The Pacific North West is home to some amazing taco restaurants but recently I have noticed that horchata, one of the best things about them, is slowly disappearing. Horchata is a wonderful beverage, made of ground almonds, sesame seeds, rice, barley, tigernuts (chufas), or melon seeds. Recently, Some of my favorite places have either altered or removed horchata from their menus. Los Agaves Market in Seattle’s Pike Place and Tacomio in Vancouver.
On my most recent trip to Seattle I was astonished to find that they no longer made horchata. I disappointed but curious. Why? It’s delicious and both places are known to run out of it before the day is out. So, clearly it sells well. Unfortunatley, Tacomio’s change is unfortunate but different. Instead of removing horchata entirely they have decided to create bottled, not fresh, horchata. But not just any horchata, coconut horchata. I weep for this most unfathomable change. I can understand removing something if it doesn’t sell but perverting the item and turning it into a veganized abomination that nobody asked for is a sure way to turn your business sour. I have nothing against dairy alternatives to bring others into a new food item but if it’s not broken don’t fix it. Tacomio’s Horchata was special because it had a frozen strawberry put in it to keep the drink cool while providing a fruity secondary taste.
I may sound a bit hysterical about what amounts to sweet and spicy milk but it represents a deeply ingrained fear in the back of my mind. The fear is that places I go, that I love, will change and not for the better. That one day I may go to Tacomio or Los Agaves and it won’t be there at all. This is amplified by the fact that I live in Vancouver, a high cost city with more restaurants per capita than anyplace in the world. Seattle is similar as well in this regard. There are also very high rent prices and many businesses don’t even make it to a year. This is why many businesses are either forced to close or alter there menu in such a way that it becomes more pleasing to the lowest common denominator. This is not a place for horchata and one day it might not be for your favorites either.