El jacalito - review
El Jacalito on Bloor around dufferin appears from the many times i have walked past, to be a small hole in the wall take-out place. Guess I was wrong. A sunday stroll down there on this the first moderately sunny and not snowing day for a while....and...
Well...quite impressed. It is much bigger than it appears and kinda homey - its definitely a local hangout, mexican families, extended and otherwise, couples and soccer watching tables of guys...mexican league soccer on four t.v.s. Certainly it has more atmosphere than mexictaco and even ...dare i say it...the crowd favorite...el trompo of kensington...
So onto food.. sunday has barbacoa...( also available by the kilo)...this sunday lamb..so i had three lamb tacos, nice smoky meat on corn tortilla, tender and tasty - salsas were a cilantro/green chile and a spicier red chile salsa. (next time i must ask for more picante...cos the picante wasn't picante enough !)
Partner had one of the many all day day brekkies - huevos revueltos with chilaquiles...( pretty good) Queso fundido...standard fare...but what is there to get wrong ! Guacamole with nice homemade nachos..but, the standout fave were the Churros HMMMMM MMM - divine, superb, excellent freshly made and crispy on the outside....soft on the inside churros...simply wonderful. usually a breakfast food...but here served as a desert...exquisite, actually better than i have had from my fave place in puebla.
Decent menu...cochinita pibil and pozole included.... so definitely worth a stop...and appreaciate any feedback on other items here.
Finally got to check this place out - people, people, let's stop lamenting the lack of great Mexican food in this city - it's here!! Okay, well, I should maybe qualify that by saying I've never been to Mexico (except a daytrip to Tijuana when I was 10 years old but I digress...) but the food here trumps all other Mexican offerings I've tried in the city and the tacos were the closest to the ones I enjoyed in Austin.
It's definitely a "locals" spot - no-fuss decor, tv's on the wall. Kind of like a Mexican Big Ragu or one of those coffee bar/restos on St. Clair West in terms of casual ambiance. We tried the nacho chips with guacamole, 3 different kinds of tacos (alambre, carnitas and another pork one) as well as sopes. Everything was delicious - really flavourful, fresh, great textures. The green and red chili sauces were zesty, tangy, piquante - hugely enhanced the dishes. As much as I liked the feel of La Tortillaria, and the location, these tacos blew those away. They have 4 different kinds of Mexican beer - a refreshing accompaniment to the food on these humid, summer days. Sadly, we were too stuffed to try the churros. The two of us were well sated for $30 (including 2 beers).
A true chowfind - I will be back. Soon.
Bumping this thread. I was speaking with someone from Mexico City yesterday (she lives here now) who recommended this spot for great Mexican food. I hadn't heard of it but was happy to find a few posts on Chowhound - even happier to see ministerofkebab's praise of the churros (L-O-V-E churros!!). I think we might try it this week-end. Do they have any outdoor seating? Any other favourite dishes?
I believe it's called El Jacal - it used to be called El Jacalito when it was on Royal York. Regardless, it is one of the best authentic mexican restaurants in the city, no doubt about it! Sadly, it's not as close to us anymore as when it was on Royal York, so we seldom make it there. I'll definitely have to get my fix soon, though... The barbacoa on sunday is fantastic!