I spoke recently with one of my coworkers on how oftentimes Spanish tapas are not really authentic here in the city. He told me that the origin of tapas is items that would be placed on a small plate on top of your beer – finger food to be enjoyed with your drink. As I get older, I find myself wanting to graze a lot during meals (and probably from the lifestyle of eating a lot of items off a menu!) and Boca’o brings this experience of authentic Spanish tapas to Vancouver with their offerings. I was invited by Boca’o recently to try some of their items!
Their menu consists of popular items you’d find in Spain (as one of the owners hails from Spain, and the other couple owners are always travelling to and from Spain). Their Tortilla Española are not your ordinary tortillas you’d find in Mexican cuisine – they’re more of an omelette often made of eggs and potatoes. Here, you can get them with caramelize onions and topped with a variety of items.
They also have bite sized snacks, sandwiches and if you’re feeling adventurous or want to try most of the menu, you can go for their Tapas Boca’o.
We started off with a gazpacho ($3.50 4oz, $6.50 for 8oz) – it’s a chilled tomato, cucumber and green pepper soup. Gazpacho is one of my favourite soups to have in the summer time as it’s chilling, refreshing and has a nice sweet, slight bite to it. I like the addition of the crispy, grilled bread to give the gazpacho some texture to it.
Up next is the Tapas Boca’o ($17) – you’ll get pinchos de tortilla, croquetas, serrano ham aged 24 months, manchego cheese, shishito peppers and olives. First off, their serrano ham (which is the equivalent to Italian proscuitto) is sliced freshly on the truck when you order it. I love the simplicity of cured meats and cheese and so this box of tapas resonated with me. The manchego cheese is slightly nutty and sweet but has a nice bite that comes from age. The croquetas have a nice, slight crunch to them on the outside and a tender and delicious flavour from the bechamel and serrano ham on the inside. The pinchos de tortillas are bite sized tortilla española topped with either serrano ham, manchego, boquerones, red piquillo peppers or shishito peppers. The tortilla reminded me a lot of this dish my dad makes at home but more upscale – it’s a nice, hearty flavour and has a weight to it that brings balance to the dish. My favourite is the marinated anchovies, but the shishito and red piquillo brings balance and brightness to the tortilla. It’s also served with bread with tomato paste and I loved the flavour to this as well. The shishitos and olives were a nice add to the dish to balance out the flavours with a bit of spice and salt.
We also tried the El Clásico sandwich ($12). This is made with Serrano Ham and Manchego cheese with their tomato spread. I loved the pairing from the tapas – you can only imagine how fantastic it was on a fresh piece of bread. The bread they use is great – it’s got a nice texture to it on the outside and a nice gluten chew to it. The saltiness overall is balanced perfectly with the tomato and garlic spread. This is what I want to have for lunch every day.
Finally, we got to try the Montadito ($4) – you get a slice of toasted bread topped with your choice of serrano ham, manchego, boquerones, red piquillo peppers or shishito peppers. We had the boquerones. If you’re not a big anchovy fan, you might love this dish – as Spanish anchovies are fantastically not too salty and so enjoyable to eat.
Overall, I really like all the offerings at this food truck. I’d definitely love to see something sweet on the menu one day but other than that, I’d definitely come back for their sandwiches or their Tapas Boca’o. The price point is fair for the items on the menu as almost all items are from Spain.