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Agave y Aguacate lives on!

WHO'S EXCITED!?

http://www.nowtoronto.com/food/story....

Taking over the Elle M'a Dit space.
Mentioned that they'll be open within a month? I may have misunderstood.

ohboyohboyohboyohboy.

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  1. I AM EXCITED.

    1. I say that we can't have enough Mexican in Toronto. Bring it on :)

      1. Great news. He's back.

        1. Yes the food is good, but I got so tired of the random hours, last minute cancellation flakyness...we'll see

          1. Interesting, was wondering what would go in there. Curious to see how he will run the kitchen. Imagine it will be a big change from him doing everything and one order at a time to 50 seat restaurant.

            1 Reply
            1. re: ylsf

              me too. he won't be able to cook the way he did at his stall.

            2. Does anyone have any updates? I hope they open soon!

              2 Replies
              1. re: principessa del pisello

                I dropped by about a week ago(I was in the neighborhood) and Francisco was gracious enough to give me a tour of the new digs. Still a lot of work to be done,looks like he and his partner are doing a shit ton of the work themselves. He didn't say exactly when they'd be open,but I hope they can get a month or two of the summer out of their patios.Looks like it's gonna be a cool spot.

                1. re: petek

                  If he decorates the premise at the same speed he decorates his tostadas....

                  : )

              2. has he opened yet?

                2 Replies
                1. re: helenhelen

                  Nope. I heard he's now saying late October.

                  1. re: MissBingBing

                    Walked by last night thinking he was open. Nice to see Baldwin buzzing with people though. We ended up at La Carnita which is what I would recommend for that kind of thing somewhat in the area.

                2. Sounds like they are having their soft opening now, with an official opening in January.

                  I hope the long delay for the opening doesn't effect his finances too much.

                  http://www.nowtoronto.com/food/story....

                  13 Replies
                  1. re: ylsf

                    Apparently he opened a few days this week and has now announced a soft opening on January 7th on Facebook

                    given his past track record I've given up caring but others still seem interested...

                    1. re: bytepusher

                      Wonder if anyone has been in the last few days??

                      1. re: ylsf

                        Dec 27 is the soft opening, i believe. haven't heard much.

                        1. re: atomeyes

                          He opened for three days, Dec 26, 27, 28 and then he is closing until Jan 7th when he will have what he is calling a soft opening.

                    2. re: ylsf

                      i went to check it out before christmas (based on ylsf's article above). it was prix fixe only for around $50 pp. we decided to wait it out for the full opening. my gf was given the menu while i was parking. i believe it was 5 courses.

                      does anyone know if it is going to have an a la carte menu or is it going to be prix fixe only with 2-3 seatings a night?

                      1. re: msprnt

                        THat is weird that they made no mention of the prix fixe on their facebook page :

                        https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-fr...

                        Was thinking of going Saturday night, glad I didn't make the trek over there!

                        1. re: ylsf

                          I went on Friday. It was not prix fixe. There are several small plates and 3 or 4 more substantial dishes. There were 6 of us and we sampled almost everything on the menu(they were sold out of the shrimp dish). It was all very good and the service was good too.

                          1. re: greatbigcat

                            OK thanks. I guess the pre-christmas opening was prix fix vs. now it is a la carte.. So they had a pre-pre-soft opening and now the pre-soft opening and then the soft opening :)

                            BlogTO has a write up here (it is a profile, not a "review")

                            http://www.blogto.com/restaurants/aga...

                            1. re: ylsf

                              We booked a private Christmas party and offered a prix fixe menu, kept our doors open and welcomed walk-ins for that night.
                              We then opened on the 26, 27 and 28th of Dec. a la carte as a pre-opening run.
                              We WILL be open as of Tuesday, Jan.7th 2014

                              http://www.blogto.com/restaurants/aga...

                              1. re: Katazone

                                7 days a week?

                                1. re: kwass

                                  5 days, closed Sundays & Mondays :)

                                  1. re: Katazone

                                    Darn :(

                                2. re: Katazone

                                  good to know! will definitely be in soon!

                      2. Anyone know if they're open for lunch?(yes I tried Google first) Planning on going Thursday.

                        Cheers

                        20 Replies
                        1. re: petek

                          No lunch as of yet.
                          Around patio time ;)

                          1. re: Katazone

                            I hope AyA considers adding lunch sooner than that!

                            1. re: JonasBrand

                              Me too!

                              1. re: JonasBrand

                                And I hope they start opening on Mondays.

                                1. re: kwass

                                  Totally! Restaurants don't deserve two days off! Those guys slack off most of the time anyway!

