January 26, 2012

Tres Carnales

Tres Carnales
10119 100A Street NW
Edmonton, AB T5J 0R5
(780) 429-0911

Since opening its doors on Rice Howard Way last summer, Tres Carnales has taken the city of Edmonton by storm. Lineups are frequently out the door, and tables can be hard to find at peak hours. Filming recently took place at the restaurant for a piece on The Food Network Canada's show "You Gotta Eat Here!"...so I figured I'd better!

Arroz mexicano
The arroz nearly didn't make it back to my office (after I dropped its bag in the snow on the walk back) but I'm glad it did! The rice was perfectly cooked, retaining slight firmness, in a mildly spicy seasoning. The salsa roja added a delicious brightness to it and contrasted beautifully with the salty queso fresco.

Pollo asado tacos
Ten dollars will get you three or four (depending on the filling) small double wrapped tacos with your choice of filling, topped with cilantro and raw white onion. I could see this dish being a bit unsatisfying for those who really value humongous portion sizes, but if you appreciate quality over quantity I think you'll be very happy will your selection. The pollo (chicken) asado was excellent: tender & moist. The accompanying sauce lent a bit of heat, but mostly bright flavor -- don't ignore it!

Torta al pastor
The magnum opus. When I initially laid eyes on my torta al pastor (Mexican sandwich with pork) my first thought was, how the heck am I going to get that into my mouth? My next thought, after some masterful maneuvering to get my first bite: Where have you been all my life?! A splash of lime juice brightened it up even more, and both my friend and I noted the familiar flavor of our favorite comfort foods (namely meatballs & meatloaf) in the sandwich. A note of caution: this beast is messy. I managed to get it all over the table, the floor, my pants, and, of course, my deliriously happy face. It's hard to tease out and put into words what exactly made it so incredible, but the combination of the delicious marinated pork, creamy avocado spread, perfectly toasted bread, sauce, tomatoes & onions resulted in the foodie-equivalent of a religious experience.

Tres Carnales' passion for food is obvious, and some serious love and attention clearly goes into their food. From the fresh simplicity of the tacos, to the hearty amalgam of the tortas, the food is made from scratch, it's fresh, it's full of flavor, and, ultimately, it's delicious. The torta al pastor I had at Tres Carnales is among the best things I have eaten. Ever. The Food Network didn't get it wrong. Indeed, "You Gotta Eat Here!"

Restaurant website
Tres Carnales Taqueria on Urbanspoon

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