New mexican for Red Deer
Authentic Mexican taqueria in historic downtown Red Deer. The food is OK considering the utter lack of Mexican in Red Deer (las palmeras is absolutely terrible and is anything but authenticn), but we are lucky to have much better Mexican food here in Calgary at Mi Tierra. I would recommend Senor Taco if you're already in Red Deer and have a hankering for tacos, but it doesn't warrant a drive from calgary and probably not even a detour from the highway if you are traveling north.
I had read on chowhound that a new taqueria was opening in Red Deer, but there hadn't been any comments since they opened so I thought I would check it out on the way up to Edmonton earlier this week. The location is somewhat of a trek through Red Deer (about 15 minutes or so in traffic), so it's not exactly the most efficient location if you're trying to make a quick trip north. That said, the only other "Mexican" restaurant in Red Deer is Las Palmeras, and the food there is absolutely terrible and anything but authentic so Senor Taco is a welcome addition.
This is a typical taqueria - a small, simple room with a menu board at the front counter where you place your order. Not much of an atmosphere, but then again the point of a taqueria is to provide quick food, not a formal dining experience. We arrived at about 1:30 on a Tuesday afternoon, and there were two other tables, both of which were speaking Mexican Spanish, which was an excellent sign.
The menu is fairly brief, and consists of combo plates - tacos, enchiladas, burritos, tostadas, etc. - which include rice, beans and a drink. I believe that each combo plate is $10.50. You can choose from four fillings - chicken, carne asade (beef), al pastor (pork and pineapple) and chorizo (spiced sausage). There are also 4 varieties of hot sauce available - mild, med, hot, and "super hot." When we arrived, the staff was ready and waiting at the counter to take our order. the entire staff was very friendly.
I had the taco combo which consists of four tacos - I chose 2 chicken and 2 al pastor. When my plate arrived, I found four very small tacos, a scoop of dry/pasty refried beans, and some nondescript white rice. The fillings were just OK. The chicken was moist but the al pastor was really dry with pale pineapple chunks. Everything was lacking in flavor. I used some "hot" sauce to try and improve the flavor, but it was again quite flavorless and also too mild for my liking (it was supposed to be "hot"). As mentioned above, the tacos were very small and I found myself still hungry after eating the entire plate.
My dining partner has the enchiladas with chicken. There were 3 enchiladas, each covered in a different sauce (mole, red enchilada sauce, and a green tomatillo sauce). I had a small bite of each one to sample the sauces, and wasn't impressed - again, everything was just lacking flavor. Notice a trend here?
So in all, we had an OK experience here but not sure we would be back unless we were stuck in Red Deer and craving tacos. Things were overpriced for the amount of food we received, and everything was just kinda dry and bland. This place can probably survive in the Red Deer scene, but the food would have to be improved and prices lowered for this place to exist in a more competitive market.
I definitely have to say that Senor Taco and Mi Tierra are in entirely different leagues. Mi Tierra has larger portions with fresher, higher-quality ingredients and more complex flavor combination for a lower price. I'll continue going to Mi Tierra for my Mexican fixes.
It's finaly open. I stopped in to check it out.I tried out the taco plate.This
consists of 4 tacos,beans,rice and a drink for about $10.50(with tax).the tacos
are made up of one 4 inch tortilla with meat.There is 3 additional toppings to
choose from.Onions,cilantro and radishes.There is a good sized portion of meat
on the tacos even accounting for the small tortillas.
chorizo-A little dry but good,spiceyness dumbed down to Red Deer levels
Carne Asada These both need work,were originally grilled but lost something in
the steam table.
They have a selection of salsas in portion cups for adding to the meal.Pico de
galo, Three hot sauces,chile oil.green sauce, and a few others.I think theese
are all made instore.
This was there first day open (monday).I hope things improve as time goes on.
I am going to work my way through their menu in the coming weeks and I hope to
find a choice or two that rates better than good.The tacos are an improvement
over Taco Time but I was expecting a lot better.At least they had my three
It seems to be fairly authentic with a mexican cook.
I wonder if it is authentic al pastor as They seem to refer to it as barbeque pork in the article.
I was told it was al pastor but it tastes different than the one I make.I's hard to
say as I have never had the original cut off the vertical spit.Mine is done on the
gas grill or under the broiler.Theirs is done on a grill.The radish,cilantro and
onion toppings are authentic.
A gentleman I know talked to the owner.(owners?)They said that they want to
open monday.The menu includes tacos,enchiladas,burritos etc.Non mexican goodies
listed include Pupasas(El Salvador) and empanadas(Chile).Taco selection will
include Chorizo,chicken,al pastor,carne asada.The al pastor will come off the
grill as they don't have a vertical spit.They hope to install one eventualy.
They will also have daily specials.Apparently they are not a chain.