When my son and I walk towards Carne Asada, at the corner of Jasper Avenue and 105th Street, we see a lineup outside. There are people seated at small tables on the sidewalk outside the newly opened taqueria. And it hits me, this review should be just as much about what this one small grand opening means for downtown as much as it should be about the food itself.
We have seen our downtown become less vibrant since COVID; we’re seeing empty storefronts, and we wax poetic about the restaurants we used to go to. So, to see a new spot that’s creating vibrancy on the street, well that’s a victory for downtown as a whole. One taco spot can’t change the world, but it can certainly breathe some life into the surrounding area — and that’s what we see at Carne Asada.
After we wait in line, and see those ahead of us get their orders in rapid-fire succession, we decide to try each of three meaty options on the menu; the Pork Pastor, the Steak Asada and the Chicken Adobado. I choose to get my tacos loaded, including, cilantro, chopped onions, pineapple and sauteed green peppers. It’s the sauteed peppers that make the tacos sing.
The folks at Carne Asada really stuff the tacos to the breaking point. The portions are generous. The pork is moist and carries a bit of smokiness, while the chicken has a nice, but not overpowering, kick from being prepared with chilis. But the Steak Asada is the star of the show. There’s lots of grilled flavour here, the smoke builds with every bite, and it goes well with the medium-spice green salsa on offer. (There are hot and mild salsas, as well, but I can only write about the one I chose).
This is a great addition to Jasper Avenue; not just because of the food, but what it does for the Avenue as a whole.