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Good Mexican Food in Toronto?

c
Crusty Chef Aug 11, 2006 03:26 PM

Does anyone have a recommendation for fabulous Mexican food in Toronto or GTA???

  1. TorontoJo Aug 11, 2006 05:27 PM

    You're kidding, right? Mexican food is the single most lacking cuisine in our fair city. There have been long, ranting discussions about this topic on this board over the years. There was even a Toronto Star article about it earlier this year (citing the long, ranting discussions on this board).

    You will get supporters for Tacos El Asador, Jalapeno, Dos Amigos, El Sol, etc. But none are anywhere close to "fabulous", and some aren't even Mexican. Mind you, I actually like going to these places when I'm in the mood for beans and rice and such. But if you compare them to amazing places like Frontera Grill, Salpicon, and Topolobampo in Chicago, you'll quickly realize that the places here are on a totally different plane of existence.

    Anyway, there are two new entries into the field. Johny Banana on Bathurst has been getting decent reviews (especially for their smoothies, oddly enough). Milagro (on Mercer, I think?) just opened. Haven't been and haven't heard any reports yet.

    6 Replies
    1. re: TorontoJo
      s
      Stewart Aug 11, 2006 05:46 PM

      The most recent Toronto Life Magazine mentions Milagro.
      Yes on Mercer; Check out their thoughts.
      tx

      1. re: Stewart
        s
        Selkal Aug 14, 2006 09:29 PM

        Here's a little blurb on Milagro from Toronto Life's website:

        "A dozen years after NAFTA, Toronto finally has a reason to celebrate: the arrival of Arturo and Andrés Anhalt and their new restaurant, Milagro. The brothers vow to break Cal-Mex cooking’s spell on the city, with such authentic offerings as pork cooked in banana leaves and blended with Yuca­tán spices, and a delightful salad made from the leaves of the nopal cactus. Little things count: homemade tortillas, fresh sangrita to accompany an outstanding list of tequilas, plus the judicious—and around these parts, exceedingly rare—use of pork fat, key to traditional Mexican cuisine. Here’s to a menu blessedly free of nachos and sour cream."

      2. re: TorontoJo
        Food Tourist Jan 9, 2007 03:17 AM

        A friend dragged me to Jalapeno on King West a couple of Fridays ago during the holidays. Mostly empty (it was around 9 pm) but pleasant service. Food, predictably, was disappointing. Average guacamole and chips. Overcooked chicken mole with slightly strange black bean mush and a pile of carrot-infused rice on the side. Although, I have to admit, I had worse mole chicken at a casual place (filled with locals, not tourists) in Cabo, Mexico. Mediocre margarita (I admit I tried the mango version, but still). My impression is that it's an "authentic" place but they just don't produce tasty food. Or maybe it's that Mexican food will never be "good" food and we're waiting in vain.

        1. re: Food Tourist
          spades Jan 9, 2007 03:39 AM

          "Or maybe it's that Mexican food will never be "good" food and we're waiting in vain."

          Whoa. I can speak from personal experience and having gone to countless wonderful Mexican restos and street vendors in Southern California and Baja that Mexican food can most definitely be "good" food. "Amazing" food, even!

          The fact that Toronto is, inexplicably, totally incapable of churning out a decent authentic mexican experience, should not be a commentary on the overall quality of the cuisine.

          1. re: spades
            Food Tourist Jan 9, 2007 03:45 AM

            Okay, I'll admit that I was grumpy when I wrote that. I had amazing tacos in Baja, but not on the street or in local restaurants. The amazing food was at the Hilton Cabo resort! To-die-for pork & pineapple and cactus tacos. Nothing in the small towns around could rival those tacos. I still crave them. All Toronto needs is a place that doesn't overcook (dry out) their meat, and that would be a huge step in the right direction.

            1. re: Food Tourist
              koknia Nov 11, 2009 12:03 AM

              Has anyone tried the place way out on St Clair West? Don't remember the name but it looked very authentic and was stuffed with Latino families when I stuck my head in.

              -----
              St Clair Restaurant
              69 St Clair St, Chatham, ON N7L3H8, CA

      3. Kagemusha Aug 11, 2006 06:16 PM

        As TJ said, it's a wasteland for Mexican food. Problem in TO has always been near-total unfamiliarity with the cuisine or the fact that Mexico is a BIG place with varied regional cooking. Most of what's on offer exploits this ignorance with Central Americans passing off all sorts of stuff as "authentic Mexican" food. Much of this is OK eating but not the real deal. The Chicano population in the GTA is miniscule relative other Spanish-speaking communities and this fact structures the whole enchilada--as they say.

        4 Replies
        1. re: Kagemusha
          Nab Aug 11, 2006 06:33 PM

          I used to think that Mexicans just never made it up that far north, or if they did, crossing another border wasn't worth it (for any number of reasons -- not trying to insinuate they're all illegal immigrants blah blah). But then I came across some very decent Mexican food, including unique regional specialties, in the middle of nowhere Midwest America. If it can get there, why can't it make it to a frickin metropolitan city ?

