Los Chicos (Peruvian restaurant in Toronto)

perud

When me and my hubby went to Washington D.C a few years ago, a good friend of ours took us to this fantastic Peruvian diner where the food was de-lish. Since then, my spouse has been craving Peruvian food and decided one day to google a Peruvian restaurant in our neck of the woods and Los Chicos came up which is located on Markham and Highglen Avenue.

When you first walk in you are greeted with their red logo on an expose brick wall.  Next to it is a counter where you order your food. We were greeted with a smile by a guy who was serving us and he generously explained their menu which can be a little confusing given that we don’t eat Peruvian food often. We decided to dine-in and was told the sitting area was on the second level. The restaurant is very simple and small with seven tables which were nearly occupied. The ambience was relaxed and rustic, it definitely had a hole in the wall feel with a lot of natural lighting. As we were waiting for our food to be served,  Peruvian music played which set the mood.

perucerviche

First came the Ceviche ($15). This dish is only served on Sundays. It’s consisted of muscles, boiled sliced yuccas, and fresh white fish cut into chunks tossed in secret house sauce which was tangy and light tasting. What made this dish interesting was the canchitas which essentially tasted like half cooked toasted kernels. I can’t say it elevated the dish. The flavors didn’t marry well. But the canchita was good on its own. I’ll say give this a try!

peruchicken

Later came our 1/2 Chicos Brasa combo, which was recommended for two people. It consisted of cooked Peruvian style charbroiled chicken, Peruvian rice served with Los Chicos Brasa Peruvian salad ($14.50). The rice was nicely seasoned with turmeric, salt and pepper. The salad was light and flavorful. I really not a salad lover, but this was gooood! I enjoyed the fresh veggies and diced avocado tossed in a creamy dressing. But the star of the show was the chicken. It was nicely charred, which gave the meat a nice smoky out-pit barbeque  flavor which I loved. The meat wasn’t at all dry. And their in-house sauce on top of it made it even more out this world. Their secret house sauces will make you want to do a happy dance. The chicken is served with two which one is spicy red and  the other green. I liked the green sauce. It had a wonderful tangy, yogurt cooling taste that brought everything together.

 

Over all,  great place to get your Peruvian food fix. It’s a family own restaurant with great homey service. I definitely recommend it . I’ll give it 4 stars for it being a take-out place.

perustore

 

Prices: Inexpensive

No reservations

Attire: Casual

http://www.loschicosbrasa.com/

Phone number: 905 -209-9100

 

Advertisements

Torito Tapas….A Spanish Restaurant in Toronto

toritospace1

I was thinking of a nice, fun restaurant to take a friend who I haven’t seen in a long time, and Torito Tapas came to mind. I’ve been there once before and liked the chill-out atmosphere. This place is located in the Kensington Market where the area has a bohemian feel with eclectic stores selling their creative funky rears. So, I thought this restaurant would be perfect since we both don’t explore on this side of town often.

When I got there I was instantly greeted and showed to my table. I was a little skeptical how dead the place was, but twenty minutes later the place was packed! Good thing I had reservations. The ambience was intimate with dim lighting. And the walls were adorned with posters of bombshell movie actresses and cool art. The expose brick gave a rustic look to the restaurant, yet still having a classy vibe.

toritodrink

They had a variety of drinks to choose from, but we settled on sangrias($8). I ordered a red and my friend ordered a white. They both were equally good. The white was refreshing and light, opposed to the red which was fruity and smooth. Needless to say we were both happy with our choices.

 

cervice

One of the first tapas we ordered was the Ceviche ($11). This was a hit! This dish was consisted of roasted corn, chili peppers, diced red onions, and cilantro. The white fish tasted moist and tangy which seems like it was tossed in freshly squeezed lime juice, and the slight sweetness of the fried taro root chips was a nice compliment. We scrapped the bowl clean!

