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Toronto's Best Mexican?

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howdydoody May 11, 2007 01:15 PM

We're looking for something along the lines of Rosa Mexicana in Manhattan. That would be a good starting point.

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  1. k
    KitchenVoodoo RE: howdydoody May 11, 2007 02:26 PM

    There is nothing like Rosa Mexicano here. Other posters may help with opinions about Milagro - I haven't been - but it may be your best bet. Incidentally, although I liked RMs food and ambience and that whole table side making the guac, I never went back because they stiffed us by increasing the tip amount on our credit card after we had left!

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      Gary RE: howdydoody May 12, 2007 12:00 PM

      Authentic or exceptional Mexican food is pretty scarce in Toronto as compared to US cities where there are more established Latin communities.

      Milagro, as mentioned by the previous poster, is probably the only reasonably "upscale" Mexican place in Toronto. http://www.milagrorestaurant.com

      El Sol on the Danforth generally gets favourable reviews, and is apparently more authentic than many places in Toronto, but the decor is nothing to get excited about and they have a reputation for very slow service, which I experienced first hand, though the food was excellent. http://www.toronto.com/restaurants/li...

      For Mexican-style street food made by an El Savadoran there is Tacos El Asador at Bloor and Clinton. The food is great and the service is super friendly, but it's strictly a place for a quick lunch, with picnic tables to sit on and TVs in the corner.

      8 Replies
      1. re: Gary
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        diathesis RE: Gary May 12, 2007 12:56 PM

        El Sol's service is deadly slow, yeah. Friendly, but slow. If you know that going in, and are ok with it, the food's great. I usually order two drinks if I think I'll want a second, just to avoid the fact that they won't come back soon enough.

        If you get in /early/ (say, 5pm on a Saturday), you can actually get comparatively speedy service, so if that's a big deal, I'd suggest going early.

        That said, I still go regularly, so they must be doing something right.

        1. re: diathesis
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          jaded RE: diathesis May 12, 2007 01:05 PM

          I love El Trompo in Kensington Market. Bare bones decor but amazing food! Get the quesongo... fried mushrooms and onions with melted cheese and cilantro with a squirt of lime!

          1. re: diathesis
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            goaneat RE: diathesis May 17, 2007 10:56 AM

            has anyone tried Gonzo's at O'Conner and St. Clair?????

            1. re: goaneat
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              julesrules RE: goaneat May 17, 2007 11:15 AM

              Not in many years. But I am 90% sure that place originally run by the present owners of El Sol. At that time it was as good as El Sol (however good you think that is!). They sold it, and then it wasn't so good. The new owners were not Mexican. However, I have no recent experience with the place - this is going back more than 10 years.

              1. re: julesrules
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                goaneat RE: julesrules May 17, 2007 12:24 PM

                Thanks, I will try and check Gonzo's out this weekend.

                1. re: goaneat
                  Vise RE: goaneat May 17, 2007 07:59 PM

                  I'd skip Gonzo's if I were you, we tried it last summer and it was so-so at best. Food is much better at El Sol, as long as you are ok with the slow service it's definitely the better option.

                  1. re: goaneat
                    Googs RE: goaneat May 20, 2007 01:57 PM

                    I'd be curious to hear how it was. I have a friend at work that rec'd it, but as it is with the others here he hadn't been in years.

                  2. re: julesrules
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                    kweenshaker RE: julesrules Aug 28, 2008 01:45 PM

                    You're right. Gonzo's was originally run by the El Sol owners. It was pretty awful when the new owner first took over (some of the food had a slight curry flavour!) but I've been back a few times over the past couple years and it has gotten better. The only thing is, if you don't like the service at El Sol, you'll DIE at Gonzo's. The owner is the only person working there, so he takes your order, brings you your drink, then goes back and cooks your meal. On my last visit, we were there nearly 2 hours and all we had was some guac to start and 3 main courses. We were waiting about a half hour after eating before finally getting up and flagging him from the kitchen to get our bill. That said, the guac is GREAT and the quesadillas nortenas were quite good. Rice is ok but the beans are quite bland.

