True Taco Continues to Wow Diehard Taco-Lovers
True Taco Authentic Comedor Latino continues to wow diehard taco-lovers by providing superior Mexican and El Salvadorian cuisine in newer and much larger premises on Dundas Street in London’s Old East Village. The latest news is that they have applied for a liquor license. There is nothing quite like like ice cold cervezas or a shot of tequila to accompany a Latin-American meal.
Owning a restaurant was a long-time dream for Luis Rivas who conceived the popular True Taco restaurant as an unpretentious Latino oasis, after perfecting his signature taco and salsa offerings, and building a loyal clientele at the Western Fair Farmers’ and Artisans’ Market. The satellite operation is reminiscent of the hole-in-the-wall taquerias and street stand taquerias in Latin America.
As far as trends go in restaurants, few dishes loom as large as the taco, a generally inexpensive restaurant bite that has created a cult of aficionados. The restaurant industry has been in a state of gourmet taco consciousness for some time. Much like the slider craze, tacos continue to be the new canvas of the gourmet world. Delicious fillings like swordfish, scallops, foie gras, don’t come cheap in higher end restaurants, of course. But it’s worth paying for a great taco prepared with high quality ingredients and extra attention.
Rivas opened a restaurant in Old East in 2009, just a year after starting out in the market. Last year he expanded to a bigger location across the street from the original. Rivas estimates that 40% of True Taco’s clientele originated from what has become his satellite operation at the Saturday WFFAM. There is a tremendous amount of repeat business. Rivas credits the clientele of the Aeolian Hall and the emerging culinary scene in Old East Village as part of the restaurant’s continuing success and higher profile.
True Taco quickly made its name and built a reputation for quality, authentic Mexican and El Salvadorian food. It all started with just a modest offering of 4 really delicious tacos and a limited menu of other specialities. “The big favourite being the taco al pastor made with juicy pork loin, pineapple, onion and cilantro that just melt into the meat." says Rivas. The other taco signature specialties are prepared with a choice of chorizo, beef barbacoa, or beef tongue, and a selection of homemade sauces. At the restaurant there are 16 fresh salsas to choose from. The nacho chips are house made, artisan corn tortillas and produced nearby in Alymer. True Taco offers a spectacular all-day breakfast of huevos rancheros, sunny side up eggs with homemade sauce served with beans (locally sourced) and tortillas at both locations.
Favourites include the delicious pupusas served with curtido (traditional cabbage relish) and homemade sauce. El Salvador’s signature dish is the pupusa, this thick handmade corn or rice flour tortilla that is typically stuffed “de queso” (cheese) or chicharron (cooked pork ground to a paste consistency,) served with refried beans and loroco (a vine flower bud indigenous to Central America) and curtido. Other traditional Central America offerings include: burritos, taquitos, quesadillas, enchiladas and corn-husk wrapped pork and corn meal tamales. The guacamole is always fresh, bright green and outstanding.
One of the most delicious things I have eaten was a hot-off-the-grill golden brown gordita served with refried beans, at True Taco at the WFFAM. The Mexican gordita is quite similar to the Salvadoran pupusa. Gorditas normally have an opening at the center of the tortilla and generally have more filling than pupusas (hence the name gordita—"little fat one or little fatty"). Another standout is the chicken Milanesa.
789 Dundas St;
Western Fair Farmers and Artisans’ Market (Saturdays 8 to 3pm)www.truetaco.com