 

toritocassava

The next tapa that hit our table was the Cassava fries serviced with a spicy paprika aioli ($6). The fries were nicely seasoned and tasted even better with the creamy aioli sauce (which I can eat a tub of). However, I found the fries a bit starchy and over cooked for my liking. I can’t say these were my favorite.

potato

Following next was the Patatas Bravas ($8). This was recommended by our waitress. This dish is basically diced potatoes served on a thin layer of cooked tomato sauce with aioli drizzled on top, garnished with crispy croutons and jamon serrano pieces. I liked this dish. The potatoes were soft and buttery, and the tomato sauce underneath gave the dish a nice light tanginess. This kind of reminded me of poutine, just without the gravy. I would’ve liked this dish more if didn’t have croutons which didn’t do anything to elevate the flavors. I would say try it if you aren’t counting calories. I was left finishing it.

toritosauge

Following next was the Grilled Spanish Chorizo ($9).  This sausage looked pretty mean with its spiky grilled marks. This tasted spicy and juicy. I didn’t find this to be tongue stinging hot, however the spices gave a nice kick to the palate. But I felt something was missing…perhaps a bun?….I don’t know. This dish was lacking something, perhaps creativity. I wasn’t too blown away by its presentation. It was pretty hard to share without butchering it up into mince meat.

 

toritoslider2

 

 

Last but not least was the Lamb Sliders ($10).  I’ve heard great things about their lamb sliders so I was anticipating this dish. When I took my first bite of this burger, I was pleasantly pleased. The meat was succulent and nicely seasoned with salt. The lamb wasn’t at all gamy and strong in taste. And the aioli ricotta was creamy and smooth giving more depth to the flavors that were dancing in my mouth. The interior of the bun was chewy and soft while the exterior had a baguette type texture. My friend who isn’t a big lamb eater, finished her burger within seconds and liked it. So, there you go!

 

toritofasada

We both were so stuff by the end of meal that we didn’t have room for dessert. Oh well, next time.

I would recommend this place if you are looking for a cool place to chill with friends to have a great conversation, or to romance someone. The service is very attentive and nice.

Reservations: Yes

Dress: Casual

Price: Moderate

Phone Number: 416-961-7373

Website: http://www.toritotapasbar.com/menu/

 

Poetry Jazz Cafe…A hidden Gem!

 

place

After having a fabulous dinner with an ole college buddy of mine, I decided to take her to a Jazz bar located in the Kensington Market area on Augusta AVE. My spouse took me to this place before about a year ago and I really enjoyed it (and I’m not even a jazz lover.)

When I took my friend, she thought the outside façade looked like a fighting outlet for boxers, needless to say she was skeptical of the place, which does appears a little sketchy I must say so myself. But once inside we were faced with a warm and romantic ambience. Every table had a lit candle giving the bar an intimate vibe.

 

band

The bar was very narrow and packed with people when we got there at 11:00, but luckily we found a table with an awesome view of the band.

jazz1

The sweet bartender came to our table and gave us the drink menu tucked inside a book, which is a signature thing they do.

bitches brew

My friend ordered a drink called the Bitches Brew. It consisted of aged dark rum and Tequila with a splash of hibiscus nectar($10). I had a sip of her drink and I was tempted take it and give her mine. It was smooth and light with a bit of a bite. Not at all strong tasting. So, don’t let the tequila scare ya. We loved it!

spanish fly

I ordered the white & coconut flavored rum blended with brown sugar and mint ($10). The coconut was the predominant tasting note in this drink. It was refreshing. However, I think it’s best enjoyed on a hot day.

jazz

Over all, this Jazz bar is great for a romantic date or to take a friend to have a good conversation. Don’t worry at all about the music being too loud. And bear in mind that they don’t have an extensive food menu. I suggest to eat before you visit.

The mural on the façade of the bar is very indicative how hidden this place really is. I definitely recommend it.

 

Admission: $10

Weekdays: 4:30 – 2:00p.m.

Saturday: 7:30 – 2:00p.m.

Sunday:2:30 – 7:30 p.m.

No reservations.

Attire: casual

Phone number: 416-599-5299