Tag Archives: tacos

Eating all the tacos @ Añejo

So we’re hanging out at Añejo, this funky Mexican joint on King West. Last time we were here, I went to town on this Mexican meat mountain in Flavourtown, which was soooo outta bounds, bro! But you KNOW we can’t go to a Mexican place and not eat tacos — so that’s why it’s time for another visit.

Now, this place has got about a dozen tacos on the menu, but the fancier ones only come in threes. However, you can get their “Tacos Classico” in any combination of one, three or six — and with six different kinds, that means I’m having one of each.

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Forget about saving the best for last — we’ve having this one first, son!  I’m talking Barbacoa, a super tender pulled beef short rib with crunchy bites of raw jalapeños… I could slam, like, six of these alone!!!

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But we’ve moving right along to the Chicken Tinga taco. I usually find chicken tacos to be boring, but this one was a cut above — meat was very tender, although it did not have much of a kick.

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On the other hand, the Braised Mushrooms Taco is both the sauciest and spiciest one so far. Not quite as hot as the mushroom birria at Rosalinda… but I definitely needed a few sips of Michelada after this!!!

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The Chorizo Crumble was not too dry or too spicy. Basically, it was like ground beef — except it’s sausage. Oh, and a bunch of of it fell out the back…

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When it comes to pork tacos, though, I preferred the Pulled Pork. This one gets the job done with a nice little tang, son!!!

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Crispy Fried Tilapia was both crispy and flaky. A bit of the house made crema really kicks it up a notch!!!

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But you KNOW we’ve still got room for dessert, bro! Last time, I tried the tarta de chocolate, but now we gotta go for the churros. Hot ‘n crunchy, with a whole buncha powdered sugar, and some chocolate sauce on the side for dipping… There’s nothing wrong with that at all!!!

Vegan nachos & tacos and churros… Dios mío!

Now, you KNOW this is body by Mexican food, bro! And while I’ve had a few vegan tacos before, it only happens when I order every taco on the menu and one of them happens to be vegan. But now we’re hanging out at Rosalinda, this funky downtown Mexican joint…where all the food is vegan. So I guess I’ll be eating more than one vegan taco today, bro?

First, we’re starting off with some nachos that are not only vegan, but gluten-free. The chips are definitely extra-crunchy, but they still taste pretty good. Plus, you’ve got pico de gallo, guacamole and some jalapenos on top, which are a few of my favourite plant-based things, right there. The one thing this dish is really missing is cheese, though — while they do have a butternut “queso” drizzled on top (along with a cashew “crema”), it just doesn’t have the same texture or flavour as some shredded cheddar.

Now, I gotta give ’em credit for nailing the texture on these mushroom birria tacos. This is the first time we’ve had birria tacos with the dipping sauce on Triple B, even though I’ve seen ’em popping up everywhere since the pandemic started. Dude, this spicy mushroom stew is hearty enough that you don’t really miss the meat here. But these are some of the most expensive tacos I’ve seen in Toronto — 2 for $19 or 3 for $27. Dude, I could get 27 tacos from Latin World for that price, bro! (Not sure if I could eat them all, though…)

But since we only had three tacos here, that means I’ve still got room for dessert. And even though their Drunken Pineapple was my nickname from that time I went to Hawaii, I still had to go with the churros. I mean, I’m not sure what part of churros aren’t vegan to begin with, but these ones were pretty on-point, just a little on the crunchy side, though. You’ve also got dulce de leche on the inside, and chocolate sauce on the side, which makes for a pretty solid one-two punch in Flavourtown!!!!!

5 course tasting menu…at a BBQ joint!!!???

