I always appreciate the bold flavors from different chilis and spices without missing the taste of any fresh or cooked ingredients in a Mexican dish. For such reason, I became a fan of the food at Patron Tacos and Cantina.
As I was honoured with the judging duty for the Vancouver Foodster’s Best Margarita Challenge, I brought my friend MV to taste Patron’s Margarita creation. The creator and Patron’s bar manage, Israel Llamas, was shaking up the drinks for us. The key to this creation is coconut! Mixed with a combination of coconut tequila, coconut milk, house-made syrup, and chili flakes makes this drink unique, the margarita has layers of bold flavours that excite all the senses. I could imagine myself drinking this and dancing on the beach on a summer night in Cancun.
Although the Coconut Spice Margarita ($9.95) was created for the competition and not on their regular menu, they would LOVE to make you one if you ask for it.
For food, we first tried the Sopecitos ($13.50), three handmade thick corn tortillas topped with beans, lettuce, feta, and radish, and we chose each of the 3 toppings of chorizo, beef tinga, and chicken tinga. The potato is also available for the vegetarian option. I really enjoyed the heartiness of the thick corn tortillas with beans, the coolness of the lettuce and tomato, and the warmth and spice of the meat. It was definitely a much more refreshing experience than eating a meat taco or burrito.
I ain’t no stranger to the next dish, the Quesadillas ($16.85). Their version of the dish with chicken consists of 3 pieces flour tortilla filled with chicken tinga, cheese, and pico de gallo. And the dish also comes with fresh salsa and sour cream. I just loved how big and meaty those half-moon shaped pockets were, and the cheese was the best part, giving that luscious texture and rich flavour. Probably the best quesadillas I have tasted this year!
Our friend J later joined us and tasted the margarita. She also ordered the Sauteed Prawns Tacos ($18.50), from which I took a bite. The freshness of the prawns and tomato worked together, creating a very different taste profile from Pescado (fish) and Carnitas (pork).
We switched to beers and they had a selection of beers brewed in Mexico. While crisp light lager is generally the popular choice for spicy Mexican food, there are other great options too, such as the Negra Modelo, a Vienna-Munich, Dunkel-style dark lager that’s light enough to drink with a full meal, as well the Modelo Especial, a pilsener type beer with richer flavour and light hops characters.
We celebrated the end of the evening with a shot of tequila, paired with tequila’s best friend, Verdita, a chaser shot mixed with pineapple juice, coriander, jalapeno, lime, and mint.
This was the third time that I visited Patron Tacos & Cantina. So far everything I tasted here was delicious. The margaritas are kickass here. Although simple and unpretentious, the food here is well prepared with big flavours and a touch of refinement, such as their tacos, sopecitos, and quesadillas. I also find the ambiance vibrant and energetic, and the servers super friendly. This is a good spot for a TGIF evening or a sports night.
Website and menu:
* Some drinks and dishes tasted in this post were complimentary. Opinions are on the reviewer’s own.