Hernande’z Awesome Tacos

Hernande’z is the top rated restaurant in Victoria on Urban Spoon, so I had to visit it on my trip last weekend. I visited their website and there are huge warnings for people with peanut allergies. Supposedly there could be peanuts in everything because they push out food fast, and peanuts may get into the food. Sucks for me =(.. but I took one for the team, and risked my life to try possibly the best tacos in BC.

Walking down Yates Street, we actually missed it the first time around because we were looking for an actual restaurant. Hernande’z is inside a little mall, and there was a small sign on the street which we totally didn’t notice.

They were some what busy on a Saturday afternoon, and they just have a few chairs and tables out in the mall. There are two menus, express menu which are quickly made, wrapped, and could be taken to go, and then there’s the slow menu, which should be eaten there, and have made-to-order hand made corn tortillas. I actually wanted to order a bunch of things on the menu, but we asked about the allergy thing, and they recommended that I don’t eat there, but I did anyway. We just ordered 5 tacos, which were on the slow menu. I wish I could have tried more dishes.

5 chicken tacos for only $5! These regular sized tacos, similar to what I’ve eaten in Mexico. This is really cheap considering 4 tacos at La Taqueria (one of Vancouver’s top taco places), was $10. That said, we couldn’t mix and match between the pork, beef, and chicken tacos. You had to get 5 of each. Also, if you wanted to use a plate, add another $1.

Our tacos came on a paper sheet. To be honest, I haven’t really liked tacos that I’ve had in Canada and the US. Something about the tortilla that I didn’t like. That totally changed after my first bite at Hernande’z. These chicken tacos were awesome. Really simple of course-a 4-5 inch tortilla, seasoned cooked shredded chicken, salsa, and some cilantro. So simple and so awesome. The tortilla was cooked through, and didn’t have the odd flavour that I don’t like from other tortillas. I’m not sure what it is that I usually don’t like, but it could be some sort of rawness still in the tortilla, but these ones didn’t have that taste. I was hesitant to take my first bite, but my friend said she didn’t notice any peanut taste, so I dug in. The chicken was very flavourful, the salsa was fresh and was complimented with a sprig of cilantro and lime. My only complaint was that the tacos were way too saucy, and messy. When you lifted the taco up, juices would pour out. But a small price to pay, for the best tacos I’ve had outside of Mexico. I guess I could be paying the ultimate price, by risking my life to eat here though, but it is really good.

One thing to note, is that I scanned their menu again just now, and didn’t notice any peanuts listed in any of the dishes. I wonder which dishes they use it for because they say anything could be contaminated. This is one thing that’s stopping me from rating this place even higher.

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735 Yates St
Victoria, BC

(250) 884-5313


Hernande'z (Yates St) on Urbanspoon

  • Tamara Hernandez

    Thanks for your great feedback and I LOVE the photo you took of our tacos!

    Currently, we do not use any peanuts in any of the preparation. The sign and major allergy warning came about as the result of my being totally shocked when a little girl here in Victoria died after eating a burrito in a mall (not Hernande’z). She’d been with her friends and she was so carried away with her socializing that she didn’t remember her life threatening allergy to cream.

    The signage and warnings went up the same day.

    I still feel choked up when I think about this because she was just a happy kid who was out with her friends and just slipped for a moment and the consequences were so serious. She was cheated of her life.

    I decided that I never wanted to have that happen with our food and so we give an across the board warning about nuts, and any allergens. We are very strict about this because I still feel so strongly about it.

    Sometimes the cashier will phone me and ask me about the ingredients and I’ll tell her–but with the caution that the recipes may have changed to include the allergen by the next time the person returns. I don’t want Jerson’s “sason” or “hand” to be inhibited by being limited to the ingredients that he used before. It is important for a cocinero to be able to be free to experiment and explore.

    We do use nuts in Mama Nico’s hot chocolate (which we plan to serve again), so there would be potential for cross contamination there. Also, some of the more complex mole sauces use nuts, so Jerson might use nuts in that case. Basically, we just wanted to remind people who have serious allergies that they need to be very cautious when they eat out! We want our food to be life giving and life serving not life threatening!!

    Smiles, and warm thoughts,

    Tamara Hernandez

  • http://www.meplusfood.com dee

    Thanks for clearing that up Tamara. That is truly a sad story. I’ve lived with allergies to many things for my entire life. I think I’m lucky though, as I can feel the problem almost immediately and I can react to it. I’ve had lots of allergic reactions from food over my lifetime, and thankfully none of them were near fatal. I’m actually trying to slowly test my allergies and hopefully grow immune to them.

    I do wish I could’ve tried more of the items on the menu. I truly wish you guys opened up a location in Vancouver. We’re in serious need of awesome restaurants like yours.

  • Tamara Hernandez

    Thanks! As soon as we can figure out how to maintain the quality and consistency we’ll be there. In the meantime, feel free to call me direct if you have any questions about the current state of allergens.