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Mad Mexican: New Mexican Place from the people behind Frida's

kwass Dec 18, 2013 12:13 PM

It's by the same people who do the salsas.


  1. Food Tourist Mar 31, 2014 05:39 PM

    Just had 3 tacos at Playa Cabana in the Junction. Pales in comparison to Mad Mexican.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Food Tourist
      kwass Mar 31, 2014 05:46 PM

      Wow! Looks like I'm going to have to try Mad Mexican :)

    2. Food Tourist Mar 26, 2014 04:11 PM

      Delicious Sunday lunch at Mad Mexican on Jane Street in Baby Point. I was blown away! I expected mediocre food and instead was served absolutely fantastic tacos of lamb D.F. barbacoa, chicken pibil, pork carnitas, a non-cilantro red condiment, and slightly-too-sweet limeade that got refilled once. Can't wait to return.

      1. a
        air621 Dec 20, 2013 05:15 PM

        I can't remember the (expensive) meal I had at Frida. I stopped bothering with the tacos and burritos I've normally had in Kensington and just have tortas.

        1. d
          Dean Tudor Dec 20, 2013 05:04 PM

          I've never been to Mexico.

          My first real exposure to that style of food was in San Francisco in 1970, followed by Detroit in 1972 and Denver in 1977.

          Every morsel I ate in those cities was far and away better than anything I have ever eaten in Toronto, and i have been to just about every single Mex place in TO over four decades -- at least once....hoping, praying, gnashing of teeth..

          But I am continually disappointed. The best dish I have had in Toronto has been posole, and that I can easily make at home.

          Sorry, did not mean to complain...sniff, sniff..

          1. Kagemusha Dec 19, 2013 06:30 AM

            Bogus. Still waiting for the real deal.

            16 Replies
            1. re: Kagemusha
              Michael N Dec 19, 2013 07:03 AM

              The real deal being what, in this case?

              1. re: Kagemusha
                Googs Dec 19, 2013 08:47 AM

                So you've been to Frida and brought Mad Mexican home have you Kagemusha?

                1. re: Googs
                  Kagemusha Dec 20, 2013 05:38 AM

                  Not impressed with either. Just got my shipment of chiles from PHX. Set for another 6 months.

                  "Mexican" food in TO is in a mile-deep rut. Still surprised no one has clued in to tortas yet.

                  1. re: Kagemusha
                    trane Dec 20, 2013 07:23 AM

                    Or sopes..

                    Maybe one day we'll get Vampiros. Turn your $5 tiny taco into a $10 tiny taco, but with a slice of cheese and an extra tortilla!

                    1. re: Kagemusha
                      dlw88 Dec 20, 2013 07:54 AM

                      Calling Rick Bayless, and his shortrib tortas.

                      1. re: dlw88
                        evansl Mar 28, 2014 04:13 PM

                        Rick Bayless isn't Mexican. He's southwest, closer to New Mexican. Too bad there isn't a New Mexican place in TO.

                      2. re: Kagemusha
                        bobbob911 Dec 20, 2013 08:03 AM

                        I thought Agave y Aguacate was mostly Tortas?

                        I would love a Torta Ahogada. Maybe a bowl of goat birria on the side.

                        1. re: bobbob911
                          1sweetpea Dec 20, 2013 09:15 AM

                          I crave those torta ahogadas, birria, barbacoa and good pozole.

                          I don't currently live in the GTA, but when I'm in town, I try to eat foods from countries and cultures that are not well represented in Windsor, where I live, or in Detroit, which is very close by. I would not seek out Mexican or Lebanese in the GTA, when it's done well, and is far less expensive, in Detroit. There are many reasons for the price difference, but if I can get a taco al pastor for $1.25 in Detroit, why does it cost $6 at Playa Cabana? Is it 5 times better? Does $1 go for ambience, another for higher minimum wage rates, another for price of raw ingredients and still another for the utilities bill? If I could be guaranteed that the taco will be that much better, then price matters little. Regardless, I'm certain that authentic Mexican recipes are not on many, if any, restaurant menus in the GTA. Until then, I'm not paying inflated Toronto prices for glorified street food.

