Tin Lizzy's Cantina

October 1, 2017

I don't know about you guys, but I am probably slightly more obsessed with food than I am with makeup (shocking, I know!). And I am always open to trying new restaurants because when it comes to food, I tend to not be very picky (I'll try anything...once). So when someone suggested I try Tin Lizzy's, all I needed to hear was the word "taco" and I was in!

Tin Lizzy's Cantina is self-described is a casual tex-mex eatery; and for those who don't know, "tex-mex" typically refers to a fusion of American and Mexican cuisine.

I personally do not go to fusion restaurants expecting to find authentic flavours and dishes because in my experience anything with the "fusion" label tends to be more Americanised, versus having actual dishes that are a unique blend, stemming from 2 or more distinct and very different backgrounds. And to some this may be a deterrent, while others may prefer having a more "Americanised" dish/experience- the less crossing of culinary borders, the better. To me, food is food. I love it. I do not discriminate. Though I can appreciate authentic dishes, I still like to have an open mind when visiting eateries such as Tin Lizzy's (because hey, if the food is good, what is there to complain about?! Fusion or not!).

The first thing we ordered was "The Hot Mess" as a starter (this came highly recommended by my co-workers). The Hot Mess pretty much consisted of tater tots covered in queso blanco, pulled pork, bacon-cilantro slaw and topped with a honey-chipotle bbq sauce. In concept, this may seem like a really delicious heart attack, but in actuality, I was not the biggest fan of this starter.

The pulled pork was over-salted and the honey-chipotle bbq sauce completely overpowered all the other elements in the dish. I thought the tater tots and slaw were quite nice (honestly how can you get those wrong), but I wasn't the biggest fan of their queso blanco (I've had much better). So overall, The Hot Mess was an actual hot miss for me!

Pero, you guys, we came for the tacos! So even though our starter choice may have been a bit of a dud, that did not ruin my appetite (because I will not allow anyone or anything to come in between me and a gorgeous taco! Can I get an Amen!).

Now to keep things short and sweet (since we did try 5 different types of tacos Tin Lizzy's offers- Korean BBQ Pork, Lobster, Southwest Chicken Club, Chop Chop Shrimp & Executive Steak) I will just give you my genuine overall impressions and thoughts on each taco, then we will get into whether or not I think this restaurant is worth throwing your coins at. 

*Note- when you order 3 tacos you get a side of rice and beans!*

- good amount of spice
- a bit too heavy handed with the slaw
- delicious overall

- shrimps cooked perfectly
- toasted pumpkin seeds offered a nice textural element
- was not a fan of the Asian coleslaw pairing

- quite easily my favourite taco I tried
- lobster was cooked beautifully
- beer batter coated evenly with seemingly perfect fry time
- yet again, the amount of honey-chipotle sauce and bacon-cilantro sauce ruined it for me
- toppings completely drowned the protein
- taco shell was left drenched & soggy

- chicken was juicy but a bit bland
- toppings added nice flavour
- bacon got really soggy
- felt like too much got crammed into a small soft shell taco

- worst taco we tried
- steak was overcooked- turned rubbery
- fried onion strings, blue cheese & smokey chipotle sauce made up for the poorly prepared protein

- when the side of rice and beans is the best thing you try out of all the things you order, you know you got a problem!

Overall, I was actually super disappointed with almost every single thing we tried at Tin Lizzy's (10 /10 would probably never recommend). Sure they offer loads of other starters and tacos, and we didn't even try their quesadillas or skillets, but as someone who loves a good taco, and the fact that I went there specifically for the tacos...yeah, it's a no from me! (How are y'all gonna mess up a taco this bad and expect me to trust that you can make a quesadilla...what in the tex-mex wanna-be-fusion nonsense!)

The main problem I had was the fact that so much coleslaw and sauce was packed onto each taco- it made eating them a mess and the flavours did not go well together (in my opinion). I don't typically find fault in an overstuffed taco (because eating tacos can obviously get very messy), but if what you're packing into the taco does not go well with the protein, and just throws off the flavour of the entire dish, whaaat are you doinggg my friend!?! I'm just at a loss for words.


I know everyone loves their margaritas and all of their signature drinks, so maybe that's what makes the food taste better (this is probably the kind of tex-mex food you crave and appreciate once you've had a marg. or 2). Have any of you ever eaten at Tin Lizzy's? What was your experience like and do you think it was just an "off day" in the kitchen?


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