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La Carnita - 501 College

It's just tacos!

Very briefly, a large group of us had an enjoyable time here last night. We probably ordered most of the things on the menu, and the tacos were just as good as the ones I've lined up for at pop-ups in the past. The tacos are tasty but the standouts for me, by far, are the Mexican corn (Elote) and tongue tostada. Tasty drinks hover just over $10, service is friendly and accommodating, and their signature artwork is left for you with the the bill.

The meal came out to just over $30pp with an alcoholic beverage, full appetizer spread, a few tacos each, tax, and tip.

Why I liked this experience better than General Electric...

- music is not nearly as loud, and I can speak to the person sitting across the table from me
- no lineup (for now)
- for me, the location is much closer
- great service, and tacos were turned around in about 5 minutes in each of the three rounds that we ordered them

I'll be back again, and hope they manage to stick it out longer than the last few establishments that have shared this space.

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  1. love to try it, but closes so early!

    2 Replies
      1. re: JennaBean

        Kitchens close at 11 I was told.

    1. Curious what time of the evening that you went. What made me hesitant to go last night was I was tight on timing... I would like to get out there before the word spreads too much (and, based on the twitter verse it has spread a lot already).

      1 Reply
      1. re: ylsf

        I went at 5:30. Left at 6:10. It was buzzing, but not busy. No lines.

      2. I went last night... Delicious! I was tight on timing and a bit worried I wouldn't be able to get in and out in the time I needed but their service is really fast (I did just get three tacos) and I enjoyed it all. Peanut mole chicken, voltron fish and the carne. I definitely want to go back and take a bit more time to have a drink, some apps, etc and hopefully before it gets too busy (although I really enjoyed it I don't think I would wait 2 hours for it). I haven't been to Grand Electric so I can't compare but they were definitely very tasty tacos.

        1 Reply
        1. re: ylsf

          I posted this in the other thread, but I really loved their avocado mango salad. So good. Their lengue tostada was delicious too.

          I've managed to get through about 2/3 of their menu solo so far...

          http://www.foodpr0n.com/ -- food. is. love.

        2. Are they licensed? Any outdoor seating?

          2 Replies
          1. re: peppermint pate

            Yes and yes, although the patio is tiny and only had cigarette smokers on it when I was there.

            1. re: dlw88

              Yeah, I didn't see chairs yesterday...

          2. 1 hour lineup for 4 people last night. i thought grand electric had better tacos (at a much better price.. $3.5 vs $5). i found the tortillas cold and way too thick

            highlight was the salted graham cracker lime popsicle & tongue tostada

            seating & atmosphere is better, music is not as loud but i will go to GE (or just make the stupid things at home) for my taco fix

            26 Replies
            1. re: bryanayrb

              My thoughts exactly. I went last night too.

              The good:

              The chili rellenos were amazing. They were more like jalapeno poppers than any other chili rellenos I've had before. They were delish, although the sauce they were lying on top of could have had more flavour. Got a second order because they were that good.

              The churros for dessert were also amazing. Crunchy exterior and soft doughy interior, presented in a cup with cajeta at the bottom for dipping. Loved them.

              The bad:

              The tacos don't even come close to Grand Electric. Not even in the same ballpark. Had the carne asada, cod, and chorizo. Terrible, terrible, tortillas. They tasted like they were bought at the supermarket a week past their best before date. Kinda like cardboard. The carne asada was the worst. The meat was too chewy and the whole thing has zero flavour. Chorizo was okay but as with the carne, the flavour was MIA. How can sausage have no flavour? Best of the bunch was the fish taco. Good flavour and crunch on the fish, sauce was good, and the slaw was good too. But I can't get over how bad the tortillas were.

              I liked the vibe a lot and the fact that the music wasn't blaring (it was still pretty loud, but not at 11 like GE). I'll got back for a platter of the chili rellenos and the churros (may I'll try the salad next time too), but for tacos, Grand Electric all the way.

              1. re: acd123

                i'd assume that GE and LC get their tortillas from La Tortilleria. i doubt that either place makes them in house due to the volume they need, but i might be wrong.

                i'm curious, though, as to whether or not either restaurant uses white corn (more traditional) versus yellow corn (tastes sweeter and better). maybe that's where your complaint lies?