Now, The Carbon Bar has gotta be the swankiest BBQ joint I’ve ever set foot in. Forget picnic tables, butcher paper and lining up to the counter, this place looks more like some fancy nightclub. But that don’t mean the food ain’t legit — I ordered some real-deal ribs from them during second (or was it third?) lockdown, and even made a couple of their meal kits at home when I had to isolate while awaiting COVID test results after coming back to Canada. (Fuck, I’m glad that shit’s almost over!) So when I heard they were serving up a five-course tasting menu for the reasonable price of 75 dollars, I was all over that like beef on brisket. Dude, that’s like 200 less than I paid at Don Alfonso, bro…

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Now, this may only count as one course, but we’ve actually got three appys here: mozzarella sticks, shishito peppers and KFC — that’s Korean Fried Cauliflower, son! The KFC was nice ‘n crispy, and they added some chili flakes to the shishitos to give ’em a nice little kick. Believe it or not, but the non-vegan mozza sticks were my least favourite thing here…

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Course number two is also a two-for-one, as they put down some shrimp ceviche and pulled pork tacos at the same time. I’m pretty sure this is the exact same pulled pork taco kit I made at home a couple months back…except that they fried the tortillas, while I put them in the microwave. Carbon Bar 1, Greedo Catucci 0.

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Next up was a fish course, which you definitely don’t see at yer average BBQ joint. We only got one piece of salmon per person, but that’s OK with me, since I was saving room for the Pitmaster Platter anyways:

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Now, The Carbon Bar definitely deserves credit for giving their Pitmaster Platter an Extreme Makeover: Flavourtown Edition since I first set foot in here back in 2016. Y’see, six years ago they only gave you three meats — brisket, ribs and fried chicken — and there was hardly enough food to go around. But since then, they’ve upped the ante with smoked sausage and smoked turkey (which is exclusive to the tasting menu; the regular platter comes with pulled pork). Sure, they’ve raised the price to $38 a person for the platter alone, but I actually think that’s a steal, son. Just compare this sad little plate of food from 2016 to the following meaty monstrosity:

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And that’s not even all of it — there was enough food left over for me to go back for seconds! But you KNOW I still had room for dessert, bro…

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OK, so these weren’t all just for me — everybody got a lil’ taste. We’ve got mini chocolate brownies, caramel fudge… but what makes it are the bourbon truffle skulls, bro!!!!!

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Dude, this might be the most badass dessert I’ve ever seen. You want my skull? You can’t have it, bro!!!!!

Now, this might already be the longest review in Triple B history, but you’re gonna wanna stick around for a few beers, cuz they’ve partnered with Blood Brothers Brewing to really kick their beer game up a notch…

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We’re starting off with an Autopop Cherry Sour, the only one of these three beers I’ve had before (it was in a smaller can, though). This one’s a nice way to ease you in, cuz it’s only 4% and tastes more like cherry soda.

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Now, I was trying to hold off on the heavy stout until the meat platter arrived, but the problem is, I drink beer too fast. So I polished off this Amaretto coffee stout, Under a House in Northern Italy, with the tacos and ceviche. Maybe not the best pairing… but dude, I could drink this with a flip-flop, and it would still taste good!!!!!!!

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But we’re saving the most funkalicious (funkaliciousist?) for last with this Ajji Majji nitro sour. This beer smells like vanilla and tastes like peaches — I dunno how they do it, but they sure do it good!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These tiny octopus tacos are packing some really big flavours…

You know me, this is body by tacos, bro! You could put pretty much anything in a taco (except maybe chapulines) and I’d eat it — so when I heard that DaiLo, this funky Asian fusion joint in Little Italy, was serving up crispy octopus tacos, I was all over that like Ringo, bro!!!!

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Now, I don’t just have big hands — these tacos were pretty tiny! I ate ’em in two bites each…but they were some of the best four bites of food I’ve had this year. Not only is there crispy octopus in here, but it’s paired with braised pork belly, for a bit of sticky sweetness. Plus there’s a couple crunchy onions, a sambal donkey sauce, and then — get this — the shell is not a tortilla, it’s made of jicama! Let’s just say I liked this dish a lot better than the time I had jicama pretending to be a fish burger

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But four bites and 19 bucks later, you KNOW I’m still hungry like the wolf, bro!!! So it’s time for this funky cross between French and Korean — Smoked Duck Bokkeum. Now, bokkeum is like a Korean stir-fry, usually made with pork, squid or even octopus (I had to look that up). But I don’t think it normally looks like this — I mean, the only rice on this worn-out plank of wood is sprinkled on top for decoration. What you’ve got here instead is duck breast and purple potato salad, along with a few pickled veggies:

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Still, I gotta say, that duck was super-tasty, melt-in-your-mouth tender, and the purple taters added a nice touch. Hey, it’s no Pekin Duck for one… but it’s gotta be the second-best duck dish I’ve had since the pandemic started!!!!

