Food Truck Alert: TacoFino – Tofino, BC
What is it about surf towns and great Mexican food? I don’t know if I’m totally biased by having spent most of my life in California, but Tofino, BC on Vancouver Island, is proving out the connection. Off Pacific Rim Highway in Tofino, there’s a little center with a small grocery, a surf shop, a coffee place, and a taco truck at the back of the parking lot, a taco truck which is doing crazy business with locals and tourists alike.
TacoFino calls its style “Californian Baja with international influences” and offers burritos, tacos and gringas (grilled quesadillas) with a selection of shakes and fresh fruit slushy drinks called freshies, plus a ridiculously rich chocolate diablo cookie. Over the course of two visits (in as many days) we tried the pork burrito, beef taco, (black) bean taco and the kim chee pork gringa. I wish the kim chee pork was also available as a taco. The burritos, beef taco and gringas are served on flour tortillas; the bean taco on corn.
So what makes it so good? It’s fresh and not skimpy on the fillings. The bean taco includes homemade black beans, feta cheese, sour cream, salsa fresca and cilantro. The burrito has meat, black beans, rice, salsa fresca, cabbage and chipotle mayo, and while not as stuffed as a Mission-style burrito in SF, it’s a solid meal without being a gut bomb.
By American standards, it’s not cheap — burritos start at $10, tacos start at $3.50 each, freshies are $4.50. I’d quibble if it wasn’t as good and fresh as it is, or if the refried beans weren’t homemade. And with so many locals eating there, I think it’s probably just the going rate, given Tofino’s distance from major cities. The good news for Vancouverites is TacoFino also has a truck in town.
They take cash and debit, though if you’re American, be prepared with cash. We found that the US debit cards don’t seem to cooperate with the Canadian system. There’s some seating provided, but at the busiest times, you may end up leaning against your car or sitting on your tailgate.