I found myself going by Doña Cata when I was stricken with a slight hunger pang. With the massive “$2 Tacos” sign calling, I gave in and decided it was time for a quick snack.
Despite having been to Doña Cata once in the past I recalled little, and summed it up as a largely forgettable experience. I recalled eating tacos and thinking the way they laid out the sauces was not very sanitary. That’s truly is the extent of the memory.
Near the entrance is an area where they assemble tacos and the like, so it was from there that I placed my take-out order. The man working the station was polite, but seemed a bit surprised that I just wanted one al pastor (pork) taco and did not want to eat it in the restaurant. My bad for wanting a snack and not a meal I suppose.
It didn’t take long and my taco was ready. The woman who ran the register said nothing to me the entire time apart from “Two dollars”. At first I thought it was a “tax is included in the price” situation, but when I gave her a toonie she grumpily pointed at a calculator that said “$2.24”. Apparently I’m expected to add tax in my head.
I dig the look of these tacos, as they appear authentic and can be eaten in a few bites. The taste however doesn’t match the look. The pork was super bland and had an aftertaste that wasn’t exactly pleasant. I could hardly taste the salsa I splashed on either.
On the subject of salsa, they have all the sauces sitting out in open bowls with spoons in front of the area where they construct the tacos. It’s all open and for some reason this bothers me, but I admit I can be a bit of a germaphobe sometimes. Still, I have to insist the way it is done makes me uncomfortable. One ill timed sneeze by a roaming disease-bag of a patron and everyone else who eats there gets to call in sick the next day. Just put a lid on the bowls, pretty please?
It’s like I get a slight case of amnesia when I go to Doña Cata. I don’t like it, but I also have no strong negative feelings about. It’s just a restaurant that exists and I feel largely impartial about it, resulting in no drive to experiment with their other offerings.
Boring flavours negate the value of a $2 taco, creating a forgettable experience.
Doña Cata, 5076 Victoria Drive, Vancouver
1 Al Pastor (marinated pork) Taco
$2.24 after tax