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Now, when I’m at a funky joint like this, I gotta go with the funkiest beer on tap — which would happen to be a Blood Orange Shapeshifter sour IPA from Halo Brewery. If not for the fizzy head, I wouldn’t even know this was a beer — it tastes just like an Italian soda or orange Jarritos. Which didn’t stop me from pounding 3-4 of these…

TORONTO’S TOP TAKEOUT: Pulled pork taco kit for one

Now, right when Lockdown Number Five started and restaurants shut down indoor dining again, I got an email with an offer for Buy One, Get One 50% Off meal kits from The Carbon Bar. I’ve already ordered takeout from them once before, and it was pretty good, so I figured I’d try out their meal kits…even if it meant cooking stuff myself.

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First up, we’ve got a pulled pork taco kit that’s meant to serve four, with a dozen tortillas to go around. Looks more like Taco Tuesday for one in Flavourtown, son!!!

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As it turns out, preparing this was pretty easy. I just put the pork in a pot with a bit of water, and let it simmer while I cut the cheese and green onions. Then I wrapped the tortillas in paper towels and microwaved them for 30 seconds — which probably wasn’t long enough. And now it’s time to build the tacos, bro!!!

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OK, so this is how we do. Throw down some pork, top it with cheese and onions. Then slather on some slaw, spoon on salsa and crema, a couple squeezes of lime, and cilantro on top. Now THAT’s what I call a taco, bro!!!

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Now, I gotta say, I *almost* didn’t make it to the finish line. I was getting pretty full after nine, so I went and made the last three tacos at once, using up the rest of the ingredients (except for a bit of salsa) in the process. I was getting pretty uncomfortable on Taco #11…but nobody wants to be the guy who makes 12 tacos and only eats 11, so I powered through and got ‘r done, son!!!!

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EATING LAS VEGAS: Trash can nachos & cheeseburger tacos @ Guy Fieri’s El Burro Borracho

Now, I had already been to Guy Fieri’s Las Vegas Kitchen & Bar, but when I heard that he opened this funky Mexican joint at the Rio, you KNOW I had to check it out, bro! Guy Fieri’s El Burro Borracho is only open for dinner, and they don’t take reservations, so I totally had to be first in line…well, actually third in line, but good enough?

I walk into this joint right when they open the doors to the tune of “Breaking the Chains” by Dokken, followed by “Rock You Like a Hurricane,” so I already knew this was gonna be a good night!!! Soundtrack is all 80’s metal — Judas Priest, Tesla, Accept, Quiet Riot… Better start charging me rent, cuz I think I might stick around!!!!!!!

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Of course, the main reason to come here is for the Trash Can Nachos, which come inside an actual trash can (or at least a coffee can; I ordered the small version). These chips are topped with beans, jalapeños, pickled onions, pico de gallo and two types of cheese — cotija and queso — plus you can pay extra to add meat (I went with carne asada). Now, while its presentation is TheBomb.com, you end up with some chips that get all the goodies, and others that get nothing at all. Hey, these are no Sneaky Dee’s nachos, but still not bad, bros!!!

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Up next, we’ve got some cheeseburger tacos. Who else but Guy Fieri would combine cheeseburgers and tacos, bro??? Ok, so these are basically your typical ground beef tacos, topped with a whole lotta queso — but I’d still put it on a flip-flop!!!

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Of course, even Guy Fieri knows that no Mexican meal would be complete without churros, bro! And man, these were some of the best churros I’ve ever had (the Mexican chocolate sauce was 2 legit 2 quit!) but there were enough churros here to feed a family of cuatro, cinco, cinco, seis… You KNOW I still scarfed em all down, though!!!!!

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Washed it all down with a couple pints of Ballast Point Sculpin IPA. Nice ‘n hoppy, pretty heavy (7%) — soaks up all that Mexican food nicely! I almost died in my pants on the way back to my hotel, though… 😮

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Mexican breakfast for dinner, bro!!!

