12 tacos for 12 dollars @ Latin World

Talk about taking Taco Tuesday to the max! We’re hanging out at Latin World, this funky little joint on Bloor St, just south of the border of Lansdowne Station, where every night is $1 taco night…except for Thursdays, when it’s 2-for-1 pozole. On Mondays, they do chorizo, on Wednesdays it’s al pastor, and Fridays are for tacos de canasta — dude, I loves me some basket tacos! But we had to check it out on Taco Tuesday, when they’re serving up carnitas in a soft shell for just a buck each!!!

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OK, so these tacos are pretty tiny…but the flavours are on point. You’ve got the pulled pork, cilantro, onions, and a few sauces on the side for that extra kick. (I’m a fan of the chipotle.) And did I mention that you can order 12 of them for just 12 bucks???

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Of course, even after polishing off a plateful of tacos, you KNOW we’ve still got room for dessert, bro! These churros are made to order, so they take a little longer, but they’re coming in hot, straight outta the deep-fryer, with some icing sugar and chocolate sauce. These weren’t bad…but with three for five bucks, man, I couldda had five more tacos for that money!!!

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4 tacos chingados @ La Chingada

So we’re hanging out at La Chingada, this fucking Mexican joint on Dundas West. (If that offends you, don’t bother translating the restaurant’s name, bro!) Now, this place used to be Smoke Signals, one of the better Texas-style BBQ joints in the city, but now they’re taking it south of the border with some Mexican street food classics. Of course, Taco Tuesday is my favourite officially trademarked holiday, so when I heard this joint was serving up three-dollar tacos al pastor, solo los martes, then you know I had to come check it out!

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Now, this Taco Tuesday is a pretty sweet deal, cuz all of their tacos are normally $6 or $6.50 — mucho dinero, hombrecito! It’s also pretty sweet, cuz they put a whole pile of pineapple in each taco, along with a buncha onions. These tacos were very, very messy — I needed extra napkins — but for three bucks a pop, I ain’t complainin’!

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Now, tacos al pastor weren’t the only thing I shoved down my boca. When I saw choriqueso on the menu, you know I had to have it, bro! You’ve got melted cheese, chorizo, green onion and some house picante, all in a corn tortilla — I could eat like seven of these…

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But you know I had to save room for some chicha-atcha-rones, cabrones! This deep-fried, crispy pork skin comes with three side sauces — salsa verde, pica de gallo and guacamole… It’s a Flavourtown Triple Threat!!!

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Now, while I do always drink beer, I wasn’t about to wash this Mexican fiesta all down with Dos Equis. Instead, I went with a Michelada Chingada, which is sorta like a Mexican Caesar, but mixed with beer. Of course, they didn’t say what kinda beer they used–for all I know, it mighta been Dos Equis!!!

 

These nachos are baked, not fried…

For me, Cinco de Mayo is not a one-meal deal, bro — so you KNOW I had to get some nachos in me before the weekend’s over! Sure, I couldda just stumbled down the street to Sneaky Dee’s, but I heard they had like an emo dance party or something. So instead we’re hanging out at Burrito Starz, this funky, not-so-little joint at Richmond and Spadina. This place used to be an Italian restaurant — they’ve still got pictures of Italy on the walls — but now they’re serving up oven-grilled burritos, quesadillas, and these never-deep-fried, oven-baked nachos:

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Now, I’m no Dali’s Llama, but when it comes to nachos, I try to be one with everything. That’s why these chips come fully loaded with tomatoes, green onion, red onion, green pepper, black beans, jalapenos, cilantro, corn, guac, salsa, burrito sauce and sour cream…oh, and steak. No soy veggie soy nachos, hermano!

Now, the problem with the baking process is that the cheese doesn’t stick to the chips, so the bottom chips are completely plain, while the top layer looks like this:

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So yeah, I guess if you’re gonna cook your nachos like a lasagna, you gotta layer the meat ‘n the cheese, bro! The people who owned the place before it turned Mexican couldda told em that!!!

Cinco de Mayo Mexican fiesta @ Quetzal

Now, if I had to pick a favourite holiday, it’s gotta be International Talk Like a Pirate Day. (Yarrr matey!) But, y’know, Cinco de Mayo is right up there, too. I’ll take any reason to drink beer and eat Mexican food, bro! But this year, we ain’t going for any old tacos or burritos — we’re hanging out at Quetzal, this funky Mexican joint at College and Bathurst, stumbling distance from Sneaky Dees…in case you’re looking for tacos or burritos. I think I’d rather have a half-moon empanada, though:

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This I-Can’t-Believe-It’s-Not-A-Quesadilla stuffs smoked chicken into a blue corn masa shell, topped with holy mole amarillo, and side servings of crema and green salsa cruda, for that extra kick. And if that’s not enough masa, then how ’bout some avocado and white bean dip?

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Man, I could eat this all day. You’ve got the creamy avocado, some zesty white beans, queso fresco, a coupla pepitas–even some cactus chunks. Dude, cactus chunks is what they called me after I spewed at the Delta Tau Chi kegger in college!!!

