Friday for lunch I decided to check out one of Ottawa's up and coming restaurants with an interesting twist, a take out lunch window.
El Camino (380 Elgin Street, Ottawa) has two dining options. Weekdays for lunch a take out window serving up freshly made tacos, and churros only. Dinner, the restaurant opens with a wider variety of whatever gourmet foods the chef has concocted.
I arrived shortly after 12 Noon to see what everyone in Ottawa has been raving out, the tacos of El Camino. There was already decent lunch time crowd who had already ordered and was awaiting their meal to emanate from the window.
I gradually moved forward in line and ordered.
The Order: 1 Beef Taco
Yes, I ordered only 1 taco. I was basically looking for simple taco and drink for lunch. No problem on ordering the taco but $3.50 for a old school bottle of Coke? I think I pass on that.
I waited about 5 minutes after ordering to be served. At least at the window you can peer through to watch the team of 5 employees scurrying about preparing the tacos and other foods by hand.
After receiving the order from the window I was left perplexed. Obviously the window was mainly to serve the local downtown office clientele. There are no seats available out on the outside and the regular restaurant seating is locked up and off limits like Fort Knox. What to do? I did need something to accompany the taco as well as wash it down. So a walk northward on Elgin Street was in order to Wendy's for fries and Coke.
As I ventured northward, I unwrapped my taco from the cardboard covered container wrapped in aluminum foil to uncover a soft shelled taco with hot peppers accompanied by shredded roast beef and other green vegetable toppings.
The taco was pretty tasty with the just right proportion of fresh ingredients. As well, the taco was a little on the juicy side from I guess the slightly stewed beef shreddings which also helped out bring out the spicyness of the hot peppers.
The spicyness would also prove to be my own downfall. My eyes started watering and no drink in sight to grab as I had yet to get to Wendy's, but that was not the fault of El Camino at all.
Overall, El Camino serves a fresh quality made taco which is worth the $4. A little seating and perhaps some more affordable cans of pop would make the lunch window a little more comfortable for customers. Sure there was a decent wait for the taco, but it is worth it as the tacos are freshly made to order with ingredients on site. Next time I'll be sure to ask them to "watch the peppers".
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