Restaurant review: John Gilchrist tries National's taqueria

The Calgary Eyeopener restaurant reviewer throws strikes and samples tacos
Those looking to enjoy a taco or three while bowling can head downstairs at the 10th Avenue National Beer Hall. (National Beer Hall/Flickr)

Bowling and Mexican food may not seem like an obvious pairing.

But this week on the Calgary Eyeopener, restaurant reviewer John Gilchrist checked out a new local spot that combines the two.

According to Gilchrist, the taco is hot, hot, hot — in fact, it's the "dish that will define 2014." With that in mind, he ducked into the taqueria at the National Beer Hall, located at 341 10th Avenue S.W.

"They're easy, they're cheap — good tacos can be three or four bucks — and there's a bit of that street food truck kind of presence to that," he said.

The National has taken the large basement space in their 10th Avenue location and turned it into an eight-lane, ten-pin bowling alley and taqueria. 

While the upper floor features a full pub food menu, the basement features a different kitchen and a different menu—- one fully focused on tacos.

Reasonable prices for good food

The downstairs menu features eight different types of soft-shell tacos with warm, corn tortillas. Menu choices include a house-made chorizo sausage taco with queso fresco and lime cream; a carnitas taco with chili-roasted pork and pico de gallo salsa; or a crispy pork belly taco with pineapple, pickled red onion and lime.

Gilchrist says that the National does a "pretty good job" with their taqueria menu, featuring flavourful, tender meat (as well as one veggie option)

The reasonable prices are another perk — Gilchrist says "for ten or twelve bucks, you can have three and be quite happy."

Although tacos are not the most health-conscious food option, Gilchrist says you can always justify it by hitting the lanes and throwing a few strikes.

John Gilchrist gives the taqueria at National Beer Hall a 7.5 out of 10. It's located at 341 10th Avenue S.W.

John Gilchrist gives the taqueria at National Beer Hall on 10th a 7.5 out of 10.