‘Chancho’ Brings Authentic Mexican Tortillas and Carnitas to Seymour St.

The crews behind the Nuba chainlet and Yaletown’s new Fayuca restaurant have joined forces to deliver a new concept for Vancouver diners: an authentic Mexican tortilleria called Chancho. Located at 1206 Seymour Street (the old Nuba space, recently vacated when it expanded into new digs around the corner), it will be a 15 seat, 750 sqft operation anchored by a gas-electric “Lenin” brand tortilla machine churning out the good stuff at a rapid rate.

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The menu will focus on proper corn tortillas and carnitas. You’ve probably had carnitas before. Literally “little meats”, it is marinaded pork slow cooked confit-style for collagen breakdown, zapped with high finishing heat for crispiness and finally chopped into little pieces before service. Depending where you get it from, it can be revelatory stuff. At Chancho, the carnitas will sell by weight (1/4 lb and up) and be served with pickled cabbage, salsa, beans and rice. There will naturally be other items on the menu, including vegetarian options, but Chancho is going to be about carnitas. After all, “chancho” means pig. (From what I understand, it’s also slang for a thickly rolled joint, or “fatty”.)

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I met up with co-owners Victor Bouzide, Steven Luscher and Ernesto Gomez for a tour of the 750 sqft space yesterday afternoon. The front has been brightly transformed since its Nuba days with help from artist Graham Landin (my favourite piece of his is the pineapple-topped pig’s head in the entranceway). It’s unpretentious, uncluttered and entirely utilitarian — a combo that lends itself well to take-out joints. Expect lunch and dinner services to launch early next week. Take a look…

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