Saturday, October 10, 2009

Perola Cantina (and why it's the best place to eat in Toronto)

Agusta Soup (Tomato, Chili, Corn Based)
Pupusa's (Stuffed with Bean, Oxaca Cheese)
Purple Corn Juice -> Spiked with Cinnamon and Clove, similar to mold wine!

I could write on different levels as to why I love this little hot-plate cantina in the back of a Latin supermarket in Kensington Market.

So I'll try.

It boils down to passion. I love to cook. I love food. I love good value. I love cooks who love to cook and aren't shy to show it off. I love natural ingredients blended together to form an amazing dish.

I love how all it takes for the perfect culinary experience is well prepared food, good value, and the cooks themselves creating the ambiance to make a $10 meal memorable. This is what food is to me.

The front of the unassuming coolest place to eat in Toronto.

The cooks.
Both speak VERY little english, both are REALLY polite and though they don't recognize me every time I am there, they consistently encourage me to ask them questions on their techniques, different ingredients, and tips on preparations. Note, what you see here; This is their entire kitchen! What you don't see is the crowded line-up 15 people deep.

The Menu. (Cardboard. So cool)

Observe the prices. I don't think I have even seen tapas more affordable.

This is my brother Kris. He loves his food. He will eat anything. He would go anywhere with me to eat. He would also tell you that I as a tipper am usually a