El Camino’s is a really cool spot on Main Street serving up an array Latin American street food that you won’t find anywhere else. They’re doing empanadas, tacos, arepas, and Mexican style sub sandwiches called bocadillos. Bocadillos were traditionally seen as a humble food that was low-cost and could contain a number of different ingredients. El Camino’s sticks with the tradition by offering up five different types of bocadillos, at a very modest price.
I went for the Carne Guisada, a fresh baked French roll filled with braised beef short rib, caramelized onions, chimichurri, manchego cheese and arugula. The braised beef short rib is packed with Mexican flavours, it’s smoky, a bit sweet and so juicy. The onions add a bit more sweetness as the natural sugars are intensified when they’re being caramelized and the manchego melts just enough to be a bit gooey, but still keeps its sharpness. A necessary acidity comes from the chimichurri and the arugula is the perfect greens with its peppery bitterness. These last two ingredients combine to give the sandwich a really great earthiness. All these flavours blend perfectly inside the fresh roll, with its crunchy, flaky outside crust, and soft inside. This sandwich, or bocadillo I should say, ranks very high on my list as one of the best I’ve ever had.
The brain child of El Camino’s owner Nigel Pike and Portland Craft owner Cameron Forsyth, Main Street Pilsner is what they call a quality “no fuss beer” that tastes like beer. Now, I chose this beer for two reasons. The first being, that it’s locally made and named for the very street that El Camino’s calls home. The second is that it’s a delicious pilsner that finishes crisp and clean. Brewed for them by the guys at Russell Brewing, Main Street Pilsner makes a great partner to this amazing sandwich simply because it’s a classic pilsner. It’s crisp and doesn’t compete with any of the flavours in the sandwich. It cuts through the rich, meaty short ribs and has a clean finish. And if you head in on a Sunday you can get this combo for $10.
So if you’re looking for a true, authentic Latin American street food experience paired with a well-crafted, locally made classic style pilsner then head to El Camino’s for This Sandwich and That Beer.
Also, catch my monthly radio feature on “Just Here For The Beer Radio” on AM650.
Photo Credits: Mel Yap