Yes, TOist knows you probably know all about the Ecuadorian haven of tacos, pupusas, burritos and quesadillas that is Tacos El Asador, one of the few non-Korean shops in this enclave of the city (Bloor, between Bathurst and Christie). But, hey, we want to tell you all about it again, because we liked eating there last night.
Where else can one find a veritable haven of Mexican sodas (oh, Jarritos!), delicious Jumex juices, along with authentic, homey Latin American food?
Asador is small and cramped, warm and cozy, with wood picnic-style benches, but with an endearing atmosphere all the same. At all visual points of the restaurant, you’ll see silly mainstream movies being played – we caught a snippet of Antonio Banderas in 13 Warriors just before a horrendous fireman movie with Joaquin Phoenix (hot) and John Travolta (not) was popped into the player.
Torontoist ordered guacamole, (kind of overpriced at $5.50) which came with nice, crisp homemade tortilla chips. The guac was green and didn’t taste like much, but it was still mmmm because it was fresh goddamned guacamole, and we just added the mixture to our tacos and quesadillas. The soft beef taco was okay (um, kind of grey-looking but we ate them anyway) – TOist tends not to enjoy the tacos so much because they aren’t quite salty enough, but they do taste better with Asador’s homemade hot sauce, which comes to your table in a traditional tripod-footed Mexican bowl with carved wooden spoon. The hot sauce has Scotch bonnet peppers in them, so beware of using too much! Tacos come with lime wedges and a tomato/cilantro/onion salsa – yummy.
As for the chicken quesadilla (about $3.50), it was great. At first, we were confused as to whether it was a taco or some other tortilla-wrapped permutation, as it was not the rubbery-cheddar-cheese-melted quesadilla that we’ve been accustomed to in North America. It was more of a loosely-put-together concoction with chicken shreds, lettuce, tomatoes, and white crumbly cheese lovingly hand wrapped in two soft tortillas. The cheese is salty and therefore, the quesadilla satisfied much more than the taco did.
Other taste notes: The chicken soup is excellent in the fall and winter months, being filled with a melange of rice, chicken, cilantro, chicken broth, and other hearty vegetables. We didn’t have it on this trip, but it is something worth noting if you’re hung over, need to warm up, or feel a cold coming on. Cuz TOist loves you.