                                  1. re: justxpete

                                    I can make the request. It doesn't mean they have to comply.

                                    1. re: kwass

                                      Why make the request in the first place? Do they not deserve two days off like the rest of us? I don't think you appreciate how hard line cooks work for just above minimum wage, or how much work is involved with being a chef-owner. If you did, I don't think you would even ask.

                                      1. re: justxpete

                                        Why not? I'm not entitled to ask? Let them say no if it isn't a possibility. Big deal. Why it bothers you so much is beyond me!

                                        1. re: kwass

                                          You're entitled to your entitlements. Don't let anyone tell you differently.

                                          1. re: justxpete

                                            Thanks

                                        2. re: justxpete

                                          They can rotate shifts like every other business that stays open more than five days a week. There's no rule that says the same people have to work every day.

                                          1. re: piccola

                                            "They can rotate shifts like every other business that stays open more than five days a week. There's no rule that says the same people have to work every day".

                                            I'm sure(and hope) that as soon as they can assemble a good,solid crew they'll extend their hours of operation. Unfortunately it's easier said than done.
                                            Here's hoping!.

                                            1. re: piccola

                                              You must not know any proprietors. Much easier said than done, especially for chef-owners.

                                              1. re: justxpete

                                                No, of course it's not easy. But it's better than overworking your staff til they burn out and/or hate their job -- which is what you seemed to say was the only option.

                                                1. re: piccola

                                                  As I said before, you must not know any proprietors. It's not nearly as simple as you'd like to imagine.

                                                  1. re: justxpete

                                                    yet thousands of restaurants in Toronto are doing it... (open 6-7 days a week both lunch and dinner)

                                                    1. re: pourboi

                                                      Well-established restaurants. Not those that have just opened. And, few that are smaller, chef-owner restaurants.

                                      2. re: kwass

                                        I don't think anyone who has worked in a restaurant kitchen, or knows people who do, ever begrudges the staff two days off - or no lunches. But the desire to have them open is a nice comment on how you feel about the chef and cuisine!

                                        1. re: WillinTO

                                          As someone who's in the biz(I cook for a living) I begrudge no one 2 days off or no lunches. Unfortunately for me, it's the only time I can get out to some of these gems. Sucks to be me I guess... :)

                                          1. re: petek

                                            You're definitely not alone in that.

                                2. wanted to report back on this place. went to dinner here last night with a group of 8. overall food was good and very interesting. i've never had "real" mexican food so i don't really have a point of comparison. anyways, front of house was quite good but there were issues with the back of house.

                                  made reservations for 8pm a week ago for this friday. hostess phoned me mid-week to ask if she could push back reservations to 8:30pm. no problem at all.

                                  i show up friday night about 20mins early with about 3 ppl out of 8. (i left the house early since it was snowing and traffic on the DVP is so random). hostess/manager says there's no space at the bar right now so come back when we phone u. they also add that the kitchen is running VERY slow tonight so expect to be back closer to 9pm. no problem at all. we head over to the starbucks to grab a hot drink and wait. i've read the bar isabel thread ...and generally speaking i have zero issues with a restaurant turning me away if i'm early. so at that point i have to text/call everyone else (remaining 5ppl) and tell them to relocate at the starbucks because we'll get seated closer to 9pm.

                                  we don't get seated until 9:20pm! the manager was very apologetic and actually gave us a round of tequila on the house. it was realllly smooth btw.

                                  my favourites were definitely the tongue and tostada. i'm not gonna get into the food too much since i enjoyed it all.

                                  i remember bloggers saying there were wait time issues even at the stall in kensington market so maybe that's an issue they have yet to iron out? granted, the place was booked solid on a friday night and it's barely a month old.

                                  anyways this isn't meant to be a negative post. actually i wanted to commend the front of house on how well they handled the situation...which was entirely not their fault. but i definitely think the kitchen needs to hurry up if they want to turn tables effectively every evening.

                                  summary: original 8pm reso bumped to 8:30pm. don't get seats until 9:20pm. front of house does a great job handling it. just an FYI if you're planning to eat here and have a tight schedule.

                                  5 Replies
                                  1. re: blitz

                                    Very fair report. I never went to the Kensington stall because it sounded a bit precious to wait around for Mexican street food (quite possibly my loss!) But even I can't blame them having trouble accommodating a party of 8 on a Friday night their first month. I'm excited to try this place when things settle down a bit.

