Optimistically Cautious

Friday, February 15, 2008

The End of "Groundhog Day": Taco Del Mar

Like being trapped in a scene from Groundhog Day, Mack and I have been having the same start-stop conversation about a new Mexican chain that broke ground in Alberta about a year ago. It would go something like this:

[driving past a Taco Del Mar]

Sharon: Oh, look that's the new taco place. They opened five locations in Edmonton just recently.
Mack: Yes, I know. We've had this conversation. I blogged about it over a year ago.
Sharon: Really?!
Mack: Yes, really. This is the third time we've had this conversation.

So we figured before Mack killed me to stop the echoing, we thought it would be best to give Taco Del Mar a try.

On Friday night, we headed to the location at 17th Street and 38th Avenue. There was only one other table occupied upon entry, though a trickle of people came through while we sat eating our meal.

Exterior (I just had to laugh at the electric signs that read, "Rippin Tacos" and "Mondo Burritos")

The decor was cheesy, but in a fun way, with posters referencing the "of the sea" portion of the name, such as "No stopping: whale watching is not an emergency. Keep going". The tiki hut with bar stools was just too novel to pass up.

Mack in the tiki hut

At the counter, we were prompted by the bright and bold menu to order a customizable dish. I had to deliberate for a while, but I decided to sample the Mondo Burrito ($6.99). My tortilla was filled with rice, pico de gallo (a mixture of onions and tomatoes), shredded marble cheese, and my choice of beans (I chose kidney beans), meat (chicken), and hot or medium sauce. Folded then wrapped in foil, there was a sign that advised unwrapping the package as it was being consumed, to prevent it from falling apart in one's lap. I took their advice, and ripped strips of foil away as I ate. Mack can attest that it took me an extraordinary amount of time to get through my food, exacerbated by my tendency to take very small bites, an ultimate disservice to the burrito.

Menu

Mondo Burrito

Mack decided to order the quesadilla ($6.99). Containing picco de gallo, shredded cheese, and chicken, it was less filling than my order, but delicious in its simplicity. He was disappointed, however, at the lack of what he termed "sea meat" (Alaskan fish was the only seafood option available).

Quesadilla

Would we return? We weren't sure, as the prices were probably double what we'd pay at a Taco Bell for a combo meal. While the customizable nature of the food at Taco Del Mar explains the relative expense, we wouldn't be able to fiscally justify continuous visits for a meal that just wasn't that special.

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