                1. re: atomeyes

                  I've been to GE a bunch of times and the tortillas are always super fresh and soft. Nothing like the tortillas I had at LC.

                  1. re: acd123

                    again, the 2 types of corn tortillas taste different, regardless of freshness.
                    not saying that you're wrong - i'm hitting LC on Tuesday and will give my 2 cents.
                    but considering that LC is either making their own tortillas (and they've been open for less than a week, so they're not stale) or they're buying them from La Tortilleria (which is what they were doing when LC was a pop-up), i would say that its highly incorrect for anyone to say that the tortillas are stale.

                    hell, you can tell when tortillas are stale. they don't fold easily and feel like cardboard.
                    but.....yellow vs white corn...world of (taste) difference....

                    1. re: atomeyes

                      I've had the LC tacos at TUM and do not remember having any staleness issues like the ones I had a few days ago. They were kind of crumbly and broke apart when folded.

                      1. re: atomeyes

                        I was there and experienced terrible tortillas (stale or not, they just weren't good). You haven't been there and you tell me I'm wrong? That the tortillas are actually very good? I think it's highly incorrect to post such a monumentally ridiculous comment.

                        1. re: acd123

                          "You haven't been there and you tell me I'm wrong? That the tortillas are actually very good? I think it's highly incorrect to post such a monumentally ridiculous comment."

                          yeah i'm having a good laugh about that one over here. five dollars for a taco is also total madness. this place... i'm not sold

                          1. re: disgusti

                            So you haven't been there either yet you're not sold but also having a good laugh?

                            I believe atomeyes has had the La Carnita tacos many times in the past so it's not a completely blind, uninformed opinion.

                            1. re: disgusti

                              good. go to Taco Bell. heard they're $1 or something.

                              you know, you get what you pay for. and if you don't get what you pay for, either you're a fool or the restaurant will close.

                              but if you're ordering a taco made with home-made chorizo AND you're getting it from a nice restaurant that's in a prime Toronto location (read: their rent is high), how much do you think it will cost? i hope that for $1.50 more than GE, the ingredients will be either better in quality or quantity.

                              and getting back to the tortilla issues that some of you claim they have: again, i haven't eaten at the restaurant (give me 2 days). but their tortilla supplier is a one minute drive away!!! its not like they're buying stale tortillas or have been stockpiling them. i'm just saying that I'd assume that people don't like white corn tortillas versus the more white-person-friendly yellow corn tortillas.

                              I am making the same assumptions that others are making about stale tortillas. until you can logically tell me HOW on earth they can be stale (boggles my mind based on the logistics I stated above), I'll still to my white-vs-yellow corn theory, thank you very much

                              1. re: atomeyes

                                Tried rebozos at Kensington for the first time today. The tacos were great - really liked the carnitas. The tortillas looked like white corn but had a much better texture and flavour than the ones at LC. Not sure if they are from La Tortilleria but I would assume so given they're on the same street?

                                LC only opened on Tuesday to the public but they were doing their soft opening the week before - wonder if it's possible that the tortillas were from the week before which would explain the texture issue.

                                1. re: atomeyes

                                  I still like Rebozos better than Grand Electric.

                                  $5 a taco is Empellon/Alex Stupak territory. Don't think this dude has the culinary pedigree to match that.

                                  I'll go try it out, but tell someone from LA you paid $5 for a taco and they'll laugh in your face.

                                  We're not in LA, I know. We're an underserved market w/ lack of competition. Thus a price premium.

                                  If dude had a stale tortilla, he prob did. What's with the big whoop? Mistakes happen all the time, especially the first week of opening. Lots of reasons why it could've happened. It might've sat at the pass too long after steaming, turning hard.

                                  A TL piece mentioned they use La Tortilleria tortillas.

                                  1. re: aser

                                    Thank you for a most reasonable reply. I didn't get all the vitriol and/or guessing game over the stale tortillas either. And $5 a taco is ridiculous for sure.

                        2. re: atomeyes

                          GE tortillas are smaller than La Tortilleria.

