Fiesta at Tres Carnales

April 27, 2012

Six months ago, if you asked me whether I would ever eat pig head, I would tell you that you were out of your mind. Of course not. Then came Tres Carnales.

Tres Carnales Taqueria - 10119 100A Street - Edmonton AB

Where do I even begin? Tres Carnales is one of the most popular restaurants in Edmonton - the food is good, authentic, and affordable. It was named the best new restaurant in Edmonton for 2011 by Avenue Magazine, and they're scheduled to be featured on the Food Network show You Gotta Eat Here. What's not to love?

A couple months back, before the taping of You Gotta Heat Here (this review is so overdue!! My apologies.), my pal Andrew and I headed to Tres Carnales for a quick lunch. We arrived around 1:30, which is past the lunch rush, but the restaurant was still busy and full of people. When you enter the restaurant, you get a sense of an upbeat vibe, and can't help but be excited about where you are, and what you're about to eat.

After taking in the environment, you find yourself standing before a board decorated with menu options and a feature for the day. All offerings can be served in the form of tacos, quesadillas, or tortas depending on your appetite. There is quite a range of options available, so there's definitely something for everyone. Order away, then find a seat at an empty table and wait for your food to be delivered!

To start, we went with the Guacamole Y Totopos which I had heard so many good things about! The creamy mixture was well seasoned, and really hit the spot. The chips were quite crisp, and perfect eaten with the guacamole.

Andrew loves fish. When we go out, ahi tuna is his fish of choice. Naturally, he had to go with the Pescado: lightly battered and fried fresh Pacific Red Snapper. The portion size of the tacos was huge! Beyond what we both had imagined, and very tasty. The battered fish had a crisp exterior, while the inside was perfectly cooked, and without that seafood flavour - we knew the fish was fresh. Even though I'm not the biggest fan of fish, I enjoyed the fish tacos.

Now, let's talk about that pig head again. Arriving at the restaurant, the feature, Cabeza de cerdo, caught my curiousity, but my stomach wanted to run in the opposite direction. Slow cooked pig head served with pickled veg and salsa mexicana. The words echoed through my mind repeatedly, when suddenly Chris (one of the owners) pointed me out! Uh oh, now I HAD to eat something crazy to meet expectations. Just kidding. I had faith and ordered my dish, hoping for the best!

My dish arrived at the table a couple minutes after Andrew's and Daniel (another one of the owners) brought it to the table. It took a little while longer, because he did not like the plating of the first dish that was meant to be mine - this is what I like. Care and attention put not only into the taste, but into the presentation of food. As I closed my eyes and took my first bite, my mouth exploded because the flavour and texture of the dish was amazing. The pig head had a nice crisp skin, while the meat was juicy and tender. The pickled veg and a bit of squeezed lime juice added a nice tangy kick, hitting the dish out of the ballpark for me.

The three carnales here put so much thought and passion into what they love - and you really can tell. With trying to keep ingredients as local as possible, and producing all their salsas, guacs, and marinades daily, it's no surprise that they've found their place in the hearts (err.. stomachs?) of many Edmontonians.

Never would I have thought I would eat pig head. Well played, Tres Carnales, can't wait for what you serve up to me next!

Tres Carnales Taqueria on Urbanspoon

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  1. Great pictures! If you dont mind me asking.. what camera do you use?

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    1. All the pictures in this post were actually taken with my iPhone 4S - I've been extremely lazy as of late!

  2. Glad to hear your pig head experience was a positive one :p I guess I'd be up for it as well, so long as they didn't present me the whole face lol :)

    1. Haha, that's true! I hate seeing the pig head at Chinese functions where the whole pig is just laying there :(

  3. oh they look all so great!
    i'd love to taste pig head dish, actually. ;p

  4. omg! this made me hungry! i want a guacamole!

  5. yummm! my city doesn't have a single authentic mexican restaurant and it makes me so sad.

  6. Sounds delicious! Lovely post.
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  7. Wow Yum! I am craving tacos now!! Hope you are having a wonderful day!
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  8. Yummmmm.. It all looks sooo amazing!

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  9. omg LOVE!! i love really amazing guac and chips but i'm OBSESSED with amazing lightly battered and fried fish taco's OMG you're bringing me back to my trip to mexico last year.. i'm so jealous.. you cannot find good mexican food in germany BLEH!! haha i'll just have to go back and look at your photos again hahahaha

  10. You have a very interesting blog, maybe we could follow each other?
    Let me know and I will definitely follow back :)

  11. I'm from Calgary ^^ next time I make a trip up to Edmonton I will try! ^^ Thanks for sharing ! maybe we can follow each other ?

    1. Definitely check out Tres Carnales when you're in town - you won't be disappointed!


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