CHICAGO (or at least Travel Reporter ALAN SOLOMON from the Chicago Tribune) spent some time this summer sampling TORONTO’s restaurants – a number of Latin American establishments – and pronounced them really good to excellent.
Solomon says “one of the joys of seeking out Pan Am eats in TORONTO is that finding them brings you into so many of the city’s neighbourhoods, most of them easily accessible via TORONTO’s trademark red streetcars or its easy-to-figure-out subway.”
“Julie’s Cuban Restaurant, 202 Dovercourt Road, is the quintessential neighbourhood restaurant . . . try the ropa vieja, a traditional pulled-beef dish with traditional Cuban sides (rice, black beans, plantains).”
Albert’s Real Jamaican Food on St. Clair Avenue West “is a full-sized diner facing a Catholic Church with an Orthodox synagogue right next door. Folks line up to order oxtail, curry goat, stew beef, jerk chicken and other good things.”
Across St. Clair Avenue from Albert’s: “El Fogon is a 12 year-old Peruvian restaurant. I ordered the lomo saltado, a national dish of sliced sirloin, sweet onions, tomatoes and French fries (‘Inca steak fries’) all tossed together in a wok and washed down with an amber Inca Kola.”
Valdez on King Street West: “We get quesadillas featuring eggplant and artichoke, an award-winning smoked chicken guacamole, chaufa (a Peruvian fried-rice dish) with duck and edamame, and a brisket-endowed mofongo you’ll find in Santurce.”
“El Catrin, in its second year in the Distillery District, is a trip, a mind-blowingly gorgeous, theatrical installation whose decor almost, but not quite, overwhelms chef Olivier Le Calvez’s interpretations of Mexican standards. Pulpo carnitas, anyone?”
“And when only a burrito will do, especially after the bars stop serving: Burrito Boyz. Multiple locations. Multiple innards. Obscenely sloppy and good. Try the halibut burrito. Open weekends until 4am.”