                        3. re: bryanayrb

                          We were there Thursday night also and got seated immediately at 6:45 for 2 at a table in the back. They still had lots of seats in the back. Great service - they really seem to have it together in that realm. As for the food, loved the chips and the 3 dips. The pate was actually my favorite. Loved the corn and churros. We tried all the tacos - fish was good but something in it totally burned my mouth. Really liked the avocado and bean one as well as the chorizo one. Carne was good. Personally didn't try the chicken or tostadas due to nuts though. Had same thought regarding the tortillas - honestly I preferred the steak tacos I had at chipotle a couple days ago. I really hope they get them from elsewhere as they sort of ruined the whole experience for me. I really wanted to like them so much as they are only a few blocks from me and they are so nice. Still need to try GE so can't compare.

                          The space though was gorgeous - really loved that design on the ceiling in the back!

                          1. re: cutehinano

                            The tacos are definitely not in the $5 territory. The shells are chalky and dry. Our server told us that the tortillas were made in-house.

                            The pate, guacamole,pumpkin seed dip and the churros were delicious.

                            The tequila is good: smooth, smoky, powerful.

                            Overall impression: nice, trendy place to hang out and grab a bite to eat.

                            Sadly, both GE and Carnita are not worthy of their hype. Though I prefer Carnita for the overall ambiance.

                            1. re: whittle

                              grand electric would be fantastic as a neighbourhoody place - not that it's not a good spot but i don't want to wait 3 hours for that. if there were 10 grand electrics that all did exactly what they do (good relatively basic relatively inexpensive mexican and extensive booze list in a fun environment) they would all be hits. this carnita place seems like they're just trying too hard.

                              1. re: disgusti

                                I don't think anyone is waiting three hours for grand electric, and as far as I can tell their aspirations don't extend beyond being a neighbourhood spot. I'm not sure what Carnita is doing that seems 'try-hard'. Sounds like they're serving tacos.

                                1. re: jamesm

                                  I waited two hours on a Wednesday to get into GE! Who has that kind of time in the middle of the week to have bastardized Mexican street food? I'd rather go to Rebozos or Agave Y Aguacate to get my Mexican fix in a jiffy!

                                  1. re: whittle

                                    Agave Y Aguacate is on a whole other level--truly incredible!--but it's a totally different thing: It's a take-out stand. GE is a Rompus Room for adults who like cheap bourbon.

                                    1. re: meanmartin

                                      GE as a rompus room. Very funny but so very true!

                                      1. re: whittle

                                        And that one of the reasons why I love GE so much. It feel like a party in my house that I didn't have to prep/cook for!!

                                    2. re: whittle

                                      On what planet is Agave Y Aguacate "in a jiffy?" I love it there but I've waited twenty minutes - for food court take-out. It's delicious, don't get me wrong - but I eat faster after getting a seat at Carnita or GE than I do for take-out only A y A.

                                  2. re: disgusti

                                    At GE, I waited 30 minutes last night... Party of 3. At 7:15.

                                    1. re: jlunar

                                      Ha! I think the patio has remedied things. I waited about 40 minutes for a great patio seat (allowed me a bevvy at the Cadillac patio). Loved it!

                                      1. re: MeMeMe

                                        But that means winter's going to be packed again T_T Gotta eat tacos while the summer's on...

                            2. I just came back from La Carnita.
                              wife and i were hungry so we ate like seniors (5:45!).

                              We ordered all 6 tacos and the chicken pate w/tortillas as the ap.

                              the pate was excellent. there was a nice heat to it. very tasty ap. great start to dinner.

                              the tacos came in groups of 3 with a 10 minute spacing between each (and that was appreciated).

                              the summary:
                              -no, the tortillas weren't stale. at all. yes, they source the yellow tortillas from down the street as I said in earlier posts
                              -the chorizo taco was excellent. the fish taco is always my wife's favourite and it didn't disappoint
                              -i loved the beef tongue taco. nice amount of heat and flavour to it. very well executed.
                              -the chicken taco was fine, but nothing special. kind of plain, but whatever. i ate it after the other spicier tacos, so that may be why i didn't love it.
                              -my wife ate the veggie taco and liked it

                              we also had the mango and avocado salad (very good) and the corn (excellent).
                              for dessert, we had the key lime pie bar. a nice hit of lime, a pinch of salt in there as well. neatly executed and a cool contrast to the key lime pie at GE (which is also great).

                              verdict: we'll go to La Carnita again and again. food was great, we were STUFFED. the space is beautiful and there were few to no kinks, considering they've been open for a week.

