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El Palenque or El Sol


Anybody checked either of these two out? Or have a better suggestion for a good (but on the less expensive side)Mexican?


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  1. Hernandos Hideaway has two locations, one of Yonge and Wellseley, and one on Wellington near church and front ( I have only been to this location). The menu is huuuuge and fairly cheap, and the food was pretty good. I dont really know what makes mexican food extraordinary. But it tasted pretty good to me.

    1 Reply
    1. re: hungryabbey

      I have been to Hernandos Hideaway actually but some years ago. I was at the one near Front.

      It was good and tasty although I remember it being the typical tomato soaked cheese filled take on Mexican food.

    2. Don't know El Palenque but have tried El Sol on two occasions. As much as we thought the food was quite good, it didn't make up for the atrociously slow service. Thinking it was just an off night, we ecncountered the same thing on our next visit. The ironic part is that it was not very busy on both visits. Come on, 45 minutes to get an appetizer? We even had to chase the server down for a drinks refill. Apparently locals refer to it as el slo. Good service is an important aspect of the dining experience and this place needs a lot of work in that department. We won't be returning.

      1. I haven't been to El Palenque in awhile but we went there a few times and it was really nice. Once, the server's grandmother was there visiting from Mexico and doing the cooking, so I just ordered whatever Grandma made.

        El Sol has really good margaritas (not those nasty slushy things) and yowza chicken mole but it really is that slow. Don't go when you're starving, and get into the "on vacation" vibe, forget you're in Toronto and imagine that you're in the Yucatan for a few hours. Then it won't seem like such a big deal when the service is slow.

        1. El Sol is always really slow. I don't plan on doing anything else that night if I'm going there. Their beans alone make it worthwhile. I wish I could replicate them in my own kitchen.

          2 Replies
          1. re: lissar

            I agree. The service is painfully slow because they make everything fresh to order. Of course, that also gives you an excuse to have a few margaritas.
            And yes, the beans alone are worth visiting. I wish they were available for take out.
            The chicken mole is delicious, as are the chorizo tacos.

            1. re: mummy2Luna

              That's true. Or a few of those High Heels drinks.

          2. El Palenque closed three years ago. The new owners changed the name to El Rincon. El Sol is still much better.

            1. There were 2 El Palenques. The place at Christie that has since closed down was excellent but I can't recommend El Palenque 2(Casa Mariachi) which is further west on St. Clair. After waiting 45+ minutes for our meals (mine came in 30 and my date's plate arrived 15 minutes later), we were told to get our side dishes from the back where they had set up a buffet that I swear had been there since lunch, if not the day before. The beans had grown a thick hard crust around the edges, the rice was rubbery and dry and the entire cart was barely warm. When I inquired about it, they told me that was all they had. It wasn't the end of the night (we arrived at 7:00) but regardless, they should have offered a replenishment or some other option. I was terribly unimpressed and have never gone back.

              Haven't been to El Sol but Rincon is pretty good. A little on the slow side but still very tasty.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Pantagruelia

                thanks Pantagruelia -- i remembered there being two palenques on st.clair west, but couldn't remember why; i preferred the one at Christie too

              2. We used to go the first El Palenque all the time and loved it at first, and the patio out back, but around the time they opened the second one (now Casa del Mariachi), the service and other things changed. Our favorite server from El Palenque moved to Dos Amigos on Bathurst. So, now I never go to Casa del Mariachi (El Palenque) any more: I go to Dos Amigos, or Jalpeno on King, or El Sol (which I don't hit as often just cause it's not as conveniently located).
                So, to answer your question exactly, out of the two you mentioned, pick El Sol. But as the other reviewers articulated...patience, grasshopper!