Metro Vancouver Lunch Rush: Cartel Taco

Free range beef ribeye & free range pork butt tacos

Looking for the best food carts in downtown Vancouver? If you’re into Korean Mexican fusion, you’ll love this.

They’re kind of like a power couple … plus one, minus the romance (unless we’re talking true love for a craft so honed), and throw in a food cart.

Joel Watanabe and Jesse Grasso, the sensational chefs behind my favourite Chinese brasserie — Bao Bei — have teamed up with Abigail’s Party owner, James Iranzad, to open Cartel Taco, a Korean fusion food cart whose sweet little offerings have become the talk of the town.

On their tiny menu live two items: A pork and a beef taco, both prepared in the Korean style of Bulgogi, which literally means ‘fire meat’. The locally sourced protein is marinated in a slew of secret sweet and salty ingredients, then barbecued right on the street, luring in hungry pedestrians with its wafting scent.

Hand-made corn tortillas, the trio’s own salsa, kimchi and a sprinkling of fresh cilantro catapult this lunch into the ‘gourmet street food’ category. And for a price tag settled with the change possibly found in your pockets (one taco for $3, four for $10), you absolutely can’t go wrong.

Cartel Taco
Dunsmuir and Hamilton

This article was written for Metro Newspaper by contributing food columnist, Erin Ireland.

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