                              p.s. prices - we were stuffed after our 1 ap and 3 tacos each. we overzealously ordered the other dishes. so those who commented about the $5 taco, you should know that they are more stacked (the meat ones) than Grand Electric's tacos. at GE, i have to eat around 6 tacos before I'm full. at LC, it would probably be closer to 4.

                              5 Replies
                              1. re: atomeyes

                                Was the tortilla crumbly? I'm just wondering if it's supposed to be like that or if what I had was off. I love the place and would gladly go back. GE is too far with LC being 3 blocks from my house and they were very accommodating even though we brought our baby (no stroller though don't think it'd fit).

                                1. re: cutehinano

                                  zero crumblies. again, as i've already posted, i knew for a fact that La Carnita got their tortillas from La Tortillera. I *assume* the same goes for Grand Electric. so no clue why your tortillas crumbled.

                                  apparently La Carnita plans on making their tortillas in house in the near future (guess you need to buy a press?)

                                2. re: atomeyes

                                  Thanks for the detailed review atomeyes. We're heading there this weekend and was curious on the pricing and to get some pointers as to the amount to order. This was a great help!

                                  1. re: abigllama

                                    Yeah good review. Let's face it, there's room for plenty of taco spots in Toronto.

                                    1. re: abigllama

                                      I suggest 3 tacos per person and splitting 2 apps. you should be more than fine.
                                      if you don't want aps, then 4 tacos per person should be great.

                                  2. Can anybody tell me what the lines are like? We're heading there tonight - meeting friends at 6, would prefer to not wait for more than an hour, willing to arrive a bit earlier if it'll help. I don't know if I've being paranoid, but I've seen what the lineups at their pop-ups could get like...

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: baderin

                                      Just to follow up, we arrived at 5:45, were seated right away but got one of the last tables. Left about 7:30 and overheard that it was an hour wait at that point.

                                      In terms of the meal, I really enjoyed it. We started with some margaritas and the chips with all 3 dips. The guac was good although I would have liked a bit more...something with it. The chipotle pate was delicious. The sikil pak mezcal was good, but my least favourite of the three. The chips on their own with the ancho powder was fantastic. I could have used more chips, though, since we had a lot of dips left when we were done with chips (to be fair, we didn't ask for more, maybe we could have)

                                      For mains we had the pulled pork gorditas and the cod, carne asada, and chorizo tacos. The carne asada was the weak point of the meal - the steak seemed a little dry and it just didn't have the flavours that the other ones had. The gorditas were good but a little one-note - they just tasted like pulled pork. The cod is an old favourite and was just as good as we remembered - ordered a second one. And the chorizo was really good also with a nice kick and big flavours. I was excited to try the lime pie but they were out of it so we had the churros, which were AMAZING. I wanted to order a second batch immediately.

                                      Overall it totally lived up to my expectations. The bill was pretty high ($165 for four people) but we did have two drinks apiece which jacked it up. I don't know how often I'll be there but I would certainly go back to try some more things on this current menu and hopefully any new additions they put out.

                                    2. Loved it overall but here's the scoop

                                      Sunday night, got there around 915 pm and two of us were seated right away. Fast friendly service, they informed us they were out of the salad and peppers. But they had a special which I think was called a gordita, but it was a pasty with some veggies and pulled pork stuffed into it and was delicious. We also go the guac to start which was also excellent.

                                      Margarita was decent but not amazing. Switched to a draft after. SO ordered a cod taco and the chicken taco. The chicken was the stand out. Great spicy peanut sauce.

                                      I had the crispy avacado taco and the chorizo. The avocado was overpowered by the spicy beans which was fine, the flavour of the beans was excellent. The chorizo was excellent and had a good kick to it. They must have changed something per the earlier reports of it being bland. Had a great flavour and left a nice mellow burn in the mouth after.

                                      For dessert the SO had the key lime frozen thing. He LOVED it, not really my cut of tea. I had the churro, which was probably the best I'd ever had.

                                      Overall it was a great meal and at a good price point. The tacos are $5 but significantly bigger than Grand Electric's. We loved GE but found this to be a bit more mellow and comfortable. The flavours on the tacos were a bit more mellow but the food tasted very fresh. The music level was up and down. There were times that it was loud and hard to hear our server, and other times where it was more mellow. Who decided that tacos need thumping hip hop? I'd probably rather hear Slayer while gobbling down chorizo tacos.

