The Townie Taco Challenge

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With fifteen tacos in the running, there’s something here for everyone, including familiar twists and adventurous ones. We’ve got fish tacos, pork tacos, beef tacos … even bison. Even tofu, and carnitas, and surf’n’turf combos.

Canada’s in a craze right now for these edible explosions of flavour, and with our council taxing our restaurants into the poor house, now is the time to use tacos to lure you from your homes into local restaurants during the slow winter months.

If you wanna support your local restaurants, while supporting your own right to delight in fabulous food, you know what to do. Peruse the menu below, pick some you’d like to try, and try them. All but one of these tacos have been created just for this challenge: Adelaide have entered their legendary fish taco.

WIN A WACK OF GIFT CARDS

Every participating restaurant is giving us a $25 giftcard. We’re putting them all in one basket, for one lucky winner who will get fifteen $25 gift cards from these fine food havens. That’s fifteen nights of dealing with your don’t-wanna-feed-myself lazy winter blues.

To enter to win, simply take a pic of your taco (or you and your taco preferably), and post it to Twitter and/or Instagram with the hashtag #TownieTacos. The more tacos you try, the more hashtagged snapshots you rack up, so, the more chances you have to win. If you try them all, that’s 15 cracks at the cards. So, let loose, go loco for local tacos this month.Untitled-2

SHARE YOUR REVIEWS OR FAVOURITES ON OUR WEB POLL

As you complete your taco tour this month, we’d love to hear, and share your thoughts on them all. Click the taco challenge poll in our sidebar, or, use the url: theovercast.ca/townietacopoll. What was your favourite? Why?

HERE ARE THE FIFTEEN TACOS TAKING PART

ADELAIDE OYSTER BAR
Fish Taco
NL cod, IPA beer batter, avocado, slaw, smoky adobo, and chipotle mayo.

BERNARD STANLEY
3 Chorizo Corn Tacos
3 chorizo soft corn tacos, topped with
avocado and lime sour sream, cilantro slaw, pico de gallo, Five Brothers’ White Fleet Queso Fresco cheese, and lime juice, finished with a Sriracha Sour Cream. Served with basmati rice and vegetarian chili.

BLUE ON WATER
Grilled Fish Taco
A grilled fish taco with salsa fresca, fried avocado, habanero buttermilk, and red cabbage slaw.

CELTIC HEARTH / BRIDIE MOLLOY’S
2 Fish Tacos
Blackened cod, corn salsa, cilantro, sour cream
Beer-battered cod, spicy coleslaw, sweet chili sour cream, and grilled pineapple

CHINCHED BISTRO
Pork Carnita
Pork carnita, crispy corn tortilla, pickled carrot, pico de gallo, and queso fresco.

FIXED
Mall Chicken (or Tofu) Taco
Sweet and sour fried chicken (or tofu), avocado, gochugaru-lime aioli, shredded lettuce, assorted pickles, scallion, and cilantro. This will be at Fixed Coffee Bar on Harvey Road only.

HUNGRY HEART CAFE
Carnita
Carnitas (spiced pork confit) taco, queso fresco, pickled red onions, and cilantro on housemade flour tortilla. Served with rice and beans, salsa.

MAGNUM & STEINS
Coffee and Chipotle Taco
Coffee and chipotle marinated pulled pork, refried black beans, pineapple salsa, pickled red onion, and cilantro.

MALLARD COTTAGE
Smoked Pork Shoulder Taco
Smoked Point Leamington pork shoulder with Mallard taco spice, in a roasted beet tortilla, with pickled slaw, fresh cheese, and house lime yogurt.

MERCHANT TAVERN
Adobada Pork Taco
Adobada marinated pork, from the southern shore, with a sagamite and maize tortilla, and salsa roja. Available lunchtime only.

RELISH BURGERS
Bacon Cheeseburger Taco 
Spiced ground beef, cheddar, bacon, lettuce, tomato, sour cream, and guacamole.

TAVOLA
Tavola Taco
Smoked beef short rib, corn and black bean salsa, pickled shallots, avocado, and cilantro sour cream.

THE SOCIAL HOUSE
Chili Bison Taco
Poblano chilli bison, chive sour cream, con queso sauce, and Five Brothers cheese blend.

ST. JOHN’S FISH EXCHANGE
Jiggs Dinner Tacos
“Jiggs dinner, just like madre used to make.” Fresh cod, topped with a pickled carrot, turnip and cabbage slaw; pease pudding purée, and shredded salt beef, all wrapped up in a warm flour tortilla.

YELLOWBELLY
Soft Surf and Turf Taco Combo
SURF TACO: tiger shrimp tempura, chiffando lettuce, avocado pico de Gallo, shredded cheese, wasbi-soyginger aoli, and fresh cilantro. TURF TACO: Yellowbelly short rib, braised cabbage, bluebry cheese, crispy
onion, and fresh scallions.

