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Peruvian restaurant?

t
tjunmin Jul 22, 2008 10:45 PM

I used to love going to El Bodegon on College. Now that it closed, where do you go for good Peruvian?

  1. b
    bicichica Nov 21, 2010 06:57 PM

    Ugh. Peruvian food in Toronto is so depressing. I can't even begin to understand how Canada's biggest city has such poor choice when it comes to such delicious cuisine. I've been to El Fogon (so so), Cocina de Dona Luz (forgettable), El Plebeyo (SO disappointing, the ceviche was made with lemons for goodness sake! And the papa a la huancaina was super salty and the potatoes cold and old tasting), Boulevard Cafe (not even really Peruvian), and I'm wondering if I'm missing something. I've also tried the pollo a la brasa places, but whatever, they are nothing to rave about. El Bodegon was good, as was Miraflores, but alas, how is it that the only somewhat good places shut down? So sad. Anyone out there know of any other quality Peruvian restaurants out there?? It's so disheartening I have to go to Montreal for some quality Peruvian...I'd love to have some catered at my wedding in June (I'm half Peruvian and want to share with others my fave food!), so if anyone has any tips at all, please do tell!

    -----
    El Bodegon
    537 College St, Toronto, ON M6G1A9, CA

    El Plebeyo
    1453 Bathurst St, Toronto, ON M5R3J2, CA

    El Fogon
    543 St Clair Ave W, Toronto, ON M6C1A3, CA

    Dona Luz
    807 St Clair Ave W, Toronto, ON M6C1B9, CA

    14 Replies
    1. re: bicichica
      PoppiYYZ Nov 22, 2010 06:02 AM

      Sorry bicichica. My search for good Peruvian in Toronto has also been disappointing. Even the shop keepers at Salamanca told me I'm wasting my time.

      I've had Pollo a la Brasa at El Pollo Rico in Washington, and I'm hooked. Any recommendations for Peruvian or Pollo a la Brasa in Montreal ? I'm going in 10 days.

      1. re: PoppiYYZ
        b
        bicichica Nov 22, 2010 04:53 PM

        Boo hoo! I was hoping that I'd be illuminated by some gem that I'd overlooked...:-( That said, in Montreal Eche Pa Echarle on St.Hubert was delicious, it had me before I even sat down because it said it did food from Northern Peru (my favorite!! But I have yet to find majariscos on any menu other than in town north of Chiclayo...:-), plus, their chicha is not from a package but boiled fresh! Heaven. The restaurants decor is nothing to write home about (felt like a typical family resto in Peru), but who cares, the food is totally "casera", good sized and yummy. They also do pollo a la brasa, can't tell you if it was good because I got ceviche and papa a la huancaina (my 'go to's' the first time I try a peruvian restaurant, if they can do that well, then I'm pretty sure the rest of the menu will be good too. If they can't...then my expectations drop dramatically), but it looked pretty good.
        For more upscale, nice romantic date, pretty food presentation, a bit more shi shi, smaller portions, Mochica on St.Denis is a good spot. More expensive, but you are also paying for the atmosphere, huacos (hopefully fake!) displayed in glass cases, a see through floor at the entrance that looks like an excavation site...you get the picture. The cook is from Trujillo. So, it all depends what you are in the mood for. I went to dinner at Mochica on a Saturday and lunch at Eche on Sunday...um, yeah, I like Peruvian food ;-). Enjoy!

        1. re: bicichica
          p
          phoenikia Nov 22, 2010 09:42 PM

          Have you also tried Melchorita in Mtl, bicichica? I'm curious how it compares to Mochica. For some reason, no Chowhounds have posted anything about Mochica on the QC board in the last year or so.

          1. re: bicichica
            PoppiYYZ Nov 23, 2010 05:36 AM

            Thanks B. I'm counting the days to Montreal...

            1. re: PoppiYYZ
              g
              Garcilaso May 6, 2011 05:18 PM

              The best tasting Pollo a La Brasa place is in Oakville, ON
              Maria's Brasas Chiken 117 Cross Avenue, Unit B9 Oakville, ON L6J 2W7
              www.mariasbrasachicken.com
              It's a little expensive but worth it. They also sell take home hot sauces and home made desserts- lucuma ice cream, arroz con leche, etc.
              It's close to the Oakville Go Station.

              1. re: Garcilaso
                t
                Tatai May 6, 2011 06:08 PM

                How long has this place been open?

                1. re: Tatai
                  d
                  Dieguito Jun 15, 2011 07:44 PM

                  It's been open, at least 3 to 4 years, maybe longer.
                  If you tried it, let me know what you think.