                    El Sol is my favourite mexican in Toronto. The service is slow by Canadian standards, but quite average for Mexican. I actually like the relaxed pace and wish I could live my life like that. My favourite thing on the menu is the mushroom sopes and you have to have the guacamole. So fresh. The rice is delicious and moist, the beans just right - flavourful but not overpoweringly so. The family who runs it is from Chihuahua, and the food is very authentic Northern Mexican. No fajitas here.

            2. steam23 RE: howdydoody May 13, 2007 08:04 PM

              I don't know about Rosa Mexixana, but I'm a fan of Mariachi's on Yonge south of Eglinton. The mole sauce is great and it's hard to argue with Margarita's by the pitcher;)

              8 Replies
              1. re: steam23
                YYZ2LAX RE: steam23 May 13, 2007 08:46 PM

                will be returning home from southern california, will have to try some of these places out, though i hope im not going to be disappointed

                1. re: steam23
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                  hungry_pangolin RE: steam23 May 15, 2007 11:55 AM

                  I'm not an expert on Mexican cuisine, but I agree about the mole at Mariachi. It's a good deal, too.

                  1. re: hungry_pangolin
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                    torontofunk RE: hungry_pangolin May 17, 2007 10:12 AM

                    the best mexican in toronto is Fiesta Azteca - 1618 Bayview Avenue
                    great service, great flavors, family run I think.
                    i've been to El Sol a few times and after yet another ok tasting meal with crappy service - the entire staff sat down to eat while the restaurant was still about 30% full - i won't be going back after discovering this fabulous mexican restaurant.

                    1. re: torontofunk
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                      embee RE: torontofunk May 17, 2007 11:20 AM

                      While I agree with your assessment of El Sol, your description of Fiesta Azteca sounds like you were at a different restaurant than the Fiesta Azteca we tried recently.

                      The service at Fiesta Azteca was fine. The place had good cooking smells. But all of the food was very bland. Enchiladas and quesidillas were boring. Chicken was overcooked and dry. If the refried beans didn't come directly from a can, they might as well have. Ditto the salsas. Rice had no taste. We can't see ourselves going back. I actually preferred the food at Hernando's Hideway.

                      1. re: embee
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                        jayseeca RE: embee May 17, 2007 12:13 PM

                        I would have to whole-heartedly agree... this place was bland and quality was lacking - a step up from Taco Bell.

                        1. re: jayseeca
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                          torontofunk RE: jayseeca May 17, 2007 02:48 PM

                          Guess we got lucky.
                          Maybe there are two Mexican places on bayview? I can't remember the name but I googled it and this was the only one I could find...
                          Oh well. Just have to keep making my own Mexican.

                          1. re: torontofunk
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                            embee RE: torontofunk May 17, 2007 03:08 PM

                            That's the place.

                      2. re: torontofunk
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                        BuggySer RE: torontofunk May 17, 2007 11:30 PM

                        I love Fiesta Azteca! We had switched for a while because I was downtown a lot and there's a little place north of Bloor on Yonge that's not bad, but Fiesta Azteca beats it with the different stuff on the menu....the one on Yonge has typical burritos and tacos etc...while Fiesta Azteca had different things I've never seen before....I"m not an expert, but I found it was spicy enough for me and the sangria there is AWESOME (I've left there tipsy more than once *blush*). Try it if you get a chance...it's just difficult to find parking there.....we usually park on the streets behind the building.

                  2. Ginsugirl RE: howdydoody Aug 28, 2008 02:27 PM

                    I regularly go to El Rincon Mexicano on St. Clair West, near Christie. It's one of these little spots that does fairly authentic fare (I think they might even make their own tortillas), and it's completely family-run. The plates look small when they arrive, but hide a heap of food and flavour. The prices are reasonable, the service friendly, especially with kids, and they have a pretty patio out back.

                    1. Davwud RE: howdydoody Aug 29, 2008 06:50 AM

                      If you want to make the trip to Bradford, there's a great place there.

                      La Mexicanada.

                      Here's is my review: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/552875

                      DT

                      1. duckdown RE: howdydoody Sep 19, 2008 11:26 PM

                        El Sombrero in Mississauga is the best that I've ever had

                        Mom & Pop operation (yes, they are mexican) and everything I've ever tried is delicious

                        Chicken Burrito and a taquito, please!

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