                                      We had a fantastic meal and would definitely go back. It's much easier for us to get to than Grand Electric. I love solid Mexican food and glad the taco war is on.

                                      This is a void that needed to be filled in Toronto. Just wish they'd ditch the annoying, loud music. I'm 38 and got to see a ton of live music, just not sure why you have to have a thumping rap song playing while serving stellar tacos.

                                      1. I haven't been to Grand Electric yet but a friend recently went to both and she told me she preferred the food at Grand Electric. I will have to try to make it out to GE soon as I am curious to see the differences myself. I enjoyed my La Carnita meal

                                        1. Went on Friday at 5:30, lots of room but a bit of a line when we left (7ish). Loved the ceviche, but was a little bummed at being charged $4 for extra chips, when we finished the ones that came with it. Had the fish, chicken and lengua tacos. All were good and the servings were big, I liked the chicken best. Some interesting beers on the menu and the service was quick and friendly. I don't get out sans toddler much, so this was a treat, and didn't disappoint.

                                          1. Went on Sat and now I'm kinda wishing I hadn't bothered.

                                            We had the chips and three dips, one fish, one chicken, one chorizo and the pork confit special.

                                            The chips and the dips had a dusting of ground peppers instead of salt which I did not enjoy. The chicken pate was ok but a bit too thinned for me and just didn't work with the chips. The pumpkin seed hummus was ok but totally lacking in salt (a common theme) and the guacamole was the best of the three but still under seasoned.

                                            While fish tacos are usually my fav this was the worst item of the evening. I had one small bit and left the rest. The fish was very fishy in smell and the texture was mushy. It was also lacking in seasoning. The chicken was dry and again seriously under seasoned. The peanut sauce was boring and needed some brightness. Well I know it is possible, it is challenging to make pork confit dry but again, it was. The only one that I would say was enjoyable to eat was the chorizo and it wasn't anything special.

                                            I had no problem with any of the tortillas. They were warm, soft, not too thick - and in some cases the only good thing about the taco.

                                            The room is beautiful. The atmosphere is much more mature than Grand Electric and MUCH quieter. The drinks were good as was the service but the food was anything but. I can say I will stick with GE. The food IMO is better, the environment is much more my style and it is overall cheaper.

                                            1. Here's the deal with LC and GE: both are very good. I've eaten at both a minimum of five times - LC is two blocks from my house. Both use tortillas from a supplier, and I've never had a stale one at either place. I can't imagine either of them serving stale tortillas. GE is louder and smaller. LC is bigger and a little quieter. Neither are actually expensive - it's not "OMG, $5 for a taco!" it's more like you're sitting in a nice restaurant with a good vibe and a fine cocktail list and two people can eat 'til they're full with a couple of beers apiece and tip pretty well for $35. The tacos aren't small: when Harbord Room did a japanese taco appetizer, for instance, that was $12 and smaller than two tacos at LC (and also delicious). the reviews are justified for both places. the difference is that GE is significantly smaller and in a location that offers fewer decent alternatives; Carnita is in a slightly weird stretch of College (lots of money and people in the area but three restaurants in that exact space have died in the past four years). Both are very good.

                                              6 Replies
                                              1. re: metalmicky

                                                I went to LC for the first time tonight. I've been to GE many times and have to say their food is clearly superior. LC is a good deal for sure and I'll probably go more in the winter when the GE patio is closed. I found LC just as loud as GE, but that's because of an echo-filled room rather than loud music. The LC guacamole and chips is bad. Chili powder and pepper seasoned chips--as bad as coated fries--and an overly-complex guac. Sometimes less IS more. The beer selection is great at LC and the little print you get with the bill is a nice touch. LC's interior is too contrived and the flip-flop wearing Lexus driving Muskoka crowd just isn't my scene.

                                                1. re: meanmartin

                                                  its funny that you say that because I find the guac at GE to be so incredibly disappointing. bland and boring.

                                                  they aren't chips coated with "chilli powder". that's the stuff that dumb people use to make chilli and is a mix of different spices. they are chips dusted with powdered chillies. big difference.

                                                  just wondering why you would order something that you wouldn't like. you use coated fries as an example. if i saw that on a menu and it wasn't for me, i wouldn't order it. so OF COURSE you were disappointed.

                                                  These reviews are Caplansky's Redux.

