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Why there are no good Mexican Restos in Toronto

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I have figured out WHY we don’t have good Mexican restos here. The Mexican food here is so horrible, people go, eat and think if this is what it is, I don’t want it. They have given up. Case in point. We went to Margaritas on Carlton near Parliament. Walked in. Plenty of people. Place looks homegrown. Fair enough. Perhaps in for a nice surprise?? This was the worst Mexican food I have ever tasted- no just resto food in general. I was INSULTED. The nachos were cold, and soggy. How can you have soggy nachos? Well, if you water down sour cream, two-thirds water one-third sour cream, add watered down salsa, you end up with a pool of liquid at the bottom of the plate. And I mean water- food never tasted so bland. And cheese……scanty. My blood pressure started to rise. How could anyone serve something like this? Next. I had the mole, my guest the chimichanga. We were so hungry, not finishing the nachos, waiting forever for food….we ate, barely a pass. The degree in which they try to “extend” their food is beyond compare. Peppers are inexpensive, so are beans, and water. I kid you not. We decided to have the Mexican fried ice cream for dessert, as we were with a child. How does one water down ice cream? And no, it was not ice milk; chunks of ice cream (perhaps diluted and re frozen?) sprinkled with soggy corn flakes and watered down strawberry sauce (scanty). This wasn’t bad Mexican fried ice cream, no; it wasn’t Mexican fried ice cream at all. It was a sorry excuse of a sundae. That was it. It was inedible. I called over the waitress, who was pleasant and unfortunately very overworked. I told her this was not Mexican fried ice cream AND that is was inedible. She tried to explain, but none was needed I said. I couldn’t hold back and told her the nachos were unacceptable as well. I apologized and let her know it was not about her, but about how the food is unacceptable. She was kind and gave a discount off our bill. I appreciate places like Chowhound where one can vent; share good tips, and WARN people.

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  1. http://www.chowhound.com/topics/316774
    Thread on good mexican above.
    Sorry you had a bad experience at Margaritas and that you were so insulted by the food. I would suggest that maybe next time bad nachos make you so angry your blood pressure starts to rise you should just leave instead of continuing the meal. I have found Margaritas to be ok, not amazing, but good for a drink and a snack. I have found the service at Margaritas to be great, friendly, casual...but accomodating. Sounds like your waitress was great, to bad you didn't enjoy your meal.........but for drinks and snacks you should give the place another go when you aren't so hungry.

    1. I travel to Mexico often and I've found that the best foods are also the least expensive foods, like simple tacos and flautas. These are often found in road-side stands or very simple diners. I have found that the Mexican dishes to be found in more upscale sit-down restaurants are usually disappointing. They use poor cuts of meat, are usually way overcooked, and often smothered in a bland sauce. To increase the flavour of their meal Mexicans will add fresh lemon juice and/or fresh chili sauce, both with a heavy hand.

      Here in Toronto we are subjected to the flavorless Mexican style of food but the typical Canadian doesn't know how, or can't stomach, to spice it up Mexican style.

      For my taste I prefer Tex-Mex cuisine, even though it's not authenic. What is a shame is that we can drive across the Windsor border and find excellent Tex-Mex from Detroit to California to Texas to New York. But nothing good is to be had in Toronto.

      1. The original comment has been removed
        1. I had a great lunch at El Trompo yesterday in Kensington Market on Augusta just n of Nassau. This is as close to the real deal as I have found in the city. I've been travelling to Mexico for at least the last 15 years, mostly once a year and at times I just miss their local restos. Yesterday I could have been in Mexico City. The food is simple and presented very plainly but the taste is the deal! Very rustic, mostly Spanish speaking customers, friendly homey service, decent prices. Good menu with lots of good things to share, great cheesey dishes. Dress your food with the green or red chili on the table and you're away. Muy bien! here's a link. http://www.eltrompo.ca/

          1 Reply
          1. re: capetowngirlie

            I can't believe we're talking about this AGAIN, but here goes....

            Providing a dissenting opinion, I finally tried El Trompo a few weeks ago and found the food largely tasteless. I'm not gonna pretend to be an expert on Mexican food, but I have been to Mexico, and I just thought that the flavour was missing. We had the tacos el trompo, or something, and a soup to go with it. meh. I haven't beent to El Sol in a few years, but much tastier food, or it used it be.

          2. OH MY GOD! Thank you! I am from Texas, I lived in Toronto for about 4 years. I was SO saddened at the lack of Mexican food in the GTA. AND! AND!!!! In the local Mississauga (just outside of Toronto) paper it listed TACO BELL (ahhh!!) as the best Mexican food around!

            Calming, calming….

            So anyways, thank you for posting this. Obviously I totally agree. Mexican food is sooo easy and cheap to make. It is so sad that it is so hard to find in the GTA…

            Thank goodness I’m in Cali now. I still prefer Tex-Mex to Cali Mexican style, but it might just be because I was raised in Texas.

            4 Replies
            1. re: Lemonii

              I had a great lunch at El Trompo yesterday in Kensington Market on Augusta just n of Nassau. This is as close to the real deal as I have found in the city. I've been travelling to Mexico for at least the last 15 years, mostly once a year and at times I just miss their local restos. Yesterday I could have been in Mexico City. The food is simple and presented very plainly but the taste is the deal! Very rustic, mostly Spanish speaking customers, friendly homey service, decent prices. Good menu with lots of good things to share. Dress your food with the green or red chili on the table and you're away. Muy bien! here's a link. http://www.eltrompo.ca/

              1. re: capetowngirlie

                I would LOVE to try this place. I wish I had Chowhound when I lived in Toronto. I don't doubt that there are some good places.

                1. re: Lemonii

                  I was just checking out the menu and am planning to go back, soon, with a few friends to share dishes with. Gotta do the cheese!
                  May sound crazy, but I discovered CH not that long ago, and it has improved the quality of my life, lol. Especially when travelling.

                  1. re: capetowngirlie

                    Their traditional pork and pineapple tacos are really good, and as close as I've found to the great roadside tacqeria food you find in California and Mexico.