          In any case, I'm not from Toronto but am in the area for the next month or so -- recently I drove through a nabe in Toronto that had alot of "Tacos el _____" restaurants, but can't recall where I was. Also some real tiny places offering pupusas and the like. What neighbourhood is Mexican/Latin or even remotely so ? I can't remember where i was .....

          1. re: Nab
            c
            Craig Aug 11, 2006 06:47 PM

            That'll be Kensington Market, I believe.

            1. re: Nab
              Maggiealonso Aug 10, 2007 06:55 PM

              if u go to the Kensington market go to a taqueria call EL TROMPO, is in Augusta street, great tacos real mexican tacos, also try the red sauce made with chipotle and the tamarind water is great . and im mexican and i think this is the only place i can tell is real tacos.

              1. re: Nab
                m
                MeMeMe Aug 21, 2007 06:00 PM

                Tacos El Asador - it is Salvadorian and absolutely the most authentic tacos in Toronto. Everything we've had is fantastic - espcially their chorizo tacos. Real tortillas - so delicious!

            2. mtampoya Aug 11, 2006 11:43 PM

              I am not sure if you have tried Mariachi's at Yonge & Eglinton (south of Eglinton). I think it is one of the better ones in the city and the place is always busy. www.mishsplayground.com

              1. Kagemusha Aug 12, 2006 12:22 AM

                Better? How? That wasn't my experience. Struck me as haute Taco Bell. McDonald's is busy, too.

                3 Replies
                1. re: Kagemusha
                  n
                  neighborguy Aug 13, 2006 06:11 PM

                  I found Mariachi's favours rather ordinary. Where the fast food comparison comes, imho, is the neither here-nor-there/indifferent (how Canadian) aspect of the food/presentation. I've had Mexican food with robust flavours served either simply or 'done up.' Most north american establishments do a neat non offensive plate with none of the nuance that comes from authentic preparation. What makes me cringe is any kind of coarse hot and spicy passing off as the refinined piquancy that notes some Mexican cuisine.

                  1. re: neighborguy
                    j
                    jayseeca Aug 14, 2006 03:55 PM

                    You obviously can't get amazing, and authentic mexican food in Toronto, but of the ones I've been to, I would go to Mariachis. Not authentic, but I still have great meals there...
                    I also go to Margarita's, not superb, but it fills a craving I have for Mexican food which isn't Taco Bell.

                    1. re: jayseeca
                      nummanumma Nov 16, 2006 09:28 PM

                      mariachi's, imho, could not reasonably be described as either authentic or exciting. I eat there sometimes however, because I do love to fall into a sugary marguerita in the summer.

                2. mtampoya Aug 12, 2006 03:46 PM

                  Not sure what you mean by 'haute.' Highend? That's isn't bad. Afterall, a burger at Bymark is the haute version of McDonald's Big Mac.

                  I am a big fan of their Chicken Mole. Not a lot of places in the city serve it.

                  RE: Busy. Yes, McDonald's is busy too. You are right. The difference is, many people visit McD's because of the price and convenience. People choose this restaurant because the prices are reasonable and the food is good.

                  1. Kagemusha Aug 13, 2006 12:33 AM

                    Their mole tasted suspiciously "jarred" not freshly made. Mole isn't the easiest thing to make properly and theirs was wide of the mark. Mine was gritty--not good. I just found the place too "Tex-Mex." But if it works for you...

                    1. s
                      Sahara88 Aug 14, 2006 04:49 AM

                      Il Bandito on King Street (at Peter, just east of Spadina) serves the best Mexican food in the city by far.

                      The chef has many years experience cooking at the famous "Mexican Town" restaurant in Detroit, and the prices aren't too bad.

                      Their hours of operation are sometimes difficult to figure out. I've tried to go there a couple of times and they were closed, but the times I have found the place open, I've always been impressed AND impressed a few of my friends as well.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: Sahara88
                        l
                        lcohen999 Nov 12, 2006 04:20 AM

                        We just came from Bandito, and I have to agree with you Sahara. It was excellent!

                        I have been looking for a place like this for a while now, thank you!

                        1. re: lcohen999
                          f
                          foodgangsta Dec 17, 2006 04:00 PM

                          Wow, never knew the guy was from Mexican Town? I'll have to drag some people down to check it out.

                      2. j
                        JDJay Aug 14, 2006 04:08 PM

                        I've been liking El Trompo in Kensington, lately. The people running the place seem to be ethnic. Their guac is the best I've had since trips to mexico.

                        What do the rest of you 'hounds think?

                        1. s
                          SusanB Aug 14, 2006 04:44 PM

                          I also liked El Trompo (only been once, 2 weeks ago). I don't usually order guacamole, but we ordered tacos and the chicharone de queso, which was great!

