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When people talk about Mexican food in Vancouver, they say how bland, how disappointing, how tragically underwhelming it is.  My burrito quest—I mean, scientific research—turned up some mediocre restaurants, but nothing too awfully bad (El Rancho was not great but cheap at least).

They’re (we’re) just hyper-critical about Mexican food, I thought.

Then I found Tio Pepe’s on Commercial.  If this restaurant was a horse, I’d have it shot.

The oyster appetizer, some garlic thing, was awful.  Fishy and tasteless, all at the same time.  My dinner companions agreed, and didn’t finish it.

The burrito itself: If you’ve ever pretended to take a bite of something but didn’t really, while someone takes a photo of you, you know what this burrito tastes like: nothing but air.  The beans were tired and flat and mushy, reminding me mostly of that British dish, mushy peas.  When something reminds you of British cooking: start over.

Look at that cheese in the picture: it didn’t even melt on the beans.  The burrito was a tiny, flat serving (thank goodness), and for all that, not cheap.

To be fair, I did have the chicken burrito here because I couldn’t face another beef one (pork wasn’t even an option).  But those I was dining with agreed: nothing tasted good, because nothing tasted. Burrito: 4/10.

Don’t visit their restaurant, but do visit their Web site.  It’s a blast from the past.

Tio Pepe’s Restaurante Mexicano
www.tiopepes.com
1134 Commercial Drive
Vancouver, BC V5L 3X2, Canada
(604) 254-8999

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