Monday, January 23, 2012

Grand Electric, Parkdale

Late 2011, I took my parents to try this new spot in Parkdale. If you're on top of Toronto's food scene you've probably heard too much about it already, so mind this post I guess.
Started by former Black Hoofers, Colin and Ian, the spot's mantra is cheap mexican food, craft beer, brown liquor, and loud hip-hop. Now my parents aren't -- well you know "with it" these days -- I mean my dad doesn't even try. All that being said, this is the only place I've taken them to that they've both actually liked a lot (minus the loud music they told me). It might be because it was so affordable -- at least relative to most of the other places I've told them to try.
The crowd's demographic was insistently young -- 20 to 30s -- all hidden behind the building's cleanly blacked-out exterior. Loud hip-hop was no joke -- good stuff too. Lights were dim as any other Parkdale bar, and we arrived early into the night -- New Year's Eve that is -- so there was no line awaiting us, though we pretty much grabbed the last seats. We started out with the organic corn tortillas and guacamole -- which was as sublime as the all its acclaim suggested. Everything's made in house I should note, from scratch. This was probably my mom's favourite dish, and she actually loved the whole meal; she also apparently doesn't even like Mexican food.
We tried all the four tacos on the menu that night. The Baja fish tacos were great.
If you're into the whole deathly spicy deal, you might want to try the arbol chicken tacos. Although you should also note my tolerance for hot food is at about rock bottom.
The pork belly al Pastor tacos were my least favourite, but that's mostly because I have an irrational thing against pineapples mixed with savoury flavours. I mean, I know pineapples have a special relationship with pork belly and it's the thing you're supposed to put in these tacos, but they're just not my cup of tea.
My favourite of the night however were these beef cheek tacos. Sweet meat with fresh cut chili peppers, that's just my kind of taco.
I had the Grand Electric sour -- egg white, 1.5 oz vanilla bourbon, lemon, and agave -- and I loved it. Keep in mind, I don't drink all that often and Amy Pataki of The Star wasn't too fond of its lack of tartness, but I personally enjoyed it.
I really don't know what's not to love about this place -- 3 for $10 tacos, fantastic bourbon selection, craft beer and good music. The best spot for Mexican in Parkdale, I'm positive you'll love it!