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Learning to love pork at the Tacolot

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Table sign for Aaron Wong Chef`s playground

A summer love affair with pork may have been sparked at the Tacolot in Hintonburg, and this is coming from a former long-time vegetarian.

Before describing this potentially budding romance, however, some quick facts are in order.

Starting in early-July and running until November 4, a new guest chef will offer a special taco creation every Sunday afternoon at Tacolot on Wellington Street West. The weekly charity event is called the Chef’s Playground and is a fundraiser for the Ottawa Food bank and / or charity of the guest chef’s choice.

On August 26, it was local chef Aaron Wong’s turn to dream up an innovative taco, and he didn’t disappoint with his mouth-watering “Pig Mac”. Containing three kinds of pork, cabbage, mac-and-cheese, a special Pig Mac sauce and cilantro chimichurri, this porcine delight was a joy to eat.

“My mind works in mysterious ways,” jokes Wong, when asked where he got the inspiration for the taco.

Kidding or not, this “mysterious” touch was a huge hit at my table, where I was joined by my spouse Meghan and two of our friends.

Truth be told, as a former vegetarian of more than 15-years, and also someone who usually dislikes pork, I must confess that my mind went “uh-oh” when I heard Wong describe his taco creation during our pre-tasting interview. When I ate his taco, however, my mouth broke into a smile as I realized how the different tastes and textures, which on the surface appeared to clash, blended together. It was so good in fact I ordered a second one.

Praise for this eclectic mix of ingredients was also shared at my table, as Meghan and our friends agreed that the taco mix worked quite well, even if we couldn’t precisely explain why.

As we ate the scrumptious Pig Mac, as well as other offerings from Tacolot’s regular menu, my group agreed to pay a future visit to 10Fourteen restaurant at 1014 Wellington Street West, which Wong recently joined as chef.

For those who missed Wong’s taco creation or those who want to try more of his cooking, what should they expect at 10Fourteen?

“The most eclectic menu that you will see in your life,” says Wong. “I am also very conscious about presentation as I was an art student at De La Salle.”

While offering some consistent staples, such as a sushi plate and a mac-and-cheese, Wong says he has been changing the food selection at 10Fourteen daily. That being said, he adds that he hopes to offer in the future a weekly or bi-weekly menu.

In the meantime, and until my friends and I do visit 10Fourteen, I can close my eyes and remember the wonderful taco taste, which might just have convinced me to re-evaluate my past dislike of pork.

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Filed in: Cooking, Restaurants

[...] Among the other great venues represented at the food fair was the ever-popular TacoLot in Hintonburg, whose wonderful tacos are well known. [...]

- Apartment 613 article about the TASTE OF CHUO event! | CHUO

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