The Virgin Mary was calling us. Her vibrant image, painted on a storefront, called us off the mean streets of Vancouver's East Hastings recently and into the unprepossessing La Taqueria Pinche Taco Shop. The fact that the Mexican owner and all the guests were wearing their jackets and hats indoors, which felt unheated on this cold winter day, didn't put us off. This was no-frills -- tacos, quesadillas, non-alcoholic drinks, and that's it.
We ordered at the counter. Service was fast and pleasant. Rockin' Ronnie wolfed down four tacos -- two called De Lengua, braised beef tongue from Pemberton meadows (less than two hours away), and two called De Cachete, braised pork cheeks from equally handy Chilliwack. Toothsome corn tortillas, doubled up, squired the meats down our gullets with finesse. Nevertheless, don't wear white.
I went for my all-time favourite Mexican treat, chicken mole, made with Maple Hills birds shredded in chocolate and chili sauce. Excellent -- though I'm not sure anything can equal the mole Rockin' Ronnie made last year in Puerto Vallarta from a plump, yellow Mexican chicken he cooked himself, with the home-made looking mole sauce the PV Walmart sold. (Honestly, the Walmart there is an amazing food source -- it makes its own tortillas on-site, for one thing.)
I also couldn't resist the Rajas Con Crema, a vegetarian delight featuring roasted poblano peppers with creamed corn, sour cream and Mexican cheese. Brilliant corn on corn tortilla action.
Apparently, a pinche taco stand is a "f***ing" taco stand. This one, which is a year old, is meant to duplicate the flavour of Mexican street tacos without gringo bastardization. It isn't a place for lingering or canoodling, but with four tacos priced at under $10, you definitely get your money's worth, plus a blast of Mexican sunshine.