Restaurant Frederikshøj – Michelin Potential in Aarhus, Denmark

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Chef Wassim Hallal of Restaurant Frederikshøj is hoping for a Michelin star or two this Thursday, when Guide Michelin Nordic Cities 2015 is launched. This is the first opportunity for restaurants outside the major cities in the Nordic to be featured in the famous red guide. The less controversial White Guide in Sweden has done this for a few years already, and included Denmark and Norway in their latest edition last year. However, the Michelin Guide does have a higher status and the expectation level is greater. Two Foodies Eating will be in Stockholm to cover the Michelin event the 26th of February!

Last week we were lucky enough to be invited by Visit Denmark to dine at Restaurant Frederikshøj, which is located in Denmark’s second biggest city – Aarhus. The style of cuisine is Nordic fused with classical French gourmet. The meal was a demonstration of how the best restaurants in the world manage to combine truly great flavors with stunning visual presentations. The meal was a cultural experience as much as a threat for the taste buds. You realize that the moment you enter the dining hall. The roof is covered in multiple Copper Shades from Tom Dixon. The furniture design, the art on the walls and the glassware and porcelain is very Scandinavian, and the panoramic view of the forest and sea outside is stunning.

We hope chef Wassim Hallal gets his well-deserved place in the Nordic Michelin Guide. Here is the meal we ate, start to finish, in pictures and comments.

Chef Wassim Hallal

Chef Wassim Hallal

The feast started with a lot of small tasters.

The feast started with a lot of small tasters.

Parsnip cream, tartar with pumpkin seeds, dill cream with dill and pork rind with lovage.

Parsnip cream, tartar with pumpkin seeds, dill cream with dill and pork rind with lovage.

Chicken skins with cream and crispy rye flatbread.

Chicken skins with cream and crispy rye flatbread.

Brioche bread, soft roll and some crispy crackers.

Brioche bread, soft roll and some crispy crackers.

Scallops, celery and "gold"

Scallops, celery and “gold”

Wassim shaving some truffle on the second dish

Wassim shaving some truffle on the second dish

Turbot, mussels, "løyrom" and truffle,

Turbot, mussels, “løyrom” and truffle,

Mushrooms in the forest mist. On the left side: rocks. Some real some edible (potatoes). You figure it out when you lift them up.

Mushrooms in the forest mist. On the left side: rocks. Some real some edible (potatoes). You figure it out when you lift them up.

Beef with a beet roof.

Beef with a beet roof.

Deconstructed Piña Colada. Pineapple, coconut and vanilla.

Deconstructed Piña Colada. Pineapple, coconut and vanilla.

The golden balloon

The golden balloon

Julie made sure to match the gold

Julie made sure to match the gold

Blood orange sorbet & crispy cake in a caramel balloon.

Blood orange sorbet & crispy cake in a caramel balloon.

Petit fours to end the meal. Not room for many at this point.

Petit fours to end the meal. Not room for many at this point.

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Also posted on Two Foodies Eating

“Taste of Sardinia” at the Italian Embassy

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It is not every day you get an invitation to dine at an Ambassador’s table. Certainly not as simple food bloggers. Thus, when we were invited to “Taste of Sardinia”, a dinner at the Italian Embassy in Oslo, we were humbled, excited and accepted gladly.

The dinner took place in the Ambassador’s Residence which is the neighboring building to the Embassy. As we arrived we were greeted by the Ambassador, Giorgio Novello, and his beautiful wife. The Ambassador gave a short introduction speech about the evening that lay ahead of us. They wanted to showcase Sardinia in particular, because it is a beautiful region with amazing and distinctive food.

Ambassador Giorgio Novello welcoming us.

Ambassador Giorgio Novello welcoming us.

The first dish we were served as a welcome in the entrance was a soft, airy and delicious Amaretti biscuit and a glass of sweet wine. This is a typical start of a festive family meal in Sardinia, like weddings and baptisms. Aperitifs are usually savory in other areas of Italy , but Sardinia stands out in many ways due to their unique products. All of the ingredients served this evening were organic.

