With a hankering for tacos, my brother and I headed to Tres Carnales Taqueria in downtown Edmonton (10119 100A Street) on a Thursday night.
We walked in around 7:30 p.m. and there were at least 10 people in front of us in line. Immediately we were greeted by a host who explained the flow of the restaurant: you order first and then wait to be seated when the next table becomes free. We shouldn’t be waiting any longer than 20 minutes, he said.
The place was pretty packed for a Thursday night so the line-up crawled. We were offered drinks by a second hostess, who also ensured we understood the menu and ordering. I had read some blog and Urbanspoon reviews about people being confused if the restaurant was cafeteria style or sit-down. I figured the double hosts was in response to that, which I thought was quite attentive.
That being said, it took us about an hour from when we entered the door to getting the trays of tacos plopped down before us. Two girls seated next to us came in the door at 8 p.m. and were eating by 8:20. Apparently it’s all about the timing, so come early if you don’t want to wait.
My brother and I decided on three entrées, all of which were tacos (you pick a filling and decide if you want it wrapped up in a taco, quesadilla or a torta – the later was described to us as “like a sandwich”).
Carne con chile – beef brisket slow cooked with beer, chocolate, chiles and tomatoes
Delicious. The beef was juicy and flavourful with a nice chile kick. We devoured this one in minutes.
Pescado – lightly battered and fried fresh Pacific Red Snapper
The favourite. Good helping of fish, which was light and fluffy. Cabbage and radishes added great crunch.
Tinga mixta – Alberta pork shoulder, chorizo and potatoes
Not a fan. Overcooked, so much so the pork was difficult to swallow.
Atmosphere: Good music, open kitchen, colourful decor (paper lanterns, spray paint, eclectic assortment of bric-a-brac).
Food: Tortillas were fresh, meats were braised nicely. Tasty and satisfying, but pork shoulder wasn’t up to muster.
Price: $10-15 depending on entrée (quesadilla or a torta cost more)
Would I come back: Yes, but not in a hurry. Wasn’t pleased about the wait time, but I understand it’s all depends on the day. Next time I would like to try the tortas and the papas fritas.