                          1. re: 1sweetpea
                            burningrome Dec 20, 2013 09:31 AM

                            Heading down to Windsor/DTW over Christmas - recommendations for Mexican there? And don't say Xochimilco! :)

                            1. re: burningrome
                              1sweetpea Dec 20, 2013 10:31 AM

                              I can offer three options in Detroit and none is Xochimilco, LOL. If you don't mind divey places, but love grilled chicken, Taqueria el Rey is a great choice. My husband goes there for lunch and says the 1/2 chicken meal is enormous but great value. They grill the spatchcocked chickens, then use a cleaver to hack them into manageable pieces. You get the usual rice and beans with that, and all the tortillas you could possibly want.

                              Two that I enjoy are Taqueria Nuestra Familia and Taqueria El Nacimiento. These places are frequented mostly by the Mexican community. I personally avoid the cheapie lunch specials and choose from either the breakfast menu or dinner menu for much more interesting options. On one visit to Nuestra Familia, I was able to order huevos machacados (eggs with dried, pounded pork - jerky of sorts) and have as my side whole beans, rather than the standard refried beans and rice. Those beans were the star of the meal. If you are into carne en su jugo, menudo, birria or pozole, they are available daily at Taqueria El Nacimiento.

                              El Nacimiento's address is 7400 W. Vernor. Nuestra Familia's is 7620 W. Vernor and El Rey's is 4730 W. Vernor. It is closer to the Ambassador Bridge, while the other two are several blocks to the west.


                              Tacos are popular at all three places, but I notice that the Mexicans that eat there tend to opt for dishes that are cooked to order. Why not try both? There's no shame in packing up your leftovers for later.

                              Call to make sure each place is open, if you're going over the holidays. I'd hate for you to get there only to find that your chosen place is closed for an extra couple of days over the holidays.

                              Windsor's Mexican offerings pale in comparison, but you get the privilege of paying double or more for inauthentic grub, albeit in nicer surroundings than those in Detroit.

                          2. re: bobbob911
                            bytepusher Dec 29, 2013 08:51 AM

                            But Agave y Aguacate isn't actually reopened yet

                            Apparently there were a few soft open days over the holidays and they are now promising a soft opening on January 7th, given his track record only time will tell....

                          3. re: Kagemusha
                            Googs Dec 20, 2013 09:05 AM

                            What of Jose Hadad's work have you had Kagemusha?

                            1. re: Googs
                              Kagemusha Dec 20, 2013 04:48 PM

                              Frida wasn't universally adored. Find a new chew toy--and visit Detroit sometime and see what life's like beyond "guac+chips."

                              1. re: Kagemusha
                                Googs Dec 23, 2013 09:41 AM

                                Oh that's right. I forgot that's all I eat. Detroit isn't my baseline. Mexico is. I can only guess from this you've never tried anything from Chef Hadad. Perhaps his work isn't "universally" enjoyed, but since when is that the standard? Different strokes and all. I've enjoyed the take home Mad Mexican goods which aren't as good as homemade, but certainly do the job better than anything else I've encountered. I also quite like the restaurant, Frida. Perhaps you can try it sometime and let us know what you think.

                          4. re: Googs
                            terrycar Dec 20, 2013 08:13 AM

                            And a real taco al pastor.

                          5. re: Kagemusha
                            ylsf Dec 20, 2013 09:10 AM

                            I like Mad Mexican stuff but I was not a fan of Frida's when I went the one time (seemed "run down", mediocre food, etc).

                            I would give this new spot a shot though.

                          6. Googs Dec 18, 2013 02:09 PM

                            BOOOOOOooooo. I want one in MY neighbourhood.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Googs
                              kwass Dec 18, 2013 05:03 PM

                              It isn't in my neighbourhood either, but sometimes you just have to go out of your way for certain restaurants :)

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