Heavenly Amaretti biscuits. They consist mainly of almonds and honey. They are very typical Sardinian as almonds grow naturally there.

Heavenly Amaretti biscuits. They consist mainly of almonds and honey. They are very typical Sardinian as almonds grow naturally there.

Some of the other bloggers we met at the event was Ina-Janine from Mat på Bordet, Trine from Oliven & Sjokolade, Lisa from I Cook Middag, Mia from Mias Mat, Annica from Annica om Mat, and Maj-Britt from Spiselandslaget. Maj-Britt just won the latest round of Masterchef on TV. Congrats!

The dinner took place in the Ambassador's dining room.

The dinner took place in the Ambassador’s dining room.

Panne carasau. A typical Sardinian flat bread made with yeast. It blows up like a bubble in the oven, and then you slice it in two. It was originally used by the shepherds, as it can stay fresh for months.

Panne carasau. A typical Sardinian flat bread made with yeast. It blows up like a bubble in the oven, and then you slice it in two. It was originally used by the shepherds, as it can stay fresh for months.

Carciofi e bottarga. Local artichokes which are eaten raw (not cooked) with dried and salted fish roe, also know as "the gold of Cabras".

Carciofi e bottarga. Local artichokes which are eaten raw (not cooked) with dried and salted fish roe, also know as “the gold of Cabras”.

Wild growing salad, fried in olive oil and served with a piece of bacon since it was a festive meal (the chef insisted). The Sardinian kitchen is a poor man's kitchen, and they do not use a lot of meat at all. As such, Sardinia has a lot in common with the traditional Norwegian cuisine. The food is also very healthy, and Sardinian women has the longest life expectancy in the world.

Wild growing salad, fried in olive oil and served with a piece of bacon since it was a festive meal (the chef insisted). The Sardinian kitchen is a poor man’s kitchen, and they do not use a lot of meat at all. As such, Sardinia has a lot in common with the traditional Norwegian cuisine. The food is also very healthy, and Sardinian women has the longest life expectancy in the world.

Sweetbreads of lamb. Served with the "Panne carasau" dipped in broth, and some wild rosemary.

Sweetbreads of lamb. Served with the “Panne carasau” dipped in broth, and some wild rosemary.

Cheese platter. The orange jam is made from the prickly pear. The dark jam is called "mirto", which is made from the myrtle plant seen in the middle. This is one of the few herbs that grows in Sardinia, in addition to rosemary, fennel and flat-leaf parsley. We didn't catch the name of all the cheeses, but Pecorino was represented. Sardinia is the leading exporter of this cheese.

Cheese platter. The orange jam is made from the prickly pear. The dark jam is called “mirto”, which is made from the myrtle plant seen in the middle. This is one of the few herbs that grows in Sardinia, in addition to rosemary, fennel and flat-leaf parsley. We didn’t catch the name of all the cheeses, but Pecorino was represented. Sardinia is the leading exporter of this cheese.

Another type of traditional Sardinian bread.

Another type of traditional Sardinian bread.

Panne carasau dipped in boiling broth, with a tomato sauce over, pecorino and a poached egg which you spread out. This dish is Sardinia in a nutshell - the most typical dish. It has bread, tomato, Pecorino and egg. Everything the body needs!

Panne carasau dipped in boiling broth, with a tomato sauce over, pecorino and a poached egg which you spread out. This dish is Sardinia in a nutshell – the most typical dish. It has bread, tomato, Pecorino and egg. Everything the body needs!

Fregola with tomat sauce, salsicia and ricotta. Fregola is a type of pasta from Sardinia, similar to couscous. It is made from semolina dough that has been rolled into small balls and toasted in the oven to make them last longer.

Fregola with tomat sauce, salsicia and ricotta. Fregola is a type of pasta from Sardinia, similar to couscous. It is made from semolina dough that has been rolled into small balls and toasted in the oven to make them last longer.

Lamb is typical of Sardinia. Here served with potatoes, olives, wild growing fennel and topped with a myrtle branch. A very salty dish for most people, but Norwegians will find it similar to their own food.