                  BTW-King's BBQ chicken (Keele/Rogers) has been cleaned up and renovated (even the washrooms!) Some find their chicken "too seasoned" -this is what pollo a la brasa is, heavy seasoned chicken. I personally like their CHIFA (chinese peruvian) their fried rice (chaufa especial) is great.

                2. re: Garcilaso
                  PoppiYYZ May 7, 2011 06:53 AM

                  Thanks G,

                  I'll definitely give it a try but at $22.40 for a chicken (yikes!) it better be good. At those prices they may not be open long, they'll either retire early rich or go broke from lack of business...

                  1. re: PoppiYYZ
                    hal2010 May 7, 2011 11:26 AM

                    I think that's a whole chicken with fries for $22.60. At the Swiss Chalet takeout window a whole chicken, fries and 4 rolls will cost you $24.99.

                  2. re: Garcilaso
                    hal2010 Jun 16, 2011 04:44 PM

                    I tried Maria's Brasa today. 1/4 chicken, fries, a drink and ice cream for $12.90.

                    The chicken was very good; moist and well-seasoned. The fries were good but cut a bit too thick and slightly underdone. The star was the chili sauce that came on the side. They do not have ketchup for the fries and it seems they make a point of it. I put the chili sauce on the fries and the chicken.

                    I had the Lacuma ice cream which had a mild flavour - I could mostly taste molasses or raw sugar.

                    I picked up a bottle of chili and black mint sauce.

                    All in all a pretty good take-out meal and I'd go back.

                    1. re: hal2010
                      t
                      Tatai Jun 16, 2011 04:50 PM

                      Is the chili homemade? What is it called on the bottle? I love black mint sauce (salsa de huacatay) and use it, along with Peruvian hot yellow pepper paste (aji amarillo) to season many things, including home-cooked Peruvian grilled chicken. I buy these jarred sauces in Kensington Market.

                      1. re: Tatai
                        hal2010 Jun 18, 2011 06:59 AM

                        It's called Aji Huacatay and it's made in Peru by "Inspection and Quality Services SAC" and imported by "R&T Import and Export." for Maria's Brasa Chicken

                    2. re: Garcilaso
                      ParsleySage Nov 10, 2011 12:32 PM

                      Maria's Brasa has closed. I went by there yesterday and there was a 'for rent' sign in the window.

              2. re: bicichica
                g
                giovanaglauppo Apr 12, 2013 09:49 AM

                I've been in woodbridge in 4000 steeles ave. unit 10 and I tried the peruvian food it was reaaally amazing. The pollo a la brasa was very tasty, the aji was exactly as i tasted when i was in Peru. You should try it! On friday we were doing karaoke and it was really fun. I recommend any one to try this place. the restaurants name is Me sabe a Peru

              3. a
                Arcadiaseeker Jan 4, 2010 11:03 AM

                El Fogon is so-so and there are very mixed postings about it on this site. I have been and while we really enjoyed the ceviche, the rest of the meal was pretty disappointing. I have not been back since (although I would like to give it another try). I have heard very good things about El Plebeyo on Bathurst just south of St. Clair. It might be worth checking out -- I have not been but am eager to try it.

                1. a
                  anatolia Jul 24, 2008 11:44 AM

                  The Boulevard Cafe does Not serve Authentic Peruvian Food. When I have been there, I have had to laugh at what they pass as Peruvian food. Please. It is quite expensive and overpriced.
                  El Bodegon (And I have been there countless times) lost it s quality over the years and its service was sketchy. Mind it was Peruvian cuisine proper. Now that it closed we have a restaurant on St Clair that serves Peruvian Food that is good quality, very tasty indeed.
                  I eat Ceviche only in Peru (once a year I travel there) But everything else is delish. try the Anticuchos if you eat meat, you will love!!! And my fave is Pescado a la Chorrillana.
                  www.elfogon.ca is their site, the pics there just made me hungry!
                  Their hours and service could be better, but hey, their prices make up for it! They are very very affordable. La sangria is quite yum and also my family love the pisco sours there... Try Inka Kola i f you like sweet and refreshing drinks, with ice!
                  You cant go wrong, you can order anything..It is quite yummy.
                  Closed Mondays and Tuesdays unfortunately...and not open for breakfast. Peruvians make amazing breakfasts.... sigh...

                  8 Replies
                  1. re: anatolia
                    d
                    Dieguito Aug 11, 2008 11:07 PM

                    El Plebeyo (St.Clair/Bathurst) has a huge menu of authentic peruvian, cozy atmosphere, prices are bit on the high side. Try the anticuchos.

                    La Cocina de Dona luz - haven't set foot in this place in years, last time I ordered "chupe de camarones" (shrimp soup/stew) It was heated up in the microwave and tasted funky. in my opinion- skip it

                    King's BBQ chicken (Rogers/Keele)
                    For Pollo a la Brasa (this is Peru's national dish- not ceviche as many people claim)- well seasoned-tasted great. "Chifa" -peruvian chinese food, also sold here. This place is definately for take out- not to dine in.