                                    1. re: julesrules

                                      The complaint about the stall was that everything was made to order. like, too fresh. avocadoes were sliced for the order. sauces made to order. so they could have saved time by prepping better beforehand.
                                      i don't think that it is cutting corners to organize your pre-dinner prep so that more is prepped. probably not sacrificing any taste.

                                      the other option is to run the front of house better so you plan on having fewer tables turned every night. which means you are sacrificing revenue.

                                      1. re: atomeyes

                                        I agree. Taco stands in Mexico have everything fresh prepped - then they assemble it to order. The best cheap eats places in Toronto manage to do this efficiently, with modular menu items that also reduce prep (Banh mi boys, Come and Get it). Anyway I hope AyA figures it out now that they are a full 'restaurant' and do well :)

                                        1. re: atomeyes

                                          I never complained about the wait at the stall. Watching him chop and slice was mesmerizing.

                                          1. re: crawfish

                                            you were probably in the minority.
                                            i know what you're saying, but if i'm waiting in line during a lunch break, i have zero desire to stand and watch someone chop while 10 people queue behind me. would drive me insane.

                                            anyways, Julesrules, he won't get it. i'm sure he's been told and simply says "there is no other way". while quaint and neat, you can't pay Toronto rent if you're doing 2 turns a night or 90 minutes late in seating a reservation

                                    2. the soup here and the shrimp (Coctel de camarones) was lovely...I'd go back for those two items... but the rest of the things I ordered were not as good as I expected it to be

                                      1. went here the other day and it was indeed delicious! my friend and i are vegetarian so the options were kind of limited for us. you have to order multiple of at least one of the veg offerings or you won't feel satiated. we had every veg menu item, plus dessert: a spicy zucchini dish with crema (very inexpensive as it is curiously on the "side dishes/appetizer" menu for about $4 or so, but is the same size serving as everything else since it is a tapas menu after all), chile relleno (2 of these), mixed veggies with a smoky, flavourful chile sauce, his famous lime charlotte (smaller portion than he used to offer at the kensington market stall but just as delicious), and the decadent hot chocolate (definitely more like a dessert than a drink, lots of complex flavours and textures in it).

                                        aside from dessert, our fave was the stuffed pepper.. surprisingly, guacamole, pineapple and ground cherries work very well together! the pepper tasted like it was pickled (or at least marinated?) as well, and the dish also includes some pickled veggies and served on top of a light sauce (couldn't taste much in the sauce).

                                        warning: the soup is not veg - it is made with meat stock. we tried to order this but the waiter helpfully told us this without even being asked. glad he did!

                                        actually, my friend is pescetarian so she eats fish and also had the ceviche which she said was tasty.

                                        i look forward to trying more dishes in the future (i am assuming he will have a rotating menu the way he used to with the seasons at the kensington market stall).. and i really hope he adds more vegetarian friendly options! there are too few right now (i probably won't return any time soon since i tried everything already). wouldn't mind if the green tostada returned!

                                        our total came to $106 with tax, tip, and cocktails for each of us (one each), plus a beer for my friend.

                                        1. Went last night. The food is very good - a little pricey but every dish had great flavour. Really loved the tostada and poblano peppers, and the desserts were great (albeit on the small side).

                                          Biggest complaint...the most uncomfortable chairs I have ever experienced in a restaurant. I guess they want to move tables?

                                          1. Another +1 review. Never tried the original location, but if the quality was the same, then I can see why people were excited.

                                            As reported the chair is uncomfortable, but I got used to it after a while. The two of us shared the poblano; tostada; salpicon; zucchini side; lengua; meatballs; lime charlotte; chocolate torte; and hot chocolate. Along with 3 beers and a cocktail the total was $137 minus tip. We were quite full and could have easily skipped one dish.

                                            Overall the food is quite fine. Salpicon was shredded by hand, garnishing chips were razor thin, and nothing was heavy or greasy. The only thing that felt clunky was the store bought baguette with a couple of dishes, but I wanted there to soak up the sauce.

                                            Obviously there was a lot of onion and avocado throughout the meal. I preferred the hot dishes over the cold ones. The lengua was possibly the best I've had. I would skip the hot chocolate which was not hot, grainy from the spices, and not even close to the explosive punch of the mayan shot at Soma. The other desserts were simply fantastic. The rose ice cream was a nice contrast to the chocolate torte, which is basically a flour less chocolate cake. I found the smaller size of the dessert appropriate.

                                            I would enjoy a meal here with a larger group. The dishes are intended to be shared. The salpicon was great for two bites but I didn't really want more. The tostada and lengua I would have happily eaten on my own.