The Unvegan

Recent Posts

Feeling South Beach at Burger City Grill
Back in Black at Constance Perry’s
Exotic Tube Meats at Biker Jim’s Gourmet Sausages
Short and Ribbed at Hearth and Dram

‘Tacos’

Brewing Some Pork Belly at Helio Basin

Taco belly!
Taco belly!

Breweries are the best, right? And they typically have awesome food. That’s why I was pretty excited to find out Phoenix was getting a new brewery called Helio Basin and tried to make my way there at the first opportunity.┬áPlus, it didn’t hurt that I had a connection at the place and wanted to show some support.

Mexican for Yo Mama at Tacos tu Madre

One big burrito.
One big burrito.

Tacos tu Madre was blowing up all over the social media a few months ago with amazing-looking burritos that seemed to represent a new level of delicious fusion. Thus, I had to give the place a try and had my best opportunity when out in West LA. They were out of a couple things, but this didn’t impact what I had in mind. There are a number of options and they are all available as a burrito, a taco or a bowl.

At Home with Guisados

Never enough tacos.
Never enough tacos.

Pittsburgh may be a great city, but it was unquestionably missing the riches of Mexican food that can be found in LA. When I told people about my new digs in Echo Park, a number of them said I had to check out Guisados, which was apparently home to amazing tacos. I took these recommendations to heart, pushed them on my family and set out to pick up a number of these tacos for us to eat.

Casa Rasta at Last (CLOSED)

It's like Jamaica and Mexico in one.
It’s like Jamaica and Mexico in one.

EDIT: This location is extinct,┬ábut there’s another in Beechview if you want to go alllll the way out there.

After two failed attempts to pay a visit to Casa Rasta due to inaccurate hours posted online, I finally made it there. I was expecting a quick in and out fast casual sort of place, but was surprised when I found it to be an eat-in sort of place instead. The menu was full of things I would have wanted to eat, but my stomach is only so big.

A Bacchanal Buffet Without Borders

Did someone say mini burgers?
Did someone say mini burgers?

In my mind, no trip to Sin City is worth it without committing the sin of gluttony. There are many outlets for said gluttony, but none better than one of the city’s amazing buffets. And perhaps there is no better buffet than the Bacchanal Buffet at Caesar’s Palace. As an added bonus, for brunch they throw bottomless mimosas on top of their mess of food. And what a beautiful mess of food it is. The place is simply huge, with each station being big enough to house an entire buffet at any lesser establishment.

Crazy for Cantina Loco

So cheesy.
So cheesy.

As a fan of Mexican food, I often find myself fighting against Mexican food pretenders. Yet, when a restaurant embraces its non-authenticity I am all for it as long as it’s good. Cantina Loco in Allentown is one of those places that isn’t feigning authenticity, but it has apparently been crazy popular since opening back in 2011 and I hoped that would mean good things for the food.

Grand Electric Goes Mexican

No mods, brah.
No mods, brah.

While Toronto is a couple borders north of the border, it is an incredibly diverse city with food from just about everywhere. One of the foods we wanted to check out was tacos, and this led us to Grand Electric. Now, going into this we knew that Grand Electric wasn’t going to be serving up traditional Mexican fare, but the menu seemed good enough that it didn’t matter.

Greener Pastures at Lloyd Taco Truck

Tacos and grass.
Tacos and grass.

Even Buffalo has succumbed to the nation-wide food truck craze, one of these going by the name of Lloyd Taco Truck. In fact, this truck seems to be so successful that it has spawned a fleet that even reaches sunny East Aurora. With high expectations, I once again set out far away from the land of Mexico to eat some Mexican food. What I found was a big green truck and a menu that sported some good-looking food if not authentic-looking.

Mighty Taco and a Mighty Burrito

Best of both worlds?
Best of both worlds?

In the land of Western New York, a great battle is being waged over Americanized Mexican fast food. In one corner there is Taco Bell, perennial favorite around the country. In the other is Mighty Taco, a local favorite with just about as much connection to Mexico as general stability (read: none). Yet, I knew I had to try it out to see what kind of competition it is to the first love of my life.

Mexi-Fusion at PGH Taco Truck

Where am I?
Where am I?

Back in LA, you could hardly throw a stone without hitting a food truck. In Pittsburgh, though, things are a little different. Supposedly the laws are pretty prohibitive, but a couple have still made their way to the streets. One of which is the creatively named PGH Taco Truck and I got the opportunity to try it out when Carnegie Mellon offered its free tacos to grad students like me.