Tres Carnales Taqueria, Edmonton Restaurant Review
Tres Carnales Taqueria was brought to my attention by the Canadian TV show, You Gotta Eat Here, on the Food Network. I was under the impression the host, a weedy jewish looking dude, must have had a taco baby aft
er the mouth orgasm he was describing from their mexican delights.
After browsing their we
bsite and salivating over their simple and locally sourced menu, my girlfriend and I decided we had to eat here, after all the Jew did say, “you gotta eat here!” I love Mexican food, real Mexican food, not that Tex Mex shit.
We rocked up on a Friday afternoon at around 2pm, hoping we would have missed the major lunch hour rush, but the line was almost out the door and the restaurant, although small, was full. The decor was funky, modern, fun, well lit and the kinda place you’d be happy to instagram photos without needing to use that blur feature to remove the backdrop to your poorly photographed food.
While waiting in line, I got bored, saw some people get up to leave, left my girlfriend to wait in line and took a seat. It was less then a minute until the one of the staff came over to tell me to get out of the seat, get back and line because I was only allowed to be seated after I had ordered and then they w
ill allocate me a seat. I obliged. Thinking back though, this seems ridiculous. I’ve eaten at a lot of restaurants around the world and never come across this system before. I feel like this is the cheapest way to seat patrons without actually offering table side waiter service, while at the same time, prompting the customer for a tip, which I sadly witnessed by girlfriend pay 15% gratuity on her debit card order. I think if you want to force an entire party to stand and wait in line while there are empty seats, you could at least put a sign stating that this is the case, so the customer isn’t made to feel like a dick being told off in your restaurant aka hybrid food court seating system. Whether you’re made to wait for a tabl
e when you order your food, or when you enter the joint, it’s not going to change the fact you have to wait as the restaurant can only hold x amount of hungry patrons. This would all be solved and create a nicer dining experience if they just took an order at the table, ya know, like how restaurants do, versus the cafeteria system, and just let take away orders be order at the counter.
This also doesn’t make any sense being they are licensed, ok…so I finish my beer during my meal, I want another…I then have to line up again at the end of the 20 or so person line to get another cerveza? Fuck That.
I was still eager to eat the food, after all this was on TV. We ended up being seated at a table for four after ordering, versus the two stools I had taken to the side, which
makes much more sense. A few minutes later and the hipster waiter with his cool curled up hat (boy it was sunny indoors that day) took our food from the counter three metres away, taking a total of five steps, rightfully earning that $5 tip – $1 a step.
The food looked good, aside from the token garnish – 2 peeled carrot stubs on the side. I ordered the beef tacos, I always say the carne asada taco is the staple to judge any mexican restaurant. My girlfriend ordered the fish tacos. My meat was dry, over cooked and chewy. The beef was diced, but rather then being chopped just before being placed on the taco, it had been cooking a lot longer in diced form and was chewy with little flavour or spices. I found it pretty tasteless, much like the red salsa served with it. The fish tacos were better, the fish tasted
fresh; nicely battered, but as my girlfriend said, which I agree, it was lacking flavour also. We’re not sure if the runny green stuff on top was meant to be guacamole, but was lacking in any ‘punch’.
Had I not seen this on TV and got my hopes up so much, I may not have been quite so disappointed – I had come specifically for amazing mexican, but instead was made to stand in line and then served chewy tasteless beef. I haven’t been to Mexico yet, but still nothing so far has compared to the tacos I used to get from the Hispanic Market around the corner from when I lived in Fullerton, CA. We called him the taco nazi, each sunday he’d bring this massive metal dish outside and serve up and assortment of freshly cooked meats in a taco for $1 each. Subsequently, I’ve compared every taco to his…even if I had t
o tip him $1 to ensure he’d give me more of the sweet baby onions on top, and I always felt he was mad giving his tacos to non mexican types like me (thus he earned nazi soup chef status).
I’ve had far better mexican food in Edmonton from The Three Amigos, who actually provide service, and last time I went there they had a live mariachi band. Perhaps I didn’t order the best item there (I hear there pork sandwich thing is amazing, but if you can’t cook steak, you probably can’t
cook pork) maybe I hit it at a bad time, but I have no desire to ever eat there again and wouldn’t recommend it.
6/10 Nice idea, nice restaurant, over hyped and ultimately let down by their food.