                          1. c
                            cookbook Aug 14, 2006 09:13 PM

                            El Trompo by far- Lucero Lopez is infact from Puebla. She learned to cook from her mum and mother-in-law- both of whom ran restaurants in and around the Puebla area. Her guacamole is home-made- on-site, no pre-packaged gunk there. Same with her pico de gallo, horchata, jamaica juice and just about everything else. It's not "haute cuisine" - but it is fresh, flavourful, and reflects the recipes of her city.

                            5 Replies
                            1. re: cookbook
                              Kagemusha Aug 14, 2006 10:12 PM

                              I'd seriously doubt she's a "poblana" if there's no mole poblano on the menu--is there?

                              1. re: Kagemusha
                                Maggiealonso Aug 10, 2007 07:00 PM

                                no, there is no mole poblano but u can go and buy the ingredients an prepare it, just ask for the owner of the taqueria el trompo and he has a litle store with mexican products.
                                Also if u are interested im going to give some cooking lessons and mole is on the list.

                              2. re: cookbook
                                t
                                Tout Garni Nov 17, 2006 03:19 PM

                                El Trompo is the most authentic Mexican "street-style" food I've yet found in Toronto. Simple, fatty, delicious. One disappointment: the totopos are clearly out of a bag. Tacos El Asador is good, but the Central American items are btter there.

                                1. re: cookbook
                                  Food Tourist Dec 19, 2006 03:18 AM

                                  Gave El Trompo a second chance last night and it still disappointed. Dry, spicy chipotle chicken tinga tacos were the best choice, but chorizo tacos were really dry, and bisteca tacos were dry and overseasoned! Tamarind juice wasn't bad for 85 cents. Worst guacamole ever - too much tomato and salt, no avocado flavour. Churros could be fresher (I imagine they were made earlier that weekend as we went on Sunday at 6 pm). Water is served at room temperature.

                                  Not sure I would describe anything there as "fatty".

                                  1. re: Food Tourist
                                    Maggiealonso Aug 10, 2007 07:07 PM

                                    i think tacos el trompo were ok, im from monterrey city and they are not the same tacos we have there but if u think that uare not in mexico this tacos asre good. I didnt try the guacamole just tacos de bistec con queso, they were street tacos.
                                    ALso U said everuthing was fatty.. tacos are not fatty, fatty is the person who decides to eat them and we know cheese and too much meet is not healthy but once a day is ok.. by the way el agua d etamarindo was real.

                                2. s
                                  SusanB Aug 15, 2006 01:29 AM

                                  Kagemusha, we picked up some groceries at the store owned by the husband of the El Trompo family - he told me he was from Puebla, so it's entirely possible that the woman is also from Puebla, even if mole poblano isn't on the menu.

                                  1. c
                                    cookbook Aug 15, 2006 02:39 AM

                                    Yes, she's from Puebla- as is her husband who owns the Mexican Dry Food shop around the corner from her store. Mole is a very labour intensive sauce to prepare properly- and she's more of a street eats type of place with really good chicharron de queso, tacos, and pozole soups. I've interviewed both of them for a show I work on- VERY nice, hard-working, down-to-earth folks.

                                    1. e
                                      embee Nov 12, 2006 09:14 AM

                                      I've mentioned this before on other threads, but why not again?

                                      Toronto once had two excellent Mexican restaurants: Chile's (at Gerrard & Pape) and the Peasant's Larder (Carlton & Parliament).

                                      Chile's began as a takeout place (not exactly fast food - one usually waited an hour) with extraordinary fresh fruit drinks and wonderful food and eventually morphed into something rather "haute" with things like fresh fish with oranges and dishes made with corn fungus. They closed in the early nineties.

                                      Peasant's Larder served an amalgam of Mexican and Jewish food (I believe the owner/chef's family migrated from Europe to Mexico though he, himself, came to Toronto from New York). The very chowish owner was likely to serve complimentary tastes of current recipes from Gourmet magazine while one waited for one's actual dinner.

                                      I believe the owners/chefs at Chile's were Elizabeth Escobar and Desmond Poon. If anyone sees these names associated with a current Mexican resto, please let us all know.

                                      The owner of Peasant's Larder was Barry Ashley. Barry was also a photographer, the family was obviously getting tired of the food business, and he's probably retirement age, but ya never know...

                                      5 Replies
                                      1. re: embee
                                        e
                                        ElizabethS Nov 12, 2006 01:03 PM

                                        We spent many nights at Peasant's Larder in the 80s - was Barry's wife's name Arlene? She was hysterically funny and the waitresses were all great.

                                        Before Barry sold (to the bartender I think?) he gave me his recipe for Chile - if you recall it is meat only - no beans, no peppers - just onions and meat - happy to post it if you would like it.

                                        We went to Chile's several times as well - the fish was excellent but the service was so s-l-o-w!

