If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, Grand Electric in Parkdale must be particularly chuffed. So what if both taquerias appropriated the formula – trendy tacos, hard liquor and harder tunes – from Big Star Tacos in Chicago? Smooth service and the lack of a lineup most nights make the somewhat higher prices that much easier to stomach.
Best: owner chef Andrew Richmond's signature In Cod We Trust fish taco of battered wild Atlantic cod, pickled red cabbage and tart Granny Smith apple lashed with lime, crema fresca, spicy tahini-like Voltron sauce; Pollo Frito with southern-style fried chicken in peanut mole sauce dressed with pickled napa cabbage and tomato salsa; deep-fried avocado with black beans and peppery chipotle sauce; house-made chorizo with pickled red onion and sharp cojita cheese, all on fresh La Tortilleria tortillas; tongue tostadas topped with grilled pineapple and beet sprouts in hot sauce; halved avocados stuffed with ripe mango, toasted pumpkin seeds and Hostess Hickory Sticks fashioned from deep-fried plantain; tortilla chips dusted with powdered ancho chili sided with chipotle-spiked chicken liver pâté; charred corn on the cob slathered in yogurty crema fresca and anejo cheese; paletas – Mexican popsicles – in flavours like key lime pie coated with crushed graham crackers, and salted dulce de leche with crushed chicharrón.
Complete meals for $40 per person, including tax, tip and a pint of micro-suds. Average taco $5. No reservations. Licensed. Access: one step at door, washrooms in basement.
Updated Mar 27, 2014