Just located on Jasper Ave but on the hidden Rice Howard Way or 100A St. is where Tres Carnales is located! It has been praised by the Food Network, CTV and more for its amazing food, use of local ingredients and service and we surely agree, because we were thoroughly impressed!
The ambience and general aesthetic of the restaurant is very cozy, authentic and reminded one of us about our vacations to Mexico. Decorations were very vibrant and we found it all popped but worked together harmoniously, rather than being disjointed and cluttered. They even have lively music playing, though it is at a good enough volume to be able to hold conversations. The music may be a bit too loud for some.
Once you get in, you just give your order; you pay at the end, and you move to a table. Wait time was a lot faster than we expected which was a pleasant surprise, considering how hungry we were! We ordered the Carne Deshebrada and Al Pastor as tacos as well as the Pescado, fish tacos ($11-13), with the salsa and chips as a side.
The Carne Deshebrada is a taco with braised beef short rib with pickled onions and cilantro on top with some lime on the side to squeeze some juice on. The beef was very soft and tender and the sauce it was marinated in gave it a good extra amount of spice needed! The onions added a nice crunch. It was all very balanced and delicious, while providing an optimal amount of spice!
The Al Pastor has slow roasted, marinated pork with onions and cilantro on top. The meat was truly our favourite part, we thought it was really good and had lots of flavour! The salsa that came with it was spicy but tangy and made a great addition to spoon on.
The Pescado has battered and fried Pacific Red Snapper fish as its meat combined with various vegetables. We would for sure recommend the fish tacos as the waitress did for us. They are slightly larger than the other tacos but come in threes. The fish inside was crispy yet soft and melted in your mouth. We were huge fans of the contrast it created with the crunchy fresh vegetables. The sauce on the taco may be a bit too spicy for some but we were generally okay with a glass of water. Guacamole came on the side which we greatly appreciated as we enjoy guacamole.
The chips were very crisp and the amount was perfect to share. The vegetables within the salsa were evidently very fresh and we enjoyed the texture of it. In addition, we even tried out the Aguas Frescas soda in the mango flavour! While it only strengthened the intensity of the burn from all of the spiciness, we found it was very good and a nice change from the usual drinks. However, if you are looking to treat yourself, then we would have to caution you as these sodas are around $2-3 each while the chips and sass are around $3-5 extra.
All of the portion sizes in general were fair and filling enough as well as good for sharing. After the meal we all felt pleasantly full. For around $11-13 for 3-4 tacos the prices were slightly pricey but definitely not bad. For those who like to eat quite a bit we would recommend getting a torta ($15) instead of the tacos as the portion size might leave you wanting a little bit more!
All of the workers at Tres Carnales were very friendly. They were patient and willing to answer our questions and provide help. We were surprised on how fast our food came out
Our final verdict:
8/10 for service
7.5/10 for taste
8/10 for aesthetics
7/10 for price
All in all, we concluded that the hype and acclaim were definitely backed up, as we had loved it and only wanted more! It is definitely one of Edmonton’s must-eats and if you haven’t tried it out, we recommend you do so as soon as you can, especially for those who love Mexican food! Due to the slightly hefty price tag, however, it will likely be kept as more of a treat but we feel we will definitely be back to try more of what they have to offer!