Taco-(web)

Photos by Joel Upshall for The Overcast

About Author

"The Overcast" is a pen name for quick and neutral posts by staff writers, interns, or the editor.

40 Comments

  1. At the end of all of this, there should be a taco ‘festival’ where we go and try all of the tacos… It could be something we’re known for… You can have it in my house if I get to eat all of the tacos.

  2. Too many restaurants entered into these challenges these days. The Poutine one was awesome because the average diner could reasonably get out to 5 restaurants in a month – although with a small child in tow and a 9-5 job we had to make a pointed effort to make it to all 5. I don’t know how anyone will be able to try all 15 tacos in a month. As I’m sure any of these chef’s will tell you, diners are looking for quality – not quantity. As for it being a marketing venture for Five Brothers, The Overcast, and any of the restaurants featured, with 5 or 6 contestants I’d be eager to get out and try them. With 15, I am immediately disengaged and doubt I’ll bother visiting any of these places for the taco.

    • It’s not a competition, really, this time. It’s a more about you browsing the menu, picking a taco or two you’d like to try, and trying them. Whether that’s 1, 2, or all 15.

      • I’m with Matt. The number of places involved immediately disengages me. It’s impossible. 15 places – in the shortest month of the year, too. The concept of eating tacos (at places that aren’t cheap) every second day (or more!) is a bit much. It makes me not want to even start.

        But I am able to take a step back and relax a bit and decide that it’s merely an opportunity to try some interesting tacos with an overabundance of choices.

  3. The fish taco from zapata’s should be on this list! My favourite taco in town, let’s see if any of these can take the crown…

    • There’s a balance to be struck between how many restaurants can be in a promotional challenge like this, without watering down the financial benefit of local diners eating out more. 15 seems the most we should do. The 15 participating restaurants are among those who have made it clear they like being involved in these. You are right though, so, any local restaurants reading this should know to let us know they’d like to be involved in these things, and in the future, we can move to a lottery scenario: we put the names of restaurants that want to participate in a hat, and draw 15 names.

    • We have pseudo-tex mex (and not even good at that) – but nothing here that comes close to a Mexican restaurant. Quintanas is the last place to go if you like Mexican food!

    • All we strove for was non-chain restaurants, not downtown-only. We did ask a few spots not downtown, and got no reply …

  4. Technically there’s 17 tacos (2 at fixed, and 2 at yellow belly, and 1 at the rest), if we try all 17, can we enter 17 times, or will you only count 1 taco per location?

    • hah! Technically Yellowbelly’s come as a combo, not separately, but we’ll give you 2 shots for Fixed 😉 So 16 it is.

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  7. Pictures on Instagram and Twitter – so two entries per taco if we make two different posts?
    Or is it one post per restaurant, regardless of which social media platform used?

    There’s six hockey games this month so I’m hopeful I’ll get at least six tacos in 🙂

    • Technically yes 😉 First we flip a coin to see if the winner will be chosen from Titter or INstagram, then use a random number generator. Best to be in both.

      • Don’t think it’s fair that people got to have both accounts (I got Instagram but not Twitter). And I’m sure there are way more people out there with an Instagram account. think you should of had it to just one social media app, not flip a coin to see what to use and make it unfair to a very lot of people.

        • Thanks for weighing in Mel, you’re right. We’ll tally the total number of submissions and then use the number generator. That’s a little bit better. And next time we’ll keep it to Instagram, since it’s a photo and all. We live and learn around here ,on account of the pace of the job …

        • I actually think more people use Twitter than Instagram, (when you consider all age ranges – I do think more younger ppl use Instagram) but I agree that it’s hard when there are two types of social media involved and only one will win.

          Thanks Overcast for your quick reply 🙂

  8. I was at the social house, ( formally the social house ) next. I was not overly impressed $8.00 for 2 sado taco with a smear of brown guacamole and a wedge of lime. I would never guessed that it was bison. Sadly I do not use Twitter or Instagram 👎🏻

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  11. I’m loving the taco challenge. It’s a great idea and I’m really happy so many restaurants have come on board. My only complaint is that in the listings here, some restaurants haven’t specified that they only serve their taco at certain times. I went to Celtic Hearth around 10 pm on Friday and was told the taco “wasn’t on the late night menu.” And then tried Bernard Stanley Gastropub at 1:00 the next day and was told it wasn’t a “brunch option.” There should not be sacred times for tacos. Don’t play with people’s emotions that way.

  12. Agree with Bridget! If you’re going to have a taco, please put it on all your menus. Some of us can only come at certain times because of work schedules and it’s such a disappointment to learn a taco is not available after you’ve put in a lot of effort to get to that restaurant to try it.

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