Just before leaping headlong into No Meat May, we decided to take one last run at our previous goal in life, to try every birria taco available in Metro Vancouver. Taps & Tacos has been on our list for a long time and it was nice to finally get there.
Located just of Barnett Highway on Moody Street, the roads and parking are a bit of a pain here. Do yourself a favour and park right on Barnett and walk down Moody. Your legs aren't broken, are they?
We started with Queso Fundido which is basically chips and cheese dip but really amazing cheese dip! This is a delicious bowl of melted jack cheese. Topped with pickled red onion and pretty good salsa verde, and served with store-bought tortilla chips. We were a little disappointed with the chips and found the $18 price tag for this a bit much but I'm not saying it wasn't tasty. I also know that cheese is expensive so I guess I can't be that put off by the price.
Next, the main event, were the Birria inspired Tacos. The birria lived up to expectations as it was tender and flavourful chilli stewed beef. Served in corn tortillas with pickled cabbage and cilantro these were tasty bites. The broth served with them was also beefy and strong but way over salty. I am interested that they call these tacos "inspired". The birria itself refers to slow stewed-underground goat so I guess technically they are correct that this beef stewed dish only takes inspiration from the original. Still, we see the word birria thrown around all over the place and don't really expect a traditional authentic dish wherever we go.
Lately, when we think of Mexican food we've been thinking of torta. We tried the Al Pastor Pork Belly Torta and it was quite good. We loved the crispy melted Asadero cheese (what are always hoping for on the birria taco). Al Pastor generally refers to the carved spit roasted meat (like shawarma) but in this case, the al pastor was represented by pineapple. The pork belly was in small manageable pieces and nicely offset by the salsa, lettuce, pickled onion and coriander.
This dessert was a little more than amazing. Made with silken tofu, this Peanut Butter Pudding was vegan making it a good warm-up for No Meat May!. The topping was a tortilla crumble with chocolate. Very nice!
This is an airy and bright room with mezzanine seating as well as on the main floor. Lots of windows! We will leave review of the taps part of Taps and Tacos to others but I think that is supposed to be the main allure of this place. Our servers were very friendly and efficient and we didn't wait overly on anything. The food overall is decent but the birria tacos that we were hoping for (more of a quesa birria, I guess) with the whole fried on a flat top with melted cheese thing, are served by their truck and not at the restaurant. Obviously, the truck is in different places at different times so you need to plan a little better than we did if you want that.
Food 3 out of 5
Comfort 3 out of 5
Service 4 out of 5
Value 3 out of 5
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