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Embrujo Flamenco, Tapas Restaurant - A quick review

Embrujo has garnered many comments on this board, the overwhelming majority of which are strongly positive. For example, a recent thread:

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/546202

We would like to add a similarly positive review having had dinner there this evening. Tapas vary in price between $6.00 and $14.00 each. We had Tortilla, which was perfectly soft in the centre and brown on the outside, better than many I have had in Spain itself. The shrimp in spicy chocolate sauce was a new one on me and well worth trying. My partner swooned over the lamb in fig sauce. We also enjoyed Catalan spinach with apples, pine nuts, and raisins, and a traditional cod fish stew. The saffron (!) ice cream and fresh strawberries accompanied by anisette and cream was a wonderful conclusion to our meal.

It was a very quiet Tuesday with only three other tables occupied so there was no problem with the service, which was elegant.

Total cost including tip, excluding wine: $80.00

Hasta la vista - Yes, we will see Embrujo again!

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  1. Sorry, forgot to mention the address:
    97 Danforth Ave. (South Side) just East of Broadview

    1. i feel like we went to two completely different restaurants.

      i think i wrote something somewhere but i found embrujo flamenco to be awful and would much rather spend my money at torito even though they are more cuban focused.

      the fish in the fish stew was deep fried...what is up with that? it was tough and greasy and completely wrong for the dish. otherwise it was just flavoured with a very simple and basic tomato sauce which was just ok. i found that they would fry everything at every opportunity they could get even though it wouldn't have been appropriate for the dish. the paella had an abundant amount of shrimp and overcooked chicken but lacked any good flavour. portions of the expensive desserts were miniscule... slivers of cake were given for the i think $9 price.

      i also found the service to have been awful. how do you ignore the table that is right beside the kitchen entrance? we constantly were flagging people down to get anything. the only good thing out of the whole evening was the gracious host who made sure we knew that there was a minimum fee because of entertainment and the tinned white anchovies.

      2 Replies
      1. re: pinstripeprincess

        I have enjoyed many of your posts, PinstripePrincess, and indeed your negative review of Embrujo is included as the 21st comment in the thread quoted in the original post here.
        For my taste I enjoyed El Torrito, but preferred Embrujo although it is more expensive. Maybe our experience was so good because it was a very quiet night.
        I forgot to mention that Embrujo has live Flamenco from Wed. to Sun. More on that can be found also in the thread quoted above.

        1. re: pinstripeprincess

          Totally agree with pinstripeprincess. Terrible service experience at Embrujo and never returned since. The manager is a... really unpleasant person, to put it in a nice way. My guests from US left all upset and I wished I could turn back time and choose another restaurant.

        2. As mentioned in the other post, I also like Embrujo, but find it really hard to pay those prices for what is essentially Spanish pub food. Either make some Sangria (1 bottle red wine, 1 cup fresh squeezed orange juice, 1 cut up nectarine, lemon slices, a cinnamon stick and sugar to taste) or grab some hard cider (I like Waupoos)

          Head straight to Scheffler's at the SLM. Grab a Palacio chorizo (and sautee the slices in the cider for 30 min.) some old Manchego cheese, some serrano ham and some bread.

          Voila!

          You could even cut up a potato and pan fry it in olive oil and cover it in mayo and hot sauce or a garlic mayo if you like.

          I had a tapas party in December and fed about 12 people for what these local Spanish restaurants charge for two.

          Ridiculous!

          2 Replies
          1. re: currycue

            Wow. Not often that a restaurant review invites extremes! My experience there was of decent food, though I agree that the portions are small for the price. It was relatively quiet during my visit but I can see how the ruckus of a flamenco night might make servers less than attentive...

            1. re: currycue

              Oh man that sounds so good. I'm going to do this! Going with the cider.

            2. Last I was there I thought the food was mediocre at best and definitely not QPR. We had also previously gone to Casa Barcelona which was much better (and also much further in Etobicoke) food and much more variety. Embrujo's wine list was also poor, lacking in vareity, especially compared with Casa.

              I guess some of the high cost was for the show which wasn't bad. But we were there mostly for the food which was disapponting. We had no problems with the servers (though both of us who are wine aficionados believed that our waiter recommended and served an old vintage not inexpensive wine that he knew was either cooked and DOA way past prime).

              1. i haven't been there for a few years, even though i'm a 20 min walk away.
                the food was very good, but i found it a little pricey for what i was getting.
                just came back from Portland and ate at their big tapas resto (Toro Bravo) and it cost $25 per person (including wine) to have amazing tapas and to be stuffed!

                1. I went ages ago, and granted - during a 'licious..
                  Found a lot of the food *really* salty! Haven't been back since.

                  1. just had dinner at embrujo...

                    the food was highly underwhelming.

                    i had espinacas catalanas (catalan spinach)... very boring and easy to make (essentially consisted of raw baby spinach, pine nuts, and gold raisins with flavourless dressing).

                    the brandy chorizo was too salty and boring at that...

                    lamb was ok but too expensive

                    and the worst was the steak with fries. it was cut up and smothered with a mustard/mayonnaise sauce, causing the fries to sog up. terrible. it was like a mustard beef stew. not good at all.

                    finally, the sangria was very blah. tasted like bad juice.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: cuisine_junkie

                      Have booked a group in the there a few times. Absolutely right, owner
                      very unpleasant and hard to deal with. We started supporting him when he started out..now I guess he feels he has enough customers and doesn't have to bother keeping guests happy or coming back. Sangria keeps going up, up in price...
                      and now it is way too expensive.