                                                  1. re: atomeyes

                                                    I said they were covered in ground chillies. Either way I personally didn't dig it.

                                                    1. re: JennaBean

                                                      he was responding to metalmicky who said chili powder. I didn't have the chips but enjoyed the tacos. Still haven't been to Grand Electric to compare though.

                                                      1. re: ylsf

                                                        Go to GE. It is by far my fav casual dining spot in the city at the moment. I've been about 12 times since they opened and I always leave happy and full.

                                                    2. re: atomeyes

                                                      Maybe someone in his party ordered it. Maybe he thought they'd be good, and not like coated fries. and about the caplansky's redux...many of the complaints were on the mark. just because people have a different opinion of a place you clearly enjoy, doesn't mean they're wrong.

                                                      and i should tell my wife she's dumb. she uses chili powder to make her chili. poor thing.

                                                      i, for one, appreciate a review like meanmartin's. it seems unbiased (giving the good and the bad).

                                                2. Tried this place out as I had some engagements in the area tonight.

                                                  Sat at the bar with a friend of mine and each ordered a michelada while we studied the menu.
                                                  I found their branding really silly. "OG Michelada?" "Baller Champagne?" - trying way too hard.

                                                  Decided on the avocado mango salad and swordfish ceviche to split and one cod, tongue and pork (special of the day) taco each.

                                                  The michelada was overpowered by salt. Couldn't taste anything else.
                                                  Salad was fresh tasting but had to work to mix ingredients together. Whole piece of avocado at the bottom with mango pieces draped on top but the peppers and cilantro all to one side of the dish. Didn't enjoy that the avocado wasn't sliced into smaller pieces.
                                                  Ceviche was fairly one note. Just tasted acidic and couldn't make much else out.

                                                  Tacos were better.
                                                  Cod was nicely fried. Tongue had good flavour. Pork was tasty. However, I found them really awkward to eat. Piled too high and once you started eating them you had to continue till you finished.

                                                  As for the GE comparison - micheladas are better and you get a tallboy of Tecate instead of a regular can for the same price. The ceviche at GE is much more flavourful. Tacos also taste better. GE Baja fish taco is much better than La Carnita's iteration. I also enjoy the smaller sizes at GE as its more conducive to snacking, chatting and having a good time.

                                                  La Carnita wasn't bad but GE is that much better.

                                                  1. How is the wait these days? What is the best time to go?

                                                    6 Replies
                                                    1. re: apple_pie

                                                      Not sure the best time to go but Thursday night, my friends and I went for a birthday. Got one of the big booths in the back (6 max, though we squeezed like 9 in...). Apparently they waited about an hour starting at either 6:30 or 7.

                                                      So still long. Too long, I thought.

                                                      1. re: apple_pie

                                                        Best time to go is at opening 515pm or 530pm. If you want a guaranteed spot, I would go 15minutes before opening. Otherwise without exaggeration the wait is about 1-2hours.

                                                        I also agree that the quality of the food is better at GE than LC. I have had some consistency issues with LC's tacos (salty, cold). I love the fish tacos at GE, best in the city!

                                                        1. re: kyra2224

                                                          Haha, that timing is perfect if you are unemployed and happen to live right on Palmerston near college ;-)

                                                          I have since had GE for Brunch (or is it Linner if it is after 3pm?) and it was both better and cheaper. Especially the drinks. Lack of bitters aside (who serves cocktails if without keeping bitters around...?) they made a MEAN whisky sour, complete with nicely emulsified egg whites.

                                                          And the old school, conscientious hip hop soundtrack is played at a lower volume so I can enjoy my food and beverage a little better. The patronage is possibly even more insufferably cool though.

                                                          1. re: kyra2224

                                                            hmm good to know - thanks everyone! Can you grab a drink in the area while you wait? Will they take a number and give you a call, or do you have to spend the 1-2 hours by the door?

                                                            1. re: apple_pie

                                                              they take your number and call/text. there's SO many places for a drink...

                                                              1. re: LemonLauren

                                                                Oh perfect - that's not so bad then, as long as you aren't stuck waiting in line the entire time. Thanks!

                                                        2. They are starting to serve brunch as of this Sunday. 11am to 3pm on Sundays.

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: ylsf

                                                            If anyone goes: Is it still just tacos for brunch or are they doing other things as well?