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Now, the idea of this place is family-style plates. And you’re probably gonna wanna share, unless you think you can eat a whole skirt steak by yourself. I dunno man, I could probably pull it off…but then I wouldn’t have any room for some seabream:

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Why yes, that is an entire fish, grounded ‘n pounded chicken parm style with some Mexican herbs and spices. If this dish was a classic rock song, it would be She Sells Sanctuary, son!!!

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Now, I don’t remember who ordered the kale salad, but that person has already been kicked out of the Triple B Dinner Krew. On the other hand, when it comes to side dishes, these roasted sunchokes with some more of that mole were pretty tasty. Dude, you could put mole on a flip-flop and it would still taste good!!!

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Of course, even after that culinary land, sea and air adventure, we still had room for dessert. And this dish is bringing another guest to the party–we’re talking avocado leaf ice cream with cocoa flakes and candied crickets! Now, I’ve never actually chowed down on chapulines before, but the way they do ’em up here makes ’em taste kinda like raisins. I dunno if I’d wanna put ’em in a taco, though, bro…

Pork tacos three ways @ El Sazon Mexicano

Dude, you KNOW that Taco Tuesday is always my favourite day of the week, bro! So, we’re hanging out at El Sazón Mexicano, this funky little joint just east of the Italian part of St. Clair West. Now, I’d pretty much eat any kind of taco — you could make a taco out of a flip-flop, put it on a flip-flop, and it would still taste good! But when I heard they were serving up not one, not two, but three kinds of pork tacos…I pretty much had to try all of them!!!

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So, we’re starting off with chorizo. This meaty Mexican sausage was super greasy, but not too spicy. All of their tacos come the same way, topped with onions and cilantro, but I also added a little salsa verde to this one…

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Next up, we’ve got the Mexican radio star, Taco Al Pastor. This pork was nicely seasoned, super-tender…but maybe couldda used a slice of pineapple or two for that extra tangyness.

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Of course, we’re saving the best for last — las carnitas, cabron! This Mexican pulled pork had the perfect texture, with an extra squeeze of lime… Dude, this is body by carnitas!!!

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Now, because I didn’t get enough chorizo in my diet, I also went with an order of choriqueso. This dish is kinda like queso fundido, but less queso, more fun, bro! You pretty much get three large, cheesy chorizo tacos for just seven bucks here. Dude, all this food and a Mexican Coke was only 25 dollars after tax… That’s like 357 pesos, hermanos!!!

San Diego style burrito in Miami, bro!!!

Now, I haven’t actually been to San Diego — the only surfing I do is when there’s five football games on TV, bro! But we’re hanging out in Miami, and I hear there’s this funky little taco chain from SoCal that’s made its way out east, and they’re serving up burritos California-style — with fries on the inside — so you KNOW I gotta check it out. This is the California burrito at The Taco Stand, homes!

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OK, now let’s break it down. You’ve got flame-grilled carne asada steak, french-fried potaters, some fresh guac, pico de gallo and just a bit of cheese in there somewhere. This burrito’s about as big as a baby’s leg, and it’s only 8 bucks–whaaa????

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But you know what I say, the only thing that beats carne asada…is more carne asada!!! These carne asada fries come fully loaded with guacamole, sour cream and cheese sauce–but you know it’s all about that beef, bro!!!

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Authentic Mexican tacos ‘n tortas on St. Clair West

Normally, when I want Mexican food I head to Kensington Market — Seven Lives, El Trompo, Torteria San Cosme… It’s like a festival of funk in Flavourtown! But lately, I heard that up on St. Clair, right around Oakwood, there’s a couple funky joints serving up real-deal, authentic Mexican that’s too legit to quit — so you know I’ve gotta check this out!

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Itacate is this little family run taco joint inside an old butcher shop, where everything’s made fresh to order. This means you might hafta wait a bit to get yer grub… but their tacos, like this chorizo y papas, are well worth the wait, hermanos! You’ve got great big chunks of Mexican sausage, little pieces of potato, with some onions, cilantro and hot sauce from the condiment bar…dude, I could eat this for breakfast, lunch AND dinner!!!

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But the funkaliciousness don’t stop there — no way, Jose! They call this one Placero, and it’s a fiesta in mi boca! You’ve got freshly made pork rinds (chicharones) with avocado and cactus (nopal), and then they put these big ol’ strips of queso panela, a fresh, smooth Mexican cheese on top. Now, I’ve had some crazy tacos in my time, but this one is definitely right up there… But you KNOW we’ve still got room for more, bro!!!

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So, we’re headed just across the street to Tenoch Restaurant, this real-deal, authentic Mexican joint that’s just on the east side of Oakwood. Unlike Itacate, this place is more of a sit-down joint…and you’ll definitely wanna be sitting down to take on one of their signature tortas!

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Their Tenoch torta packs more meat between two buns than I think I’ve ever seen, son! You’ve got shredded chipotle pork, deep-fried milanesa steak, ham, pastrami, eggs and hot dogs — it’s like La T-Rex poutine of sandwiches! And while you KNOW I scarfed down every single last bite… I definitely didn’t have room for dessert!

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