Lamb is typical of Sardinia. Here served with potatoes, olives, wild growing fennel and topped with a myrtle branch. A very salty dish for most people, but Norwegians will find it similar to their own food.

A pancake made of cheese. Served with ricotta and Sardinian bitter honey. Ricotta means recooked and is a whey cheese made with leftovers from the cheese production. Thus it is low in fat. The bitter honey is very exclusive and is made by attracting bees to the Corbezzolo plant, which gives it the characteristic taste.

A pancake made of cheese. Served with ricotta and Sardinian bitter honey. Ricotta means recooked and is a whey cheese made with leftovers from the cheese production. Thus it is low in fat. The bitter honey is very exclusive and is made by attracting bees to the Corbezzolo plant, which gives it the characteristic taste.

Cookies! The Sardinian style petit fours. In the front left side; caramelized orange peel with honey and almonds. Going counter clockwise is the Sardinian nougat called "torrone". It is made of egg whites, almonds and honey. No sugar in the Sardinian ones. The next cake is similar to the Norwegian "jødekake" and is made of water, flour and cinnamon. Finally a cake with fruit filling, in this case fig jam, made in a baking iron with a pattern.

Cookies! The Sardinian style petit fours. In the front left side; caramelized orange peel with honey and almonds. Going counter clockwise is the Sardinian nougat called “torrone”. It is made of egg whites, almonds and honey. No sugar in the Sardinian ones. The next cake is similar to the Norwegian “jødekake” and is made of water, flour and cinnamon. Finally a cake with fruit filling, in this case fig jam, made in a baking iron with a pattern.

Salute!

Salute!

Chef Battistino in the kitchen. He has a restaurant in Sardinia - Ristorante Monti Blu (http://www.montiblunuoro.com/). He was flown in from Sardinia for this event along with the ingredients.

Chef Battistino in the kitchen. He has a restaurant in Sardinia – Ristorante Monti Blu (http://www.montiblunuoro.com/). He was flown in from Sardinia for this event along with the ingredients.

Bloggers and photo bomber.

Bloggers and photo bomber.

Pretty casseroles!

Pretty casseroles!

Pretty spoons!

Pretty spoons!

The Italian Embassy by night.

The Italian Embassy by night.

Also posted on Two Foodies Eating

Fisketorget in Stavanger

IMG_7874Two Foodies went to Stavanger to check the restaurant scene in this capitol of south-western Norway. We booked tables at Fisketorget for lunch – the place to go for fresh seafood. IMG_7846

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Fisketorget is the playground of Masterchef Karl Erik Pallesen. It is both a fish market (Torjå) and a seafood restaurant (Vågen). What a great concept!

We arrived at the restaurant for our reservation, but had to inform the staff that our dinner guests were delayed by public transportation. As it would turn out they would arrive one and a half hour too late (!). That experience taught us two things: Public transportation in western Norway sucks, and we should never ever complain about Oslo ever again. Also; the waiters at Fisketorget gave us outstanding service during our waiting time. We tasted some great wines and got as much bread & butter as we craved. As usual, we craved a lot.

We had heard rumors from our good friend Knut Espen that Fisketorget had Lutefisk with truffles! The waiter recommended us a tasting menu, and we happily obliged, but only until we learned that the Lutefisk “exclusive” was not included in that. However, the service minded staff member had caught our interest for their truffle delicacy and made an exception. Happy Foodies Eating!

The dishes are described under their pictures below.

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The first dish was a fish soup with cod, shrimps, Julienned vegetables, chives and bread chips. Heavenly flavors and creaminess!

Tomato, Sherry & Aquavit herring. Beautifully presented on a news paper and cutting board, with pieces of flat bread, crispy rye bread and cucumbers. The aquavit was our favorite!

Tomato, Sherry & Aquavit herring. Beautifully presented on a news paper and cutting board, with pieces of flat bread, crispy rye bread and cucumbers. The aquavit was our favorite!

Green curry steamed mussels with ginger and coriander. Great twist on a classic!

Green curry steamed mussels with ginger and coriander. Great twist on a classic!

