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King's Tacos & Tenoch Mexican -both on St. Clair W - both excellent

stevedominic Mar 16, 2013 07:40 AM

I've read a lot about Mexican over the years. Fortunately, the quality (and variety) has improved in Toronto over the past few years with the likes of Playa Cabana, Grand Electric etc.

For a simpler, and very authentic (and casual) experience, I highly recommend:

1) King's Taco (St Clair W, just west of Dufferin)
The owners are extremely pleasant, and bring a chain (or 4-6?) restaurants from Chihuahua state in Mexico. The flavours are strong, and tasty, the portions are very generous, as are the massive amount of complimentary "real" nachos with 3 salsas they give you prior to dinner. Avg price is $11-14.
FYI- no alcohol.

2) Tenoch (St Clair W, just east of Oakwood).
Service has been a bit slow, but I feel its worth it for their food. Just like above, very casual atmostphere - they may have a few other dishes that KT doesn't, plus sometimes I like eating 3 tacos instead of the 4/5 that KT serves. No free apps though. At least there are cheap drinks. Avg prices $10-15.

I've eaten at KT about 7-8 times (so-so busy during week, PACKED on weekends), and Tencoch 4-5 times, always fairly busy, but closes at 730 Tues-Thurs(!), 1030 I think weekends. Both have a very strong Hispanic patronage (if that means anything to you).

Even though they are simple restaurants, I totally think that it's worth the drive/TTC up to check both out as they are standouts to most of the competition.

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  1. frenchcustard RE: stevedominic Mar 16, 2013 10:15 AM

    good to know, look forward to trying these places

    1. a
      autopi RE: stevedominic Mar 16, 2013 10:37 AM

      thanks for the write up -- i had not heard of king's tacos before. i have been meaning to get to tenoch -- what do you recommend from there?

      1 Reply
      1. re: autopi
        stevedominic RE: autopi Mar 16, 2013 02:49 PM

        Here is the website: http://tenochrestaurant.com/

        I'm fond of Alambre tacos.

        The Quesadillas are small and suitable for an app, and I enjoyed the tostada de tinga.

        The Breakfast dishes are quite nice too :


        I've been itching to go on a Sunday when basically everyone is ordering the lamb barbacoa...

      2. i
        itzi RE: stevedominic Mar 16, 2013 12:54 PM

        I stopped in at Tenoch a few weeks ago on my way home for a quick snack as I skipped lunch
        It was about 4 30 and there were only two others in the restaurant
        The young girl at the counter was very friendly and had a lot of patience going through the whole menu and explaing all the dishes
        I ended up ordering the tamale and the tacos
        Both items were served very quickly and were extremly tasty , and just as she described . For under ten dollars for the two items , i was very impressed
        I will definatelly return to have a full meal there with the family . A great find !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        1 Reply
        1. re: itzi
          kwass RE: itzi Mar 16, 2013 08:13 PM

          So they both do take out?

        2. f
          fickle RE: stevedominic Mar 16, 2013 07:46 PM

          +1 for King's Taco. We enjoy the carnitas, al pastor and barbacoa from King's Taco but prefer the lengua from Rebozos. Pix attached are all from KT.

          1. kwass RE: stevedominic Mar 16, 2013 08:12 PM

            Thank you for that. I wasn't aware of these places.

            1. Davwud RE: stevedominic Mar 18, 2013 08:13 AM

              I've had both on my radar for a while now.

              Thanks for the report.


              1. Davwud RE: stevedominic Apr 24, 2013 10:51 AM

                Decided to start wading through these places and first up was Tenoch.

                The owners are from Mexico City and have been here for about 5 years. They've had the restaurant for 3 years and, for the most part, make everything in house.

                Today's offering was from the Torta section of the menu. They call it Tenoch but the real name is "Cubana Torta." It has nothing to do with a Cuban sandwich but, as Google suggests, is a house specialty type thing that's basically, all their torta wrapped up into one sandwich. This particular specimen has 12 ingredients. Not including the bread. Roast pork (pierna), breaded fried steak (milanesa), hotdogs, ham, pastrami, cheese, tomato, onion, avocado, mayo, refried beans and fried egg. It's an absolute monster and incredibly tasty. I probably could've undone my belt and top button and finished it but I stayed with only half. The other half will be dinner. It comes on a rather large, oblong, wonderbread like bun. Pretty tasty and nice and soft. All those stuffings stayed put for the most part. Not squished out the back.


                1 Reply
                1. re: Davwud
                  Bobby Wham RE: Davwud May 6, 2013 07:06 AM

                  Tenoch tortas are legend. the deluxe one is too much personally but the chipotle pork is soooo good. This spot is a true hidden gem.

                2. b
                  Benniep RE: stevedominic Apr 24, 2013 04:22 PM

                  Glad to see these places getting some love on here, always wondered why they didnt get more mention.

                  The Pierna Adobada Torta at Tenoch is a delicious monster of a sandwich. I've also enjoyed the Tamales and Barbacoa tacos..have yet to take on the Tenoch torta, maybe one day after a big race or something.

                  I will say I found the Carnitas at Kings Tacos a bit bland but the Barbacoa was super flavorful and the salsas were great as well.

                  1. l
                    Lanamary RE: stevedominic Jun 1, 2013 01:26 PM

                    Went to Tenoch for the first time today. Ordered guacamole and chip which came with a green sauce and an orange sauce, both delicious. Also ordered: tacos con chorizo e queso (delicious and I would order again), tacos al asador ( dry and rather flavourless pork - would not reorder), tamales de rajas (one was tasty, my husband's had a cold spot in the centre - would not reorder), and quesadillas Chicharrom con queso (worst dish of the meal with a bizarre greyish flavour profile - would def not reorder).

                    Overall, I might go back for the tacos chorizo con queso but not anything else.

                    Maybe I just ordered the wrong things?

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: Lanamary
                      Davwud RE: Lanamary Jun 1, 2013 01:44 PM

                      I had the same quesadilla you did and loved it.


                      1. re: Lanamary
                        Bobby Wham RE: Lanamary Jun 1, 2013 05:13 PM

                        Oh man, you have to try the tortas, they are legendary. The chorizo nachos are also amazing

                        1. re: Lanamary
                          autopi RE: Lanamary Jun 1, 2013 07:36 PM

                          i've only been once, but had a similar hit or miss experience. i recall a truly gigantic tamale of some sort, which was ok but mostly just large. i had some tacos as well, but they didn't make much of an impression.

                          1. re: autopi
                            Lanamary RE: autopi Jun 2, 2013 05:57 AM

                            So interesting... l think it's probably a question of consistency based on the replies.Davwud, sounds like you had a better version of the dish.
                            I'll give it another whirl if only to try the tortas :-)

                            1. re: Lanamary
                              Davwud RE: Lanamary Jun 2, 2013 06:21 AM

                              Which dish??
                              If you're talking about the tamales it was okay but not without it's problems. The biggest of which was the meat in the filling was rather sparse. The mole sauce was good and the corn taste was as well. It was also kinda dry. I'd order it again but would be hoping for better.

                              Other than that, everything I've had there was fantastic.


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