                    Latin American Food Court (Milvan Drive- Weston/Finch)
                    The peruvian place here (I forget what is called) makes a really good seafood fried rice and all their other dishes are tasty. Inca Kola, Chicha morada all sold here as well. If you don't mind a buzzing food court with flat screens showing videos, novelas, soccer etc. then dine in and enjoy.

                    1. re: Dieguito
                      TorontoFoodCritic Feb 27, 2009 03:24 PM

                      El Fogon: Great authentic Peruvian cuisine but I would skip seafood dishes such as 'ceviche'. My Favorite "Anticuchos"

                      El Plebeyo: It's a bit expensive but has a good Pisco Sour. Good "Jalea" (tasty fried seafood)

                      La Cocina de Dona Luz: Don't even think about it.

                      King's BBQ: The worst customer service ever but good Chinese Fried Rice. In my opinion the bbq chicken has too many spices. I wouldn't recommend it. The Restaurant is very very dirty so be aware.

                      Latin American Food Court (El Mercadito): I've decided never to go back to the "El Sabroson" since I found a piece of metal sponge in my "ceviche".

                      Boulevard Cafe: The best tasting "ceviche" in Toronto. Amazing "Camarones al Ajillo" but some dishes are not considered authentic Peruvian Cuisine. A bit expensive but worth it.

                      1. re: TorontoFoodCritic
                        k
                        kevinlikesfood Jan 4, 2010 10:07 AM

                        new place in mississauga called latin super chicken, makes really good pollo a la brasa. They have tonnes of peruvian imported groceries as well. it's just outside streesville. britannia and mississauga road area, the little plaza next to the portugese club.

                        1. re: kevinlikesfood
                          Manybears Jan 4, 2010 11:19 AM

                          Have you been to Chachy's on Dundas W? It says it's got Peruvian chicken. I've been past it a million times and have been curious but never enough to get off the bus and try it out...

                          1. re: Manybears
                            g
                            Garcilaso Apr 18, 2010 04:56 AM

                            There is nothing special about the chicken at Chachy's, The food in general is so-so, the place had live music on the weekends and the atmosphere was ok.

                            The guy who owned the place with his wife (he was the owner/chef/musician, apparently left his wife and the placed closed.

                            -----
                            Chachy's
                            5429 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON M9B1B5, CA

                            1. re: Garcilaso
                              Manybears Apr 19, 2010 05:33 AM

                              Thanks for the reply Garcilaso. Too bad!

                          2. re: kevinlikesfood
                            PoppiYYZ Aug 17, 2010 09:34 AM

                            Thanks for the tip Kevinlikesfood. I love Pollo a la Brasa and thought King's was so/so. I will definitely try Latin Super Chicken next time in Mississauga.

                            I also make a homemade version. Recipe below (but add a teaspoon or two of brandy to the marinate) and cook chicken on a gas BBQ with rotisserie. It's amazing good!

                            http://recipes.menshealth.com/Recipe/...

                          3. re: TorontoFoodCritic
                            PoppiYYZ Oct 15, 2010 06:53 AM

                            Anyone else try Latin Super chicken ? Planning a trip to Mississuaga next week.

                      2. e
                        escoffier Jul 23, 2008 01:30 PM

                        I miss El Bodegon, the place that's in its old space is pretty bad...there's always a stroll on St. Clair to check out some of the Peruvian spots - pick a nice night and go for a wander.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: escoffier
                          a
                          anatolia Jul 24, 2008 11:49 AM

                          Whatever you do, do not go to La Cocina de Dona Luz , West of Christie, it is appalling. The service is aggressive and plain rude. And the food totally unreliable and not really Peruvian. More like a tasteless Central American. Plus the men that go there just to drink and drink and drink, are a turn off. I go there every 5 years or so, to give it a chance but I am always disappointed. The only Peruvian restaurant worth the time is El Fogon, at this point anyway.

                        2. s
                          smr714 Jul 23, 2008 09:35 AM

                          The Boulevard Cafe has a wonderful Peruvian seafood stew, I am addicted to it.

                          1. happycamper Jul 23, 2008 01:14 AM

                            I really like Boulevard Cafe on Harbord at the Annex.
                            I am not too crazy about their chipotle sauce but they always do a great job on the seafood.
                            There is also El Fogon on st clair. but I have never been.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: happycamper
                              m
                              magic Jul 23, 2008 06:22 AM

                              Yes, El Fogon is very nice.

                              1. re: happycamper
                                Rudiger Jul 23, 2008 06:39 AM

                                Boulevard has a GREAT pisco sour too.

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