Lutefish "Exclusive". Burnt leek, truffle and Jerusalem artichoke. Holy mother of Lutefisk!

Lutefish “Exclusive”. Burnt leek, truffle and Jerusalem artichoke. Holy mother of Lutefisk!

The daily special. Baked cod with root vegetables, potatoes, spring onion and pork glace.

The daily special. Baked cod with root vegetables, potatoes, spring onion and pork glace.

Rice pudding (riskrem) with warm cherry sauce and almond crumble. Cream, warmth, sweetness, caramel and crunch. All in one!

Rice pudding (riskrem) with warm cherry sauce and almond crumble. Cream, warmth, sweetness, caramel and crunch. All in one!

Eat a seafood lunch, and get your fresh fish for dinner to go!

Eat a seafood lunch, and get your fresh fish for dinner to go!

Thanks Fisketorget - we loved you.

Thanks Fisketorget – we loved you.

Also posted on Two Foodies Eating in a longer version.

Canapés for Allergic Guests

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We all have a friend (or more) that has a food allergy. Sometimes it is hard to know what to make for a party or a gathering that can be allergic “friendly”. Thus we made some canapés with a gluten-, lactose- and nut free bread. Very easy to make and they taste as good as any other finger food.

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Flaxseed Bread (soft and tasty)

5 dl (2 cups) flax seeds
1 tbsp gluten free baking powder
1 tsp Kosher salt
5 beaten eggs
1,25 dl (1/2cup)  water
0,8 dl (1/3cup) neutral oil

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C and prepare a tray in with baking paper. Give the flax seeds a go in your food processor or blender to make it into flakes. Mix the dry ingredients well — a whisk works well. Add the wet ingredients to the dry, and combine well. Make sure there aren’t obvious strings of egg white in the batter. Let the batter set for 2-3 minutes to thicken up (don’t leave it too long or it will get past the point where it’s easy to spread.)

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Pour the batter onto the pan. Because it will tend to mound in the middle, you’ll get a more even thickness if you spread it away from the center. Aim for a rectangle shape an inch or two from the sides of the pan (you can go all the way to the edge, but it will be thinner).
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Bake for about 20 minutes, until it springs back when you touch the top and/or is visibly browning. Now use a ring, cup or glass to cut the bread into circles. I used a 3 cm ring but any size will work.

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We chose a vegetarian and a non vegetarian option, just in case someone doesn’t eat meat. We love the aubergine and olive oil tapenade and the great duck paté we got from Matbazaren.no. Garnish the canapés with basil, coriander and salmon roe to give a nice look and flavor.

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Also posted on Two Foodies Eating

Follow me

This blog is mainly to share my restaurant experiences with comments and high quality pictures, but also the occasional recipe. For a lot more pictures and updates you should follow me on Instagram where I post daily.

You can also follow me on Twitter to get the updates. On Tumblr I only share the, in my humble opinion, most beautiful shots of either food, streetart, people or other “pretty to look at”-objects.

In addition you should check out my new blog Two Foodies Eating where I share a lot more recipes as well as other food related events and happenings I take part in together with my girlfriend kleinjinx.

Foie Gras Burger with Brioche Buns, Truffle Mayo and Triple Cooked Fries

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A very special occasion before Christmas called for a very special meal. Our friends Glen and Ingrid returned to Norway from their current home in Sydney, and we invited them along with Mathias and Kine (heavy lifters, heavy eaters) to dine in Nydalen. What better opportunity to whip out some of those exclusive products from Matbazaren.no again? The following recipes are somewhat complex and need to be explained in detail to ensure a good results. Starting with the brioche buns that needs to be prepared one day in advance, continuing with triple cooked fries which requires you to start early the same day, and finally the burgers and truffle mayo. Needless to say, this burger was inspired by recently deceased “The Fifth Taste” from Burger Joint at Aker Brygge. R.I.P.

Notice the failed bun in the back. That's what happens when you try to roll like a normal bun.

Notice the failed bun in the back. That’s what happens when you try to roll like a normal bun.

