

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Churro Ice Cream Sandwich ($7.50)

The Churros Ice Cream Sandwich features two churros rolled into a swirl and sandwiches three scoops of vanilla bean gelato. I heard that they have since teamed up with Nice Vice, the gelato shop also in the same outlet to offer vegan friendly gelato. The ice cream melts extremely fast, so scoop it up as quick as you can. It’s pretty messy to eat, but the flavours of cinnamon and vanilla work perfectly together.

Be sure to follow them on their social media accounts, like Facebook to see where their cart is located daily, as they move around.

Pros:
– Delicious churros

Cons:
– Pricey

Price Range: $5-10

1: Terrible 2: Poor 3: Average 4: Good 5: Excellent

Food: 4 Service: 3 Ambiance: 2 Parking: 4 Overall: 4

Hugo's Churros Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Tacofino Taco Bar

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The Taco Bar at Tacofino has been open for quite a while now and it’s been on my list of must try restaurants. Finally, I visited the famous Taco Bar with A, M, and K. M and A had arrived early, but we still had to wait for over 30 minutes to get a table. This place is so busy, so be sure to arrive early and place your name on the wait list. They will send you a text message when your table is ready. Also, the Taco Bar is situated behind the Burrito Bar which is for take out. You can enter the restaurant from the front, or from the Blood Alley.

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The inside ambiance is super cool. I love the whole design of the restaurant with tiled floors and brick walls. Super hipster! Too bad it was rather dim inside, so it was difficult to take good pictures. They also have a patio outside, perfect for those sunny warm evenings.

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Pitcher of Sangria

We ended up sharing a pitcher of red Sangria, which seems to be offered during the summer season. It’s a rather small pitcher for the price, but we still managed to get 4 full glasses.

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Nachos 

M recommended the Nachos and said they were really delicious. When I saw it, I thought it looked average, but boy was this delicious! The nachos are crunchy and layered with salsa fresca, chipotle and sour cream. We also added guacomole on the side for an extra $4. The portion may look small, but it will fill you up and we shared this among four girls.

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Since we weren’t sure how much we could eat, we all started off by ordering one taco each for ourselves. In the end, this was just perfect for us. Their tacos are quite big and the filling is very generous. If you come here just for the tacos, you can probably fill up with just two. Most of their tacos are $6 to $7.

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Al Pastor

I really wanted to try all the tacos, but since I had to pick one, I chose the Al Pastor. The only reason I chose it was because it said “while quantities last” on the menu. I immediately thought this would mean it’s one of the best and they sell out quick! Well luckily, they weren’t sold out yet and this was amazing. It had roasted pork, pineapples, pickled onions and cilantro. I loved the mix of the fruity pineapple with the meat. Who knew they would go together so well! I also like how they sort of toast or grill the tortilla itself first, so it doesn’t taste as bland.

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Steak Taco

M went for her all time favourite Steak Taco, and I got to sample a bit of her steak bites. It was delicious, with a nice char and seasoning on the steak. The soft shell taco is filled with grilled skirt steak, pickled chayote and pineapples. Again, M commented that the pineapples surprisingly paired very well with the steak.

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Mushroom Quesadilla

A got the Mushroom Quesadilla, which featured two tortillas sandwiched with seasonal mushrooms, aged cheddar, and cotija. She said it was pretty good but had way too much mushrooms. I guess she likes her meat… This is more of a taco for vegetarians.

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Potato and Mushroom Taco

K got the Potato and Mushroom Taco. Unfortunately, the taco was a hard shell, which K was pretty disappointed about, since she had assumed all tacos were soft shelled. She found it to be a bit more messy to eat since the hard shell tacos usually crack at odd spots when you bite into it. It was filled with collard greens, almond herb crumb, chipotle crema, queso fresco, and of course potatoes and mushrooms. She said that there were way too many potatoes compared to mushrooms though.

Overall, I was very happy with Taco Bar. I can see why people love this place and will wait for it. If you’re in a rush, then you can visit the Burrito Bar, although they only sell burritos. It’s essentially the same fillings though. Otherwise, enjoy some amazing tacos and drinks inside the Taco Bar with a cool ambiance. Oh and if you didn’t already know, they also have their Tacofino Commissary in East Van and their food truck which is usually in downtown.

Pros:
– Nachos are the bomb!
– Tacos are filled generously and taste delicious

Cons:
– Long waits
– Service is average – our waitress wasn’t very friendly

Price Range: $15-20

1: Terrible 2: Poor 3: Average 4: Good 5: Excellent

Food: 4 Service: 3 Ambiance: 4 Parking: 3 Overall: 4

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Cantina Mariachi – Valencia

For dinner, we were on the look for something on the student budget side. We headed to the nearby mall for our hotel again, and spotted Los jueves! Yes, it was a Thursday and my Spanish finally came to use. So on Thursdays at Cantina Mariachi, you can get two tacos and a beer for only 3 euros! Not bad at all!

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The place has a bit of a Mexican feel to it, but my god the service here is ridiculously slow. I guess I’m starting to get used to terrible service in Spain, but one would think this restaurant was more of a fast food joint. If you want to get quick food here, think again. The servers here, who are young boys walk ever so slowly and watching them move was just painful.

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Anyways, our beers came and they came in some pretty cool glasses. Europeans love head on their beers, contrary to what we Canadians like. We usually try to pour our beer so we get the least possible. Here, they try to get lots. Cold beer was still great for a hot day.

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Taco Ranchero, Mariachi Taco, Taco Beef with Cheese

The only thing about the deal is that you must get the same two tacos. That was fine with us though, as we all ordered something different so we could try each others. M got the Taco Ranchero, which had veal cooked with mushrooms , onions and green peppers. This was a very difficult one to eat as it was very soggy. S got the Mariachi Taco, which was beef stew with beans. Also more of a wet taco, but still flavourful. Lastly, I got the Taco Beef with Cheese, which had veal steak with melted cheese. Mine was the easiest to eat and I also really enjoyed the veal steak. It was probably my favourite. Each plate also came with a cup of salsa for you to pour over.

All in all, you can’t expect much here, but the Thursday deal is definitely a steal! Just don’t expect quick service.