Sherman's Food Adventures: Tasting Plates Latin American Flavours

Tasting Plates Latin American Flavours

When I first got the invite for Vanfoodster's Tasting Plates Latin American Flavours, a thought came into my mind.  No, that wasn't the only time a though has come into my mind...  It does happen occasionally according to Viv...  Anyways, it made me think of Sexi Mexi.  No, not in an inappropriate way, but rather, it made sense for her to be my eating companion.  She happens to know her Mexican food (and other Latin cuisines), so she could be an authoritative voice for this particular food adventure!  As I proudly stated, I was taking advantage of her (wait, that didn't come out right...).  Ultimately, she, Alvin and I formed a quasi-3 amigos as we made our way through our 7 stops.

The registration point was at Agro Roasters 
where we were treated to a variety of Latin American organic coffees from Columbia, Peru and El Salvador.  Unlike the last Tasting Plates where we had to wait 40 minutes at Tapas 23, we were able to get out of there quickly.  Due to the Whitecaps game, our short drive over to Downtown took 25 minutes.  Fortunately, we were able to snag a parking spot near our next stop, El Azteca,in Yaletown. We were treated to a plate consisting of Ceviche de Pescado, Guacamole Mumuca and Cochinita Pibil.  We found the ceviche to be bright and sufficiently acidic.  The guacamole looked and tasted fresh where there was a sufficient amount of lime but it could've used more onion and some garlic.  As for the conchinita pibil, it was moist and tart with a definite kick.

Over the Cambie Street Bridge while still stuck in traffic, we snaked our way over to Las Tortas.  We were presented with a premade basket of goodies including Conchinita Pibil Torta, Tortilla Chips with salsa & guacamole and a Churro.  Since the torta had been sitting around for who knows how long, it wasn't as good as if it were fresh.  Whatever the case, the conchinita pibil was not as impactful as the one at El Azteca.  It was more dry and one-note (being tart).  The salsa and guacamole were pretty generic while the churro was a bit dense and cold.  Over at Chicha, we were treated to a plate consisting of Ensalada de Quinoa (mango, avocado, roated red pepper, red onion, cilantro, mint and jalapeno huacatay dressing), Bolas de Yuca (croquettes with assorted cheese and chilies atop a Huancaina sauce), Calamari and Chorizo Anticuchos (skewers with basic and aji Amarillo mash & Peruvian black olive aioli).  We loved the mango and array of flavours in the salad while the croquette was crispy while fluffy on the inside with the benefit of both spiciness and cheesiness.  The chorizo was meaty and spicy, but the calamari was a touch chewy.  Loved the salty aioli though.

At the nearby parked Guanaco Food Truck, we were served Pork Pupusas with Yuca Frita.  Unlike the last time I tried this very same offering (at the Kits Tasting Plates), the pupusa was less greasy and significantly more fluffy.  Hence, it wasn't overly heavy while the filling helped the cause by being moist and flavourful.  The yuca fries were crunchy and starchy as usual.  Already stuffed, we rolled over to Sal Y Limon where they were serving their wares in the parking lot.  On the plate, we sampled the Chicken Tinga Tostada and Ceviche de Camarones served on a tostada.  We really liked the chicken as it was super moist with a good amount of cheese on top.  It wasn't particularly popping with flavour, but it did have a slight spiciness.  As for the shrimp, they had a nice snap while being adequately spicy with a touch of acidity.

Lastly, we ended off at La Mezcaleria with a plate that included Guacamole (fresh avocado, cilantro, lime, onion, jalapeno and tomato), Pacific Red Snapper Ceviche (with tomato, lime, red onion, serrano and cilantro) and Tostada Oaxaquena de Frijoles (refried cowboy beans with Mexican cheese, fresh tomato, lettuce and sour cream on a corn tostada).  The guacamole was on point with a balance of flavours including acidity and spice.  Much like the last time I was here, the ceviche was good, but I didn't get a lot of fish though.  Finally, the tostada was loaded with toppings which was a curse and a blessing as it was flavourful, yet soggy.  According to Sexi Mexi, most of the food we sampled was pretty authentic and good for Vancouver.  As for the amount of food, it was more than enough.

*All food was comped*

The Good:
- Nice lineup of restaurants
- More than enough food

The Bad:
- Requires a bit of traveling
- A few repetitive items

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