We've been in Abbotsford more often of late, as we are trying to help my Mom with some things around her house. As a result, sometimes Abbotsford becomes the logical place to find some lunch. There have been new places popping up around there lately and one that I have wanted to check out is El Companaro's.
Located on South Fraser Way close to the 5 corners (downtown), when we arrived on Saturday at lunchtime, we were able to get a table right away. As soon as we sat down, our server (and the manager/owner) brought us complimentary chips and salsa.
They weren't house-made but they were pretty good and the house-made salsa was tasty enough.
The thing that convinced us that we should try this place was the presence of Quesabirria Tacos on the menu. Of course, this is no longer a novelty as most Mexican joints boast some form of birria these days. EC's version was decent. The cheese skirt on the outside was masterful and that is one of the most important features. The broth was beefy but not the best we have had.
The tacos themselves had a generous amount of tender brisket but we thought that they could have profited from a bit of salt. Other than that the pickled onions and cilantro finished things off nicely.
We shared a Pulled Pork Enchilada Plate which was again pretty good. The housemade sauces were nicely done. Again, the pork as well as the rice and beans could have done with a bit of salt. I don't think we are suffering from a post-covid lack of taste bud action. Sometimes people in kitchens are afraid of oversalting which would not be a great thing either but salt heightens flavours.
We had a couple of tacos with Blackened Shrimp and Fish. These were some good tacos. A nice cross-section of crispy spicy, tart and fresh ( cabbage and cilantro) made it a nice experience. Somehow, I forgot to photograph their bottle of house-made hot sauce. They make it in heat levels 1 to 10! I chose 6 which packed a punch already so I'm glad we didn't order #10 which boasts Carolina reapers and ghost chilis! Good God!
We love to finish our meal with a couple of churros. We don't usually indulge in deserts but churros are an exception. Mharie figures these might be the best we've had (do we say that often?). On the side was some premium vanilla ice cream and a butterscotch sauce (?) Very nice!
This is a comfortable enough place, prices are reasonable and the hot sauce lineup is interesting and impressive. Our host was friendly and helpful and enthusiastic about her place. Aside from that, this is a pretty straightforward menu with nothing that made us feel like we were in the heart of Mexico. It is maybe geared to making the meat and potatoes folks of the Fraser Valley (Sorry. I know the populace has changed in the last 20 years) feel like they are tasting something exotic. I guess that's OK.
Food 3 out of 5
Comfort 3 1/2 out of 5
Service 3 1/2 out of 5
Value 3 1/2 out of 5
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