                                        1. re: ElizabethS
                                          e
                                          embee Nov 12, 2006 02:13 PM

                                          Yes, I think it was Arlene. The other guy was John. The refried beans tasted vaguely like chulent (a Jewish dish) and when asked if he cooked them in lard, he practically freaked. He wouldn't go near the stuff. But what is "authentic" anyway? (Funny, I just got into this authenticity issue, from the opposite direction, regarding bagels.) My understanding is that this was more-or-less the grub eaten by the Mexican branch of his family. Authentic or not, his food was delicious. When they put tacos and enchiladas on the menu, they called the dish nag-nag-nag.

                                          Sure post the recipe. If there isn't anything else in the post, they'll move it to the home cooking board.

                                          1. re: embee
                                            e
                                            ElizabethS Nov 12, 2006 03:24 PM

                                            I'll find it and post it - I always ordered the chile rellenos which were delicious.

                                            The first time we went there was a line up and Arlene said - in her NY-accented voice - "It's a 30 minute wait.....and it's not worth it".

                                            John.....of course. And the waitresses were Maryanne and Nancy I think - Maryanne was tall and fair and Nancy held her hair up with chopsticks......

                                          2. re: ElizabethS
                                            u
                                            Ubervache Nov 15, 2006 08:24 PM

                                            Could you post the chili recipe?

                                            1. re: Ubervache
                                              e
                                              ElizabethS Nov 24, 2006 06:50 PM

                                              Sorry - will post it this weekend !!

                                        2. Anonimo Nov 12, 2006 12:14 PM

                                          You think you got it tough? Just try finding some decent Canadian food in central Mexico! ;-)

                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: Anonimo
                                            e
                                            embee Nov 12, 2006 02:19 PM

                                            But is central Mexico celebrated for the diversity of its residents? And what the heck is "Canadian food" anyway? Smoked meat, poutine, butter tarts, and salmon smoked on a cedar pole in front of alder?
                                            ;-)

                                            1. re: embee
                                              m
                                              MissKMM Nov 12, 2006 11:16 PM

                                              It's funny you ask about Cdn Food. Our neighbourhood held a pot luck dinner for it's residents, but the catch was you had to bring a dish native to your country. I live in a very diverse neighbourhood and being virtually the only Cdn I made home made Mac and Cheese and butter tarts. We ended up with Polish, Portuguese, Italian, Dominican, Argentinian, Guayanese and Jamician foods...it was great.

                                          2. z
                                            zoohort2 Nov 12, 2006 12:40 PM

                                            Rebozos - 126 Rogers Road (3 Blocks West Off Dufferin) is really good..tried it last week and loved it!
                                            Read about it here: http://www.nowtoronto.com/issues/2006...

                                            5 Replies
                                            1. re: zoohort2
                                              y
                                              yoyodyne Nov 15, 2006 03:31 PM

                                              Second rebozos!!! very delicious authentic mexican street food run by some of the warmest, friendliest people in the business. Eat there immediately!

                                              1. re: zoohort2
                                                p
                                                PrawnSolo Jan 10, 2007 04:36 PM

                                                Rebozo'z gets my vote also. Super friendly staff, and delicious authentic food. In fact, I'm going to head there right now...

                                                1. re: PrawnSolo
                                                  a
                                                  auberginegal Jan 10, 2007 04:46 PM

                                                  i read this place is actually run out of someone's home? is this true? is there room to eat there or is it for take away? it's not in an area i usually frequent, but i do plan on making the trip there!

                                                  1. re: auberginegal
                                                    m
                                                    munch Jan 10, 2007 05:06 PM

                                                    I think it might be in their home. Originally it was take-out and a counter with some stools, but they have added a small room with a few tables for eating there. I had a carnitas sandwich on my last visit, it was quite good.

                                                    1. re: munch
                                                      Dimbulb Jan 10, 2007 05:50 PM

                                                      It's located in a house on Rogers Road. The front yard's been paved over and turned into a parking lot/"patio," and what used to be the livingroom is the takeout counter. They've just knocked down a wall into the next room to make space for a couple of tables. The owners live in the rest of the place with their young children.

                                              2. foodyDudey Nov 12, 2006 08:47 PM

                                                Has anyone been to the most recent location of "El Jacalito" ?
                                                I went there a few times when they were still a food stall at the Milvan Drive location. Here is there current website:
                                                http://www.eljacalito.ca/ Steven Davey mentioned them in the Rebozos article in NOW.

