Koreatown's no stranger to Mexican food. Look no further than the long-running success of Tacos El Asador, not to mention the imminent arrival of Playa Cabana as Barrio Coreano at Bloor and Euclid. But Carlos and Carolyn Solis's seven-month-old La Burrita (735 Bloor West, at Shaw, 416-858-2563, laburrita.ca, rating: NNNN) gives both a run for their money. And then some.
While the low-key cantina's lineup features the usual tostados and quesadillas, it's the dozen-plus tacos that deserve attention, in particular the slow-braised beef cheek and tongue versions (all $2.90). Their toppings make all the difference: chopped raw Spanish onion, fresh coriander and tricoloured squiggles of crema fresca, and both mild tomatillo and chili de arbol hot sauces. See for yourself starting Saturday (August 31), when a coupon from their flyer gets you a free taco through the end of September.
Mercanti to the core
The winner of NOW's latest pizza survey, Kensington Markets's Pizzeria Via Mercanti will be opening a second location in the new YWCA Centre at Elm and Elizabeth in early October. The stylish space also comes with a 60-seat terrace and a state-of-the-art kitchen, the only thing missing a wood-burning oven.
"I'll be installing my own," says Mercanti's Romolo Salvati. "The last time I brought one over from Italy, I ordered two!"
The Bristol Yard's UK-centric Davy Love and Andrew Hudson are taking over the kitchen at the Northwood (815 Bloor West, at Crawford, 416-846-8324) for a month of Quebecois-themed suppers starting September 7. The event runs Thursday to Saturday to the end of the month. Love and crew promise twisted takes on pea soup with triple-smoked bacon ($6), traditional tourtière and reverse-engineered poutine (both $8), the latter consisting of french fries stuffed with gravy and cheese curds.
"We had a lot of explosions before we got them right," laughs Love.
After a 17-year run, Momo's Middle Eastern café and bakery on Harbord has called it quits. Affable owner Mohamed Abu-Taah says he wants to try something new but he's not sure exactly what.
"Retire maybe," he jokes.