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Jul 21, 2011 06:18 PM

La Carnita Crazy

With the humidex bumping temperatures up to a cool 48°C, this might not have been the best day to venture outside for eats. But I left my air-conditioned space and braved the hot winds to see what this La Carnita pop-up taco shop was all about. When I arrived 15 minutes after opening, I almost bailed when I saw the line – a slithering and sweaty mass of people snaking out the door and onto the sidewalk.

I was thankful for the line-herders that kept me updated on the likelihood of tacos – it’s always nice to know where you stand. And finally, nearly an hour later, I stood at the taco station where guest-chef Scott Vivian of Beast Restaurant was busy assembling away with what little garnishes that remained.

Officially, the tacos on offer were achiote-marinated chicken (with salsa verde and zucchini ribbons), beef cheek (with bone marrow, blueberries, and a garlic scape & pumpkin seed pesto), and Mexican chorizo (with mango salsa, avocado, cilantro, and queso fresco). Clearly some bits were missing as the mise in front of Chef Vivian was pretty cleaned-out.

Both the chorizo and beef cheek were really tasty. Especially the beef cheek. With hits of sweet from the blueberry and the really rich flavour of the beef (due to the marrow, I assume), I was quite happy eating this.

To find the next time the pop-up sets-up, you'll have to follow La Carinta's twitter feed. And show up early!

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  1. There was no way in hell I was leaving the safety of air conditioning today. I'd been to a La Carnita pop-up earlier in July and it was pretty delicious though; I hope they'll have more success; the tacos are quite good, cheap, and I like that they don't seem to be espousing the ill-fated (was it?) Charlie's Burger scheme.

    Briefly stepping out onto my balcony and realizing outdoors was the equivalent of a sauna makes me question your sanity, but definitely earns you some cred!

    Charlie's Burgers
    48 Holland E, Bradford, ON L3Z1X2, CA

    2 Replies
    1. re: tjr

      Charlies Burgers is still alive.

    2. I'd have gladly braved the heat for some of those tacos. Thanks for the review! Mouthwatering...

      1. Looks like Mexican food gets mauled again...No pork? No offal? Blueberries???

        6 Replies
        1. re: Kagemusha

          Hardly sounds like anything got mauled. It sounds delicious.

          1. re: Kagemusha

            Is it delicious? That should be the only consideration.

              1. re: themiguel

                It's also a really cool idea spearheaded by some interesting and creative folks.

                1. re: jamesm

                  Totally with you James, I am absolutely thrilled with some of these new culinary developments in the city: these carnita guys, the upcoming trucks, the night markets happening right now, the possibility of more exciting street food in the city.

                  There is a lot to celebrate in Toronto right now and we should be praising some of these folks taking risks and putting in the effort to provide deliciousness to the masses - NOT dissing them without trying anything - which seems to be an alarming and rising trend on this board. (full disclosure I did complain about Caplanskys bike delivery service when it did not deliver to my area, which I now regret)

                  IF the food sucks - then yes absolutely you can post about it

                  356 College Street, Toronto, ON M6J, CA

              2. re: Kagemusha

                When I ate there, it was cheap, delicious and a nice idea that I'd like to see more of in Toronto. The tacos I had were also better than the majority of the tacos I've eaten in the city (with a few exceptions).

                I love authentic Mexican food, but I also love Korean taco trucks. I don't think liking one or the other is mutually exclusive.

              3. The original comment has been removed