Nelson @ Parkdale: Another trendy restaurant in this gentrifying neighbourhood, Grand Electric specializes in Tacos and Bourbon. There was a wait to be seated and when we finally were, we were led through the main indoor area with a giant shark hanging from the ceiling to a backyard-like area with park benches. Neat atmosphere, except for the fact that we sat at the very back where we could get a small whiff of the neighbour's garbage dumpster. This put a damper on our experience, but at least the girls at our table were having an interesting (dirty) conversation.
Everyone recommended the guac and chips ($8). Not knowing what to expect, when it came with a gigantic piece of pork skin, we were surprised. I liked the gauc because there wasn't too much cilantro. The chips are made from pita that has been crisped but very salty. The salsa was not too spicy and a little vinegary. Nice twist on something that is usually very simple!
We next tried the tuna ceviche ($9) which had a weird texture but had a decent portion size that included large chunks of tuna. The sauce was subtle, like a gauc mayo or cilantro but quite good. Surprisingly it was not vinegary but maybe the marinade sauce was responsible for changing the texture away from the normal raw fish texture. Despite all that verbiage, it was good.
Onto the tacos! Clockwise from top right are baja fish, pork belly al pastor, beef cheek and scrapple ($3.50 each). First a comment on the tortilla because that can make or break a taco. Grand Electric's tortillas were really good because they tasted fresh, had a great texture and a bit of sweetness to it. Let's see what they put on that taco.
We also got a bonus one, the Spicy Arbol Chicken taco (also $3.50). Unfortunately I did not like it because I thought it taste like puke. Maybe it was the goat cheese or other combination of ingredients, or maybe the nearby garbage, but this really did remind me of puke. Too bad.
The Beef Cheek taco had some onions, cilantro, gauc and jalapeno. It was a little sweet with very tender smokey meat and I thought it was decent.
Pork belly Al Pastor was really good because of the pineapple and BBQ-like sauce. It wasn't as fatty as I would expect, but it was balanced well with sweetness and saltiness and one of my favourites.
The Scrapple taco is unique because the meat is almost like a light pate. It is a blended meat product (with pork shoulder and feet and other unwanted parts?) that is pounded together to form a patty. The sauce has tobasco and mayo, and I have written down "coffee gastric" as well and not sure what that is. After that long description I would say that it was unexpectedly good with a lot of taste.
Lastly the Baja Fish taco which was really good because of the sauce and veggie on top that gave it texture. There is something about breaded deep fried fish in taco form that is irresistible.
Inventive tacos with a fun atmosphere, and I didn't even get to try the Bourbon! Next time, next time.
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