                                                1. MiniMom Nov 15, 2006 08:53 PM

                                                  Il Bandido - King Street
                                                  Hernando's Hideaway - Yonge St. & they now have a 2nd location near St Lawrence Mkt
                                                  Mexicali Rosies - Oakville
                                                  these are a couple

                                                  2 Replies
                                                  1. re: MiniMom
                                                    s
                                                    sjst1000 Nov 16, 2006 09:09 PM

                                                    Not to chime in on a purely negative note, but I have to say that Mexicali Rosa's in Oakville is, without a doubt, the WORST "mexican food" I've ever had the misfortune to eat. If you're looking for mexican food, stay away from there. I grew up in Central California, where the hispanic population is like 70% and the mexican food is out of this world. Since I moved here in January, I've been surprised and saddened that there's such an apparent lack of this cuisine in the GTA.I'm so glad this board exists, though, and hope to try some of the places that have been recommended here.

                                                    1. re: MiniMom
                                                      l
                                                      lcohen999 Aug 11, 2007 03:11 PM

                                                      Il Bandido is still my favourite Mexican place in the city, by far...

                                                      until we lose them soon to a condo development

                                                    2. pancake Nov 16, 2006 09:46 PM

                                                      There is a hidden mexican restaurant south of royal york and lawrence, in the basement of a plaza. Its called El Jacolito and has gotten 5 star reviews. . . . I have never been, but definately chow hound type of place. They apparently have music on saturdays.
                                                      It must be good, because there are lots of cars in the plaza on saturday night and nothing else is open at that time.

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: pancake
                                                        Delish Nov 17, 2006 02:52 PM

                                                        There is also a new El Jacalito (opened Nov. 4) on Bloor east of Dufferin. We checked it out last week since my husband is a big fan of the original.

                                                        While it wasn't a bad meal - it wasn't great either. They were busier than they expected over the weekend, so they were out of a lot of things - like mole, which was my first choice. I actually can't remember what I ended up having, so that says something. My husband had the slow cooked pork with fresh corn tortillas. Very tender, but lacking punch. My friend had enchiladas with tomatillo sauce which I thought was quite tasty, but he wasn't thrilled with it.

                                                        Overall, there seemed to be a general lack of flavour for most things. The biggest disappointment were the el jacalito nachos. While the chips seemed fresh fried, the topping was a soggy mass of iceberg lettuce, watery "guacamole" and some other flavourless liquidy stuff.

                                                        I'd wait a while before I try it again so that they can work out their kinks, but I do think it's worth another go.

                                                      2. b
                                                        bbbradk Nov 24, 2006 06:55 PM

                                                        I like Rancho Relaxo on College near Spadina

                                                        1. e
                                                          EPIcureanTO Nov 25, 2006 07:06 PM

                                                          lol @ this thread.

                                                          Someone PLEASE open a decent mexican restaurant in Toronto...

                                                          1. j
                                                            jcanncuk Dec 16, 2006 08:55 PM

                                                            OK - not stictly Mexican (the owners are El Salvadorean although most of the menu is Mexican), but Tacos El Charro is hands down the best food/value. Get take out and pull out the china and linen if you want fancy. This food is homemade, fresh, and just yummy!

                                                            2 Replies
                                                            1. re: jcanncuk
                                                              Herb Dec 17, 2006 01:49 PM

                                                              Do you mean Tacos El Asador on Bloor?

                                                              1. re: Herb
                                                                j
                                                                jcanncuk Dec 17, 2006 06:51 PM

                                                                Yes - sorry I spazzed - Tacos El Charro was a place I used to go to in Boston!!!

                                                            2. f
                                                              FlavoursGal Dec 16, 2006 09:58 PM

                                                              Just read today in The Star that the owner of Latitude on Harbord St. has revamped his space (with the help of Restaurant Makeover) into an authentic, high-end Mexican Restaurant, eponymously named Eduardo's.

                                                              Has anyone given it a try yet?

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: FlavoursGal
                                                                k
                                                                KitchenVoodoo Dec 19, 2006 04:22 AM

                                                                I'll let other braver Hounds be early adopters here. My only memory of Latitude was a brunch in winter where the room was so cold the cutlery was icy to the touch, and the food was the usual "Art Students decide to run a restuarant" shi**e.

                                                              2. p
                                                                pgym Dec 17, 2006 01:19 AM

                                                                The next good Mexican food resto that opens in the GTA will be the first.

                                                                1. spades Dec 17, 2006 04:11 PM

                                                                  Margarita's on Baldwin St. is not spectacular by any stretch but pretty decent.

                                                                  Mexican food is one thing. The TRUE tragedy is that there is nowhere in this city where a guy can munch down a good fish taco! You know the kind - fresh grilled fish, cabbage, cilantro, tomatoes, sauce... if anyone knows of a place, let me know.

                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                  1. re: spades
                                                                    n
                                                                    NoraRebecca Nov 10, 2009 03:02 PM

                                                                    Margarita's was one of my top 10 worst meals ever. Bland, mushy.

                                                                  2. NovoCuisine Jan 10, 2007 07:14 PM

                                                                    I was talking to the owner of a Mexican place in the city a couple weeks ago, and they were pondering their next business move for the restaurant and I mentioned how a lot of people lament about the lack of good authentic Mexican in the city.

