Fhernando Llanas came to Canada from Mexico in 1999. He got a job working in the kitchen at the Vancouver Club, where he toiled up the ladder for 12 years to eventually land the Executive Sous Chef role under Executive Chef Sean Cousins.
Today, Fhernando and his wife (also a Chef) are busily putting together the finishing touches on their first ever project, a gourmet taco shop called Tacomio. Located in Gastown at 435 Abbott Street (beside highly anticipated new Prado Café), the tiny 9 seater will see 11 “guisado” style tacos – which is to say the tortillas will be mounted with things that have been slow-cooked, braised, or stewed – plus a variety of in-house toppings and garnishes. There will be 8 different signature salsas to choose from, plus daily specials like tortas, tamales, and tostadas, not to mention some killer non-alcoholic drinks, all crafted in house (everything from flavoured water and “hibiscusade” to horchata chilled with strawberry ice cubes).
There is no hood vent, so they’ll be using induction heat and sous vide. The guisado style allows for an assembly line of taco construction, ideal for turning and burning – getting the customers in and out fast (I imagine there will be a few of them). If there is ever a line-up (I imagine there will be a few of these, too), it would flow pretty fast.
“Tacomio is not your typical Mexican restaurant,” Fhernando says. “From the way the design will look to the food and service, we are different from the rest.” Opening day is slated for some point in mid-February. Have a look at the proposed opening menu and some preview shots below.
TACOMIO GUISADO TACOS
Braised pork shoulder, achiote sauce, brined red onion
Rajas con crema
Roasted poblano pepper, creamed corn, chard onion, kale tortilla
Chicharron en salsa verde
Braised pork rind, tomatillo sauce, lime cilantro mayo
Nopalitos con chorizo
Fresh cactus, spicy chorizo, roasted jalapenos, smoked tomato sauce, kale tortilla
Tinga de pollo
Pulled free range chicken, chipotle sauce, avocado lime pure
Confit pork shoulder, pickled jalapenos, shaved red onion, micro coriander
Pollo con mole
Clay baked free-range chicken, house made mole sauce, tosted sesame
Papas con rajas y jitomate
slow cook fingerling potatos, roasted poblanos pepper, crushed tomatos, fresh cream, kale tortilla
Calabacitas con elote
Roasted vegetable marrow, fresh corn, roma tomato, garlic chips
Puerco en salsa roja
Slow cook pork shoulder, guajillo pepper, white beans, coriander
Double smoked bacon, pinto beans, spicy chorizo, micro cilantro, fresh cheese