GRUBBED was on the road this past week, and our travels took us to Edmonton, Alberta where the food scene is starting to buzz. We found ourselves at El Beso, Spanish for “The Kiss”, which opened its doors in downtown Edmonton just over a month ago…and we have to tell you…they did not disappoint! In fact, between the food, ambiance and impeccable service, this new intimate gourmet taco eatery and bar is a must go to on your list when in the capital city.

The structure of the restaurant sets the tone with an industrial container style abode and lit with green neon lights – very “New York City” kinda vibe with an intimate feeling of warmth from the small space, but has all the chill vibes with cool 90’s Hip-Hop that keeps the beat in the background.

Upon entering the bustling restaurant, we were promptly greeted by Elsa who beamed a warm smile and eagerly showed us to our seats . We chose to sit at the bar, as that’s our usual preference of scenery…and heck, who doesn’t want to feast their eyes upon El Beso’s extensive bottles of tequila and mezcal! The pervasive list of house-created cocktails and margaritas was enticing to say the least and really…we wanted to try them all, but settled with two Margarita’s…Mango (Cazadores Blanco, Casamigos Mezcal, Galliano Mango, Lime and Chilli Spice) and Jalapeno (Cazadores Blanco, Casamigos Blanco, Koch Espadin, Creme de Cacao, Charred jalapeno and Lime).

These hand-shaken concoctions were out of the world to say the least and they went down with the slightest of ease. Definitely recommend both of these uniquely refreshing margaritas. 

Next up we ordered the Mezcal Smashed Guac and Chips. Not only was the flavour combination on this Mexican food staple out of this world, with the hints of mezcal peeking through the freshly chopped avocados, but it’s served in a mortar with a pestle, so that you can choose the consistency of your guacamole to suit your personal tastes.

Absolute genius! Of course these fresh baked chips and gauc went down quickly, but we were still eyeing the mouthwatering taco list. With a range of tempting delights, we opted to try the Cortez Camaron tacos (Gauc ranch, baby shirmp, bacon, salsa blanca) and were thrilled with the outcome. This dish also came with a fresh wedge of lime and epic in-house made hot sauce, so that you could customize every indulgent bite – which we gladly took part in. The flavour profile of these shrimp tacos still has our mouths watering just thinking of them. The creamy balance of the guac ranch, the popping crunch of the baby shrimp and the smoky richness of the bacon made a unique combination of Mexican delights. 

The service at El Beso was impeccable and the staff are completely invested in your dining experience – whether patrons are there for a quick stop of beer and chips n’ gauc, or if you are there for the full-on dining experience, the service was attuned, attentive and genuine, with the vibe, food and drinks following suite. An impeccable establishment where they care about all of the details and the patrons experiencing it – from the amazing bartenders who are sincerely interested in each of their customers palates, to Elsa’s genuine enthusiasm – the energy of El Beso is contagious and it deserves to be on your top “foodie” pick in Edmonton!

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