                                                                    They seemed genuinely amused and exclaimed that next to nobody in this city wants to eat 'real' Mexican food and that there was no business for it.

                                                                    ...I tried ;)

                                                                    1. b
                                                                      birdman Mar 3, 2007 03:16 PM

                                                                      I loved Chiles at Pape and Gerrard. I would frequent Chiles with my then girlfriend circa 86/87. The owners were great and the food was fantastic. I tried to see if they relocated elsewhere but was unsuccessful in finding them.

                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                      1. re: birdman
                                                                        e
                                                                        ekammin Aug 10, 2007 07:09 PM

                                                                        Whenever I see a restaurant that says it serves real Mexican food, and not the usual nachos, enchiladas, fajitas, etc., I know I will see a "For Rent" sign there soon.

                                                                        I ate a Chile's a few years ago and the most memorable thing about the evening was that they took three hours to serve a completely unextraordinary meal. It is long gone, however.

                                                                      2. i
                                                                        itryalot Aug 16, 2007 04:59 AM

                                                                        So, I can't find anything on Il Bandido online. Eat in or take out? Hours? Casual or Dressy?
                                                                        Please help me pick. It is between Il Bandido, El Jacalito and Rebozos. I noticed some of the posts were dated. Going on Fri for late lunch/early supper; reservations at any?

                                                                        1. i
                                                                          itryalot Aug 16, 2007 05:10 AM

                                                                          http://bandidos.sites.toronto.com/
                                                                          Found it. I was looking under "il bandido" then "el bandido" and found it under bandido. Still a great place? It states $75 to $100 for dinner for two; is that correct?http://www.toronto.com/restaurants/li...

                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                          1. re: itryalot
                                                                            Maggiealonso Aug 17, 2007 09:16 AM

                                                                            iwill say is a lityle expensive .. the food is not great at all..is not real mexican... try el milagro food is great and they have mole , ceviche , enchiladas and other dishes is on john street i think the number is 52..

                                                                          2. peasontoast Sep 12, 2007 08:24 AM

                                                                            It's not exactly in the GTA, but there's some authentic Mexican to be found in Bradford of all places (north of Newmarket). We chatted with the owner who is Mexican and who returns to Mexico regularly. I've only been once, but I seem to remember that their hours are short (owner lives in Mississauga) and I also think they close in the winter (when they return to Mexico), so it might be worth a call to double check before you make a special trip.

                                                                            La Mexicanada Restaurant
                                                                            32 Holland E
                                                                            Bradford, ON L3Z 2B4
                                                                            905-775-5881

                                                                            5 Replies
                                                                            1. re: peasontoast
                                                                              e
                                                                              EPIcureanTO Sep 13, 2007 10:56 AM

                                                                              I've been to El Rincon Mexicano- 653 st. clair w- twice lately.

                                                                              Service is excellent, as is the food- fresh, tasty & hot if you like it so.

                                                                              However- I really don't know alot about Mexican food, so I don't think I can properly review it.

                                                                              Love the patio, too!
                                                                              (note- been there on WED nights)

                                                                              1. re: EPIcureanTO
                                                                                f
                                                                                FresserBesser Jun 7, 2008 05:50 PM

                                                                                read my rant.its crap~!

                                                                              2. re: peasontoast
                                                                                t
                                                                                Tout Garni Sep 13, 2007 11:16 AM

                                                                                Bradford is the summer home to scads of Mexicans who come up to do agricultural work.

                                                                                1. re: Tout Garni
                                                                                  b
                                                                                  bluedog Sep 13, 2007 11:18 AM

                                                                                  There should be a government sponsored program to let some of them stay and open Mexican joints!

                                                                                2. re: peasontoast
                                                                                  Davwud Aug 28, 2008 04:29 AM

                                                                                  We went to La Mexicanada last night for dinner and it was excellent.

                                                                                  We had the tamales to start. One chicken and one pork. The meat was a little skimpy but the taste was good. The house made salsa that came with it though was awesome. Very tasty and lots of zip.

                                                                                  Next came the pozole. The small bowl was pretty large. It too was excellent. It was a little under salted which is fine for me. A little from the table and it was perfect comfort food. The last little bit at the end we added some of the left over salsa to and it was dynamite.

                                                                                  I had the chipotle chicken quesadillas and Mrs. Sippi had the beef burritos. Both were fantastic. The chipotle chicken was spicy without being really hot and just the right amount of salsa was on the burrito to make it sing.

                                                                                  The owner, Noe (No-eh) swears that everything he makes is "110% Mexican" from the central part of the country. He grew up just north of Mexico City and the food reflects that. His only cheat is he subs Monterey Jack for Oaxaca since it's much cheaper.

                                                                                  He also supplies the local butcher with a seasoning mix and has chorizo made and is sold in the resto. He was out of it but I will be back on Friday to pick some up.

                                                                                  If you're up that way and looking for some great Mexican, give it a try. You won't be disappointed.