Brioche burger buns ingredients (gives 12 small or 8 big buns):

This recipe was inspired by Fru Timian.

500 g all purpose flour
400 g eggs (6-8 depending on size)
250 g Røros butter
50 g sugar
15 g fresh yeast
1 tsp salt
Sesame seeds

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Baking the brioche buns:

Start one day in advance. Dice the butter and leave it in room temperature along with the eggs. Wait one hour or so. Then, in your kitchen machine add the flour, sugar, salt and break the fresh yeast into smaller pieces. Mix well. Add the eggs and let the machine incorporate them into the dry mix for about 10 minutes. Do not add more flour. Start adding the butter dices one or two at a time, and let each dice be incorporated before adding the next. Leave the machine running for another 10 minutes until you have a smooth dough. Let it rise in a bowl 1-2 hours, then cover with plastic wrap and put it in the fridge overnight.

The next day, 4-5 hours before baking in the oven, bring the dough back to room temperature to allow it to rise again. 2-3 hours before baking you need to divide the dough into 8 or 12 pieces depending on how big you want your buns. Now comes the tricky part. You can’t really roll the buns, as the dough is so full of butter and eggs it won’t behave like a normal dough. In stead, put flour on your hands and gently shape the pieces into round balls. Leave them on a baking tray to rise the final level, and brush them with an egg wash. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. We packed all of them onto one tray on purpose. That way, when they later baked they merged together. After baking you just tear them apart again.

Set your oven to 230 degrees C. Place the baking tray with buns in the oven and decrease to 180 degrees C. Bake for 10 minutes. Decrease temperature to 190 degrees C for another 25 minutes of baking.

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Triple cooked fries ingredients:

This recipe was inspired by Heston Blumenthal originally, and secondly Hobbykokken and his interpretation.

4 kilos Beate or Kerrs Pink potatoes (yes, 4 kilos, you will be left with less than half)
1,5 liters good frying oil
Maldon salt

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This is how you triple cook:

Boil. Freeze. Fry. Freeze. Fry. Got it?

Ok, there are some more details in order to achieve the perfect crispy exterior and fluffy interior of these heavenly fries. You start by cutting the potatoes into similar length and width. We didn’t even peel them first, as you will cut away quite a lot. The four kilos will be reduced to two kilos or less. Boil the potatoes until they are soft, but stop before they break apart. Carefully remove them from the water and place on baking paper. With a fork, roughen the exterior of each potato on all four sides. This took about half an hour and also allowed the potatoes to let off all remaining steam. Now freeze the potatoes for 1 hour.

Heat frying oil to 130 degrees C. Fry the potatoes, but not more than a good handful at a time or the temperature will drop too much. If you don’t have a proper fryer; use a candy thermometer and a pot like us. After 5-8 minutes, once the potatoes get slightly golden, remove from the oil and leave to dry on some paper. Freeze them again. This time for at least 1 hour, or until you are serving them. Just before serving you fry them a second time (third cooking) in 160 degrees C frying oil. They will need 1-2 minutes to become golden/slightly brown. Put in a bowl, salt to taste and serve.

What’s this rubbish with freezing and shit, you ask? The quick explanation is that you remove water from the potatoes. Less water = more crispy outside and mushy inside.

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Truffle mayo ingredients:

5 dl rapeseed oil
2 egg yolks
1 tsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil with Truffle/Tartufo
1 tsp white wine vinegar
Half a lemon
Cayenna pepper
Salt and pepper

Mayo is simple to make…

…all you need is a good bowl and a proper heavy whisk. As well as some lower arm muscles.

Place the bowl on a wet cloth. Separate the yolk from the whites. The yolks goes in the bowl, add the Dijon and whisk until creamy and airy. Slowly start adding oil, first a few drops, then some more. The more you whisk the faster you can pour oil. The truffle oil is the last you add. Taste to make sure it has a desired level of truffle taste. Add white wine vinegar, lemon juice, and taste with cayenna, salt and pepper.

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Burger ingredients, finally…

There’s burgers in this recipe, you say?

800 g ground beef
3 slices of white bread without crust
2 dl whole milk
1 shallot, diced
2 cloves garlic, finely diced
2 tbsp roasted pine nuts, chopped
1 egg
Handful of flat leaf parsley, chopped
Salt and pepper

In addition:
Brie
Foie gras

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Listen, don’t mention the foie gras! I mentioned it once, but I think I got away with it all right…

Burger flipper – man your station!

Soak the bread in milk for 5 minutes and squeeze the milk out again. Roast the pine nuts. Chop them finely. Dice and chop everything else. Add all ingredients to the ground beef. Roll up your sleeves and get your hands in there. Get wet, get dirty, mix well. Allow to set in the fridge for about 30 minutes. Now, oil your hands and shape 8-12 round patties. Make sure they are slightly bigger than the bread, as they will shrink when frying.

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Heat a pan. Use a mix of rapeseed oil and butter in the pan. Fry the patties 1-2 minutes (depending on thickness) on the first side, while you constantly scoop up oil/butter with a spoon and pour over. Flip the burgers! Fry for another 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat.

At this point you’ll want a partner in crime. Have him or her ready the buns, cut them in half, spreading truffle mayo on the lower half and topping with the brie. Foie gras (that which should not be named) goes on the other half. At the same time those fries we mentioned earlier are ready for the third round of cooking. Better serve them warm, you know.

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Can life get better? I submit that it cannot.

Mathias is in his happy place.

Mathias is in his happy place.

The evening's wines.

The evening’s wines.

Also posted on Two Foodies Eating

Mission Taco – San Francisco in Oslo

Mission taco

Mission Taco opened tonight as the new kitchen of the bar and music venue Revolver in Møllergata. Oslo has a lot of taco places already, but this is to our knowledge the first  to be directly influenced by the specific “Mission style” from the Mission District in San Francisco.

The concept at Mission Taco is to offer taco to the people. It is supposed to be an affordable place to eat tacos, in contrast to many of the current taco restaurants in the city, e.g. Taco Republica. You order at the bar, pay in advance, they bring to your table and you eat with your hands.

Next time we will have a cocktail too

Next time we will have a cocktail too

Revolver

What we liked about it:

– The prices! Simple tacos at NOK 49-56 and “full package” at NOK 79. We were satisfied by sharing two big and two small ones. Full packages means double tortilla, extra frijoles, sour cream, cheese, lettuce and salsa.

– Mr. Mexican Moose with the sombrero on the wall! As well as other Mexican touches to the interior design.

– The Frijoles Negros for NOK 49. The most affordable option, and in our opinion the best on the menu at the moment. It was juicy, tasty and we didn’t really miss the meat much.

– The guacamole. Slightly untraditional in both flavor and texture, but at the same time goes well with the nachos chips. NOK 58 for the chips and guacamole.

– The pickled red onions and carrots. A bit weird with the carrots, but they tasted good.

– Everything on the menu is gluten free at the moment. Everything besides the carnitas can be ordered as vegan and lactose free.

– The music level is just right. Sets the mood, but allows people to talk.

The full package

The full package

Tasty guacamole and organic nachos

Tasty guacamole and organic nachos

What we hope they will improve:

– Both the carnitas (pork) and the carne asada (beef) were too dry and thus didn’t stand out. Slow cooked / pulled types of meat can be some of the best food out there. This did not quite live up to our expectations.

– You should order extra guacamole and salsa! It really is a “must” to add some contrast to the taste of the tacos. We wish they would have told us.

– The place is quite cramped. People struggled getting to their table.

– The wood cutlery sucks. Fair enough, you are supposed to eat with your hands, but if you wanna avoid getting super messy it would be nice with some functional knifes and forks or at least a spoon.

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We are looking forward to the upcoming items on the menu, like Baja fish taco, Al Pastor (real Mexican kebab style pork taco) and Sunday breakfast tacos.

Taco to the people

Red light

The current menu. More options are coming soon

The current menu. More options are coming soon

Mr. Mexican Moose

Mr. Mexican Moose

Did you visit Mission Taco yet? If so, what do you think? Feel free to leave a comment below.