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Authentic affordable paella in TO?

Merriam Dec 17, 2007 06:23 PM

I just defended my masters thesis and passed (yay!) and am thinking of taking out some friends for paella to celebrate. What are the best paella places in toronto? I know casa barcelona has a long selection, but the dish itself is about $100 for two people, can I find something a little more affordable?

  1. Merriam Dec 20, 2007 01:45 PM

    thanks for your suggestions everyone! ok first I should probably correct myself- the $100 paella was not actually at casa barcelona, but at Embruja Flamenco (http://www.embrujoflamenco.com). We did finally decide to go to casa though. We ordered the spicy traditional version (not sure if that is the valencia paella??) and it was pretty good- a little too full of mussels, with too few clams/squid/shrimp/chicken- and a few tapas and churros to finish, all for $190 for 5 people. The portions were very generous as well- we shared two paellas (for two people each) between us. So I guess for our budget, it was a pretty good deal, however I did prefer the tapas over the paella itself- they do have a pretty wide range.

    1. a
      Ariadne Dec 20, 2007 12:23 PM

      Congrats!

      I can only speak about Segovia (West of Yonge, North of Wellesley), but it has a great atmosphere, tasty Paella (I don't know how authentic) with very generous portions. It is moist and delicious - and, very reasonable (I am a student as well). Have fun celebrating!

      1. c
        cocolou Dec 20, 2007 07:27 AM

        I just saw Casa Barcelona on tv this a.m. It is located 2980 Bloor Street West (at Royal York) Etobicoke (416) 234-5858 - IMO the chef/owner puts too many things in his paella for it to be called 'authentic'. Anyway, there are as many paella recipes as stars in the sky. If you check www.casabarcelona.ca you'll see that the mini paellas are $10. What did you friends order to arrive at $100 for two? I am just curious.

        1 Reply
        1. re: cocolou
          e
          ekammin Dec 20, 2007 12:26 PM

          I wonder about "authentic" paella. I recall having one in Rosas, a seaside town near Barcelona. It was pretty good, as I recall (not very much saffron though, and rather hard rice), but the most disturbing part of it was that the shrimp still had their heads on.

          This might make me sound provincial, but if I look at my dinner, I would prefer that it not look back.

        2. c
          cocolou Dec 18, 2007 09:54 AM

          You remind me I have not been to La Vecchia for a while. Their risotto is sooo good that their paella cannot be bad. And the bill is affordable, if I remember.
          See http://www.lavecchia.ca/home.php

          1. d
            DDD Dec 18, 2007 09:43 AM

            I've eaten at Barcelona many times and usually the whole meal is under or around $100 with a glass or 2 of wine (including Paella). You can get different sizes of paella, but I'm pretty sure that even a large paella is under $30. If you do go there, also try the beef tenderloin in portebello/shitake sauce, garlic shrimp and their fried anchovies are also quite tasty.

            1. l
              lamaranthe Dec 18, 2007 07:42 AM

              Is there such a thing as an 'authentic paella' ? IMO the closest thing would be a Paella Valenciana, Campesino type : chicken and chorizo. Those with seafood (lobster) and pork are not part of the basic paella, as it is too expensive for most people. I tried the paella in a ''Spanish'' restaurant on Yonge and I did not like it. Unfortunately I cannot remember the name. Here are some suggestions, though I did not try any, for when I want a good paella I make it myself.
              Torito, 276 Augusta Avenue, Toronto, 647-436-5874
              Pasquale Brothers, 16 Goodrich Rd, Etobicoke, 416-364-7397
              Casa Barcelona, 2980 Bloor Street West, Toronto, 416-234-5858
              Plaza Flamingo Restaurant, 423 College Street, Toronto, 416-603-8884

              2 Replies
              1. re: lamaranthe
                t
                thomasevan Dec 18, 2007 10:46 PM

                There are many different Paella's in Spain, based on regional ingredients. Rabbit, land snails, & chorizo, and saffron for instance is a paella that would be prepared inland.

                1. re: lamaranthe
                  l
                  lamaranthe Dec 27, 2007 12:47 PM

                  The name came back to me: Taste of Spain, at Yonge and Sheppard. My visit dates back a couple of yrs ago and I did not repeat it because I was not impressed, except by the bill. They might have improved but I won't be the one to taste them again.

                2. xtal Dec 17, 2007 06:56 PM

                  Segovia has fairly inexpensive paella. I've not been to Spain, nor have I delved into Spanish cooking, so I can't comment on its authenticity, but I have enjoyed it in the past.

                  http://www.segovia.ca/

                  -----
                  Segovia
                  5 Saint Nicholas St., Toronto, ON M4Y 1W5, CA

                  1. c
                    callitasicit Dec 17, 2007 06:27 PM

                    Good luck with that one, difficult enough to find good paella in the city let alone affordable paella in the city.

                    1. skylineR33 Dec 17, 2007 06:27 PM

                      How about Embrujo Flamenco on Danforth ? Their paella is $60 for 2 people. I think it is ok but the flavour is a bit too strong for me. They also have live Flamenco show at night.

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