                                                                                  DT

                                                                                3. k
                                                                                  katinthahat Sep 21, 2007 08:30 AM

                                                                                  I dont know if anyone else here has been there, or what their opinions are of this place, but my b/f and I really enjoyed La Mexicana's menu. The Yonge St. Location was very lacking,but their original location out on Bathurst was great. Good service, food was yummy, but I have no idea how truly authentic it is? Anyone know?

                                                                                  1. t
                                                                                    TheFoo Jan 14, 2008 10:15 AM

                                                                                    My girlfriend and I love La Cabana on the Danforth. She says it's some of the best Mexican food she's had, and considering she's from San Diego and loves Mexican food, I'd say that's gotta carry some weight.

                                                                                    Now, full disclosure, the owner is actually not Mexican, but Peruvian so the food isn't pure Mexican fare and I wish the menu were larger. Anyway, we discovered the place one day while eating across the street and have been going there ever since.

                                                                                    The restaurant has subsequently appeared on the show "Restaurant Makeover" on FoodTV. http://www.foodtv.ca/ontv/titledetail...

                                                                                    La Cabana
                                                                                    467 Danforth Avenue, Toronto ON, M4K1P1
                                                                                    Phone: (416) 461-0556

                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                    1. re: TheFoo
                                                                                      damonster Jan 14, 2008 11:58 AM

                                                                                      I ate at Jalapenos a few weeks back and really liked what I had, fresh tortillas, found the Guac to be tasty and the meal that I ordered (conchinita pibil) was very flavorful and tasty, the other two in my group also enjoyed everything that they had, I will have no problem returning to this spot for more.
                                                                                      People in this city really just enjoy whining too much about the lack of mexican, there are more than a few tasty spots around, so please ignore the complainers and read the posts from people that have something helpful to comment on.

                                                                                    2. f
                                                                                      FresserBesser Jun 7, 2008 05:47 PM

                                                                                      We ate tonite at El Rincon on StClair,The worst Mexi crap I ever ate.
                                                                                      The Fajita beef was all of 8 pieces and tuff!
                                                                                      The portions were very Stingey and poor quality.'
                                                                                      They charge 3.99 for chips and salsa too!
                                                                                      I chose it because it had 4.5 stars on Toronto.Com
                                                                                      "My 2 cents"

                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                      1. re: FresserBesser
                                                                                        z
                                                                                        ziggystardust Jun 8, 2008 11:29 AM

                                                                                        I quite like Mexitaco on Bloor at Ossington, name notwithstanding. They have a much more varied menu than El Trompo, the food, imho, is better and it seems to cater more to Latinos than "mungis". As a matter of fact, I was there with a bunch of Mexicans and they loved the food.

                                                                                      2. c
                                                                                        celtgirl Sep 9, 2010 08:23 AM

                                                                                        So far, I like El Trompo in Kensington Market.

                                                                                        -----
                                                                                        El Trompo
                                                                                        277 Augusta Ave, Toronto, ON M5T2M1, CA

                                                                                        11 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: celtgirl
                                                                                          ekim256 Sep 9, 2010 10:57 AM

                                                                                          Second! Taquitos = win! So good for my student budget =)

                                                                                          Erin
                                                                                          http://cookiesandtomatoes.blogspot.com/

                                                                                          1. re: ekim256
                                                                                            j
                                                                                            jamesm Sep 9, 2010 10:59 AM

                                                                                            Can't disagree. El Trompo is great. I love that they serve Tecate tall boys.

                                                                                            -----
                                                                                            El Trompo
                                                                                            277 Augusta Ave, Toronto, ON M5T2M1, CA

                                                                                            1. re: jamesm
                                                                                              c
                                                                                              Cheeze N Pickles Sep 10, 2010 07:17 AM

                                                                                              Tecate is one of the worst Mexican beers and is available at almost every Mexican resto i have been to in T.O. I am more impressed if they have a decent beer like Negro Modelo available.

                                                                                              1. re: Cheeze N Pickles
                                                                                                j
                                                                                                jamesm Sep 10, 2010 07:42 AM

                                                                                                I know it's the Mexican equivalent of PBR, that's why I like it. It suits the atmosphere of the space.

                                                                                              2. re: jamesm
                                                                                                Matt H Sep 10, 2010 07:52 AM

                                                                                                Im curious to try El Trompo again next time I am in town (Tried them once a couple yrs back I believe) Just a couple questions 1. Are the Tortillas hand made 2. Do they serve Cabeza 3. Has Mole been added to the menu?

                                                                                                1. re: Matt H
                                                                                                  j
                                                                                                  jamesm Sep 10, 2010 08:00 AM

                                                                                                  Can't comment on the last two questions but the tortillas are handmade, just not in-house. I believe they get them fresh from a place just down the street in Kensington that supplies a lot of Latin spots. You can buy them over the counter as well and they're quite good.

