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  • Writer's pictureBe Vancouver Staff Writer

EatVancouver | Featuring The Pawn Shop YVR

Tacos, taps, and tequila.

The Pawn Shop, located in the heart of Vancouver's nightlife district on Granville Street, is one of the hottest restaurants in the city.

Photo by Reuben Dongalen Jr.

Known for their mix, flip and flavour on traditional, authentic styles of cooking Mexican food, the Pawn Shop is a gem that will make you crave for every single item on their menu.

That's exactly what co-owner, Raymond Staniscia, said about The Pawn Shop and what they try to do for every guest that walks through their doors.

"How do we separate ourselves, we want to create cravings for people to come here, not just be that staple, traditional style of Mexican food," he said. "We never say we're authentic, because we're not... We take some of the authenticity in the braising of the meats, and then add our flare to it."

Thanks to the team at The Pawn Shop, they allowed our team to come through and taste the food, see magic happen in the kitchen for ourselves, feel the vibe, and enjoy the full experience.

We followed newly appointed executive chef, Matthew Delesalle, around, as he cooked a number of delicious items on their new and improved menu.

Photo by Reuben Dongalen Jr.

We enjoyed their takes on the Carnitas, the Chicken Tinga, and the Al Pastor, all traditional flavours and taco selections at authentic Mexican and Latin American establishments.

They were to die for. Super juicy, tender, and flavourful meats topped with the works like pineapple, cilantro, pico de gallo... the ingredients were simple, but that was done intentionally to ensure guests could enjoy the root of the flavour of each dish, taco, burrito, etc.

"I don't like to mask the flavours that I'm trying to develop," he said. "Keep the flavours clean, simple, without taking away that experience from the day-to-day."

We then worked on the Boujee Tacos, where Chef Matthew and the team opted to put a spin on tacos with West Coast flavours.

We enjoyed the Baja, the Beef Brisket (which Chef Matthew mentioned was a new addition to the menu), and Crispy Avocado. Yes, we said CRISPY AVOCADO.

These tacos took on the personality of The Pawn Shop; wild, but awesome. We strongly recommend trying ALL of their tacos when you come in. Did you know they've got Happy Hour, 7 days a week, from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m? Tacos are $1.99 during that time, and drinks are $4.95! They've got over 50 different tequilas, so, that should give you an excuse to "try everything they have."

Photo by Reuben Dongalen Jr.

We then moved onto their Crispy Fried Ribs and the Big Poppa Burrito, and the flavour was off the hook.

When it comes to their ribs, I mean, c'mon, who doesn't like ribs? Served with their side of coleslaw, we enjoyed almost a Southern dish, but with the Mexican flavours thanks to the morita salsa!

Afterwards, we were treated to one of the fan-favourite vegetarian options, the Big Poppa Burrito, filled with jalapeno poppers. Yes, again, you read that right, JALAPENO POPPERS.

The spice, the rice... it had everything nice, and the savoury, cheesy goodness from the poppers added a different dimension of deliciousness that you wouldn't have ever thought of before.

The experience we had at The Pawn Shop was a fun time, walking away with satisfied and full stomachs, with all kinds of cravings to come back for more.

Add them to your list the next time you're looking for comfort food, a twist to some Mexican food classics, or if you happen to find yourself strolling around the area!

The Pawn Shop is seriously the place to be.

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