Dude, I loves me some Mexican for breakfast… this is body by chilaquiles, bro! But you don’t see it on the menu too often in Toronto — last time I had chilaquiles was for takeout during lockdown — so when I saw they were serving em up at El Catrin, this funky joint in the Distillery District, I had to get me some…even if it was 7:30 in the evening, son!

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Now, in addition to your traditional chilaquiles — tortilla chips, cheese, onions and cilantro, topped with a fried egg — you can also add chicken, chorizo…or both. So you KNOW I had to double down, bro! But little did I know, I’d be climbing Meat Mountain — they sure don’t shortchange ya on the carne! In fact, when this dish arrived at the table, I didn’t even know there were nachos under there… And I dunno if it was the chicken or the chorizo, but one of them was pretty spicy!

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Now, maybe those chilaquiles would be enough for breakfast, but since it’s dinnertime, I need a bit more. So I also went and ordered a trio of tacos al pastor, fully loaded with seasoned pork, pineapple, onions and cilantro. These were not the biggest or the best al pastor tacos I’ve ever had, but they did make for a pretty decent side dish. 😛

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And hey, since it’s breakfast for dinner, I had to wash it down with a Mexican-style Caesar. This michelada mixes Motts Clamato, Worchester-chester-chester-shire, Cholula hot sauce and a little salt ‘n lime with the in-house El Catrin lager. Served in an eight-ounce glass, it’s enough to get you through breakfast for dinner!

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Now, I didn’t really have room for dessert after all that Mexican goodness…but you KNOW there’s always room for a churro, bro!!!!!

GRAND REOPENING: Tacos! Tacos! Tacos! @ Rabbit! Rabbit! Rabbit!

You KNOW this is body by tacos, bro! So when we found this funky new joint serving up Tex-Mex style tacos on King Street called Rabbit! Rabbit! Rabbit! we totally had to check it out. We’re talking fish tacos, we’re talking brisket…we’re even talking crispy cauliflower. OK, so maybe we might skip that one.

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Now, this wasn’t the biggest or crunchiest fish taco I’ve ever caught, but it was still fairly flavourful, with some pico, cilantro and coleslaw, not to mention the chipotle crema oozing out all over the place… You could put that on a flip-flop, and it would still taste good!

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Chicken tinga also had a nice little crunch from the radish and pickled onions, along with a little cotija cheese on top. This one also had a bit of a kick, but was not too spicy for this gringo… Let’s just say I chased it away with a couple pints of their house Rabbit! Cerveza.

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Now, the smoked brisket tacos were probably the reason I came here. Dude, you definitely don’t see brisket tacos every day in Toronto, bro! They kinda buried the brisket in salsa verde and donkey sauce, but I think I found a way to kick things up a notch…

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You KNOW I’m all about the meat ‘n potatoes, bro! So I ordered a side of tater tots, and then stuck a few of ’em on top. Man, the crunch from the tots reminded me of some of the breakfast tacos I had in Austin… Too bad the brisket was nothing compared to Franklin’s, though!

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But even after slammin’ a fistful of tacos, you KNOW we’ve still got room for dessert. We’re talking tres leches, topped with toasted coconut and candied pineapple, for a little extra kick. Cake was nice ‘n moist, not too sweet, and there was plenty of pineapple to go around — you could put it on a pizza, and it would still taste good!!! 😛

GRAND REOPENING: Tacos with a view @ Lavelle

There ain’t no patio like a rooftop patio, bro! Last night, we’re hanging out at Lavelle, this funky rooftop joint 16 storeys up on King West. This place is so popular you can barely get a table, and while you can’t go in the pool — on on the dance floor — just yet, they are serving up dinner and drinks until late at night. Dude, can you say short rib tacos???

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These little flavour nuggets of braised beef are served in wonton shells with avocado crema, pico de gallo and micro cilantro. They come three to an order, but let’s just say I could eat about 30, and still have room for dessert…

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And no, my hands aren’t THAT big — these babies are only 2-3 bites each, which explains why they’re on the small plates section of the menu.