                                                                                                  1. re: Matt H
                                                                                                    ekim256 Sep 10, 2010 09:13 AM

                                                                                                    Matt, when are you coming to town? I'm probably going to go there sometime next week. I can check for you, if I do

                                                                                                    1. re: ekim256
                                                                                                      Matt H Sep 10, 2010 09:45 AM

                                                                                                      Thanks ekim. I'm up in TO quite often visiting family so any information at any time would be wonderful!

                                                                                                    2. re: Matt H
                                                                                                      s
                                                                                                      Snarf Sep 10, 2010 09:19 AM

                                                                                                      http://www.eltrompo.ca/menu.html

                                                                                                      1. re: Snarf
                                                                                                        Matt H Sep 10, 2010 09:43 AM

                                                                                                        Thanks, I checked that already, but pretty much all the Mexican restaurants I eat at around the States have chalkboard and house specials not posted on their website (If they have one) so was wondering if this was the case here.

                                                                                                        1. re: Matt H
                                                                                                          s
                                                                                                          Snarf Sep 10, 2010 10:07 AM

                                                                                                          They do have a whiteboard. I don't recall everything on it, but they generally do a nice pozole on Sundays with all the fixings and a few other things.

                                                                                              3. 0
                                                                                                00CP Sep 10, 2010 05:14 PM

                                                                                                A good spot is El Rio Grande Restaurant on Dundas West right at Keele. Great authentic food, great service. Its the Junction Arts Festival this weekend and I expect them to be selling some good street food. Give them a try

                                                                                                -----
                                                                                                Rio Grande Restaurant
                                                                                                1661 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON M6P1A6, CA

                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                1. re: 00CP
                                                                                                  c
                                                                                                  chrisfernando100 Sep 15, 2010 07:10 AM

                                                                                                  i`ve never been so i can`t say for sure but i saw a place called cucina lucero on restaurant makeover and the chef was a mom that used to have a resto in mexico...she looked very competent in the kitchen and lynn crawford was impressed as well.

                                                                                                  it`s near yonge and college..anyone been?

                                                                                                2. y
                                                                                                  yumyuminmytum Sep 16, 2010 08:42 PM

                                                                                                  Surprised no one has mentioned Chimichangas as I've heard many people speak highly of the restaurant. Went to the one in Yorkville last week, which I believe has been open for 7 months or so, and was pleasantly surprised by great service and delicious food and would definitely go back.

                                                                                                  Friend and I shared the snapper ceviche and shrimp empanada to start, which we both started getting quite full as they were . Their salsa had a great flavour. Roasted lamb enchiladas were unique to me. The meat was tasty and moist.

                                                                                                  Dave, who I believe is the head chef/owner, but may be the manager was extremely attentive and gave us a "tequila tutorial" which included free tequila!

                                                                                                  On the table there was info on how their food is healthy, and everything is apparently made from scratch daily. Would recommend, but cannot comment on authenticity.

                                                                                                  I also enjoy Tacos El Asador on Bloor. Love their soups.

                                                                                                  -----
                                                                                                  Tacos El Asador
                                                                                                  690 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON M6G1L2, CA

                                                                                                  1. m
                                                                                                    Miss Cassandra Mar 31, 2012 03:10 PM

                                                                                                    Out of all these places listed, which is the best for a "nice" sit down meal? Are any of them non-divey?

                                                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                                                    1. re: Miss Cassandra
                                                                                                      TorontoJo Apr 1, 2012 05:06 AM

                                                                                                      The Milagro restaurants are all nice for an evening out. There are 3 locations.

                                                                                                      1. re: TorontoJo
                                                                                                        h
                                                                                                        hungryabbey Apr 1, 2012 05:43 PM

                                                                                                        Hey Jo, what do you recommend? I am visiting the mercer st location in a week.

                                                                                                        1. re: hungryabbey
                                                                                                          TorontoJo Apr 1, 2012 07:05 PM

                                                                                                          Hey Abbey! I haven't been in a few months, but the stuff I've recommended before still stands: the ceviches and the appetizers (botanas) are where they shine. Get a bunch of those to make up your meal. Ask for a sampling of their various hot sauces. If you do want to try an entree, I really enjoy the cochinita pibil (achiote marinated pulled pork) -- I find the habanero pickled onions addictive. Avoid the lamb barbacoa and the burritos. Boooring. The guac is good, though depending on who's making it, it can sometimes use some extra lime and salt (easily remedied). I'm not a big fan of their fish tacos because of the citrus-y cream sauce they use, but I've known others to enjoy them.

                                                                                                          Classic sangria is not bad (though I like mine better!). Maybe spend some time with their tequilas, too. :)

                                                                                                          1. re: TorontoJo
                                                                                                            h
                                                                                                            hungryabbey Apr 2, 2012 05:10 AM

                                                                                                            Perfect I had my eye on the cochinita pibil. Thanks Jo!

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