                                                          2. I mean no disrespect to you or any other posters but it really makes me laugh that so much debate is happening, and so much money is being spent on TACOS! All the hundreds of street taco stall guys in Mexico City, where I learned to love the taco because it was so fresh and so CHEAP, must be having a giggle over this, and no doubt plotting some way to get up here before the taco fad fades.

                                                            7 Replies
                                                            1. re: KitchenVoodoo

                                                              i don't know why this was deleted it's a fully valid toronto related response the the above comment:

                                                              tacos aren't a fad, tacos are a market that was WOEFULLY underrepresented in toronto until what, a year ago? i used to travel and be excited that i could get a decent taco (outside of rebozo, which was painfully inconvenient) until finally GE, seven lives, la carnita etc opened up. the street stall guys in mexico city are just that; street vendors in a pretty much third world country offering one of the country's most recognized foods to its citizens. their existence has no bearing whatsoever on the existence of taco places in toronto canada. and when a street guy in mexico city (where i learned to never travel to because at least 40,000 people have been slaughtered in the past few years) moves up here and offers exactly the same thing that he's offering down there, at exactly the same price, then we'll talk. until then realize that WE DON'T LIVE IN MEXICO CITY

                                                                1. re: KitchenVoodoo

                                                                  no disrespect taken, but that is a function of simple economics. until supply of quality mexican street food equals demand, then prices will remain high. falafel sandwiches cost 5-10 cents in cairo, and you can stuff yourself silly for about 50 cents. but that comes with other costs that you don't get here in the gta, right? not a fair comparison and completely ignores the reality that both exist in. . .but other than that, please, giggle away. . .

                                                                  1. re: KitchenVoodoo

                                                                    I hear ya. Of course food costs are higher here but the situation of people lining up for hours or waiting forever for them to be prepped like in the Kensington place now closed is funny to me. They're simple basic street food, the prep can all be done in advance and then they should be just assembled to order, quite quickly. The salsa, tortillas, guac etc can still be fresh and high quality and made throughout the day, but before you place your order! . I also make guac at home regularly and it is the simplest thing in the world, seasoned mashed avocado basically. So yeah, I'm glad we're finally appreciating this limited aspect of Mexican food in TO, but it's kinda funny at the same time.

                                                                    1. re: julesrules

                                                                      I have a friend that makes the same argument. We both lived in California for work. I also lived in Texas and love Mexican food and it was always super inexpensive and he feels like we're being gouged up here. But the bottom line is it's damn good and really still not that expensive so not sure what's to get upset about.

                                                                      The only thing that I don't quite get is who is it that decided that really good tacos need to be served with booming hip hop music? The volume doesn't bother me but find it odd that the two places in the city are both doing it.

                                                                      There's a place in Fernie, BC that plays loud punk or metal with their tacos and it seems more suitable for some reason. But think it has more to do with stoned snowboards working there than any management decision.

                                                                      1. re: abigllama

                                                                        Would LOVE to jump on a "stoned snowboard" one day just to see where it takes me! : )

                                                                        7 lives is the best value in town by far, but they also aren't paying the serious overhead. I agree that GE is not expensive but could be a tad cheaper.

                                                                  2. Sort of surprised to find out that La Carnita is actually part of the Pegasus Group - http://pegasusgroup.ca/brands

                                                                    It also makes me wonder about the comments in CNS's review from July 2012 - http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/f...

                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                    1. re: CarNut

                                                                      Interesting... I didn't know the connection....

                                                                      And, what specific comments were you referring to in the CNS review? The actual review or the comments to the review? I didn't see anything in a quick re-read of both that relates back to ownership/etc.

                                                                      Guess the Pegasus people saw a money maker after seeing huge lines for their food at various events throughout the city so invested.

                                                                      1. re: ylsf

                                                                        It's my belief that Andrew launched it prior to Pegasus but that is conjecture based on discussions with him at the time.

                                                                        I didn't know about Pegasus' involvement until reading this post...I would assume they are now involved with the intent of franchising...?

                                                                        Pegasus used to manage the Philthy McNasty's brand but I see it is no longer listed.

                                                                      2. re: CarNut

                                                                        Yeah that's interesting.

                                                                        So I take it this means that, at some point in the future, we can expect to see more La Carnitas springing up around the city?