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Of course, you KNOW I didn’t just eat three tacos, bro! This Mac Dog (which is more like two hot dogs) has got me turning Japanese with togarashi, yuzu pickles, and both kinds of onions — diced AND crispy — for a double down in Flavourtown! And believe it or not, but these two more or less regular-sized hot dogs are almost half of price of three tiny tacos…

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Now, if you’re one of them boys ’round here, drinkin’ that ice cold beer, then this ain’t the place to be, Bro-ke Shelton! The only two beers they serve here are Sol and Heineken, which are two things I have never ordered at a bar in my life. Instead, why not go for their Signature Savoury Baesar, a caesar made with Ketel One vodka…where the secret ingredient happens to be Heineken? It’s kinda like a Michelada Gone Wild, bro!!!

TORONTO’S TOP TAKEOUT: Cinco de Mayo Tacos from Pico de Gallo

Now we’re getting to that weird part of the year where, thanks to COVID, we’ve started celebrating holidays under lockdown for the second time. Not that we really celebrate Cinco de Mayo in Toronto — kinda like how St. Patrick’s Day isn’t much more than an excuse to day drink, Cinco de Mayo is pretty much just a reason to eat tacos. Lots and lots of tacos, bro! So when I saw this funky little joint called Pico de Gallo all over Instagram with their Combo for 2, you KNOW I had to check it out…even if there’s only one of me.

What we’ve got here is your choice of five tacos, either a burrito or a torta, and chips with guacamole, all for 40 bucks. Or, what we call a light lunch in Flavourtown. Now, let’s break it down…

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La fiesta empieza with a chicken adobo taco. I know this looks like it’s about 50% lettuce, but once you get down to the meat, it’s pretty tasty.

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Now, I was gonna get one taco of every different animal on the menu, except that they messed up my order a bit. More on that later. For now, feast your eyes on one of the Top Five fish tacos I’ve ever had, bro! Fish was light and flaky, with a nice crunchy batter, and the pour-your-own donkey sauce really kicked it up a notch!!!

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We’re staying under the sea with a grilled shrimp taco, topped with coriander, peppers and a spicy, smoky salsa. Now, they put four sauce containers on the platter, each one next to a taco, so I figured those were the sauces they were supposed to go with. But man, I probably shouldda tasted this one before pouring the whole thing onto the shrimp. This sauce was so hot, I needed several sips of Honey Habanero beer to cool it down!!!

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Picked this bad boy up from The Beer Store especially for this occasion. Now, I’ve already had a couple habanero beers south of the border in 2019, and one of them was like the spiciest thing I’ve ever drank. So I was expecting at least a little heat from this beer…and I didn’t get any. I didn’t really taste the honey, either. I mean, it was still a nice, light, crushable brew, but if you don’t taste the two things on the label, then I dunno, bro. Maybe I’ll try another can without any spicy Mexican food to see if it tastes any different.

UPDATE: OK, there is definitely more habanero heat when you don’t drink this with spicy Mexican food. Still not as overpowering as the Mango Habanero Oberon, but I am definitely feeling the bern right now…

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But now we’re back on the taco attack, with the best beef tongue taco I’ve ever had, bro! For me, good lengua should taste like the well-done beef at the edge of a prime rib roast, and this tongue was totally on point. Plus, the salsa I dumped on top wasn’t nearly as spicy as the last one…

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Now, here’s where Pico de Gallo dun goofed. I asked for a Taco Al Pastor in my order, but instead of sweet ‘n spicy pork with pineapple, I got a beef brisket taco instead. I dunno if they were sold out, or if they got mixed up cuz I had also ordered a beef brisket burrito, but that’s the breaks, little man.

Adding to my disappointment, this taco was not very good. The brisket was really dry, and all bunched up in a great big clump. Did it help that I had already eaten four tacos, all the chips with guac, and half a burrito before I even bit into this one? Probably not. But if there’s one taco from this combo that I would avoid ordering next time — even by accident — it would definitely be the brisket.

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Speaking of brisket, this burrito suffered from the same predicament as its taco bro. Meat was really dry, but at least the rice, cheese and chipotle donkey sauce made for a bit of a better bite. Of course, I still ate it all…but I kinda wished I had gone for a Burrito Al Pastor instead!!!!

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