My 31st birthday, a gang of mates and an authentic Mexican joint…perfect conditions for nacho tasting.
Doña Cata, on Victoria Drive at 34th over Collingwood way, is a bit of a trek but its reputation as one of the best Mexicans in Vancouver made it worth checking out.
More a cafe than a restaurant, the interior is every bit as vibrant as you would expect - fuchsia pink walls surround a few comfortable tables, while a taco chef works her magic behind an extensive free salsa bar.
An ice cold can of Corona in hand, I ordered the nachos borrachos for CAD $9 plus tax with a big serving of guacamole for an extra CAD $6 plus tax.
My friends all having ordered the house speciality, tacos of all varieties, I sat working my way through Corona and sangria, wondering whether I had accidentally chosen something substandard.
As the glistening heap of nachos and a hefty bowl of guacamole arrived, I wondered no more. Here was a true contender for best nachos in Vancouver.
With the exception of the guacamole, all the sauces, which included Mexican crema, chunky chopped tomatoes and refried beans, came already drenched over the chips.
Everything tasted absolutely homemade and fresh, including the guacamole, which was chunky, refreshing and as moreish as hell.
Satisfyingly, the warm tortilla chips were almost inseparable from the wedges of melted cheese binding together this birthday nachofest.
The only thing missing was chillies, so I followed the lead of my taco-eating friends and spooned on some tasty salsa verde from the salsa bar.
It wasn’t until I came to write up this review that I decided to consult the staff at Doña Cata to query the odd lack of jalapeños. It turns out I have fellow customers to blame. Their nachos used to include chillies but so many people preferred them without, the restaurant took them out permanently.
I have to admit then that these were top notch nachos and guacamole, lacking hot chillies only because of the mild tastes of Vancouverites. In the end, a great birthday present and some of the best nachos I’ve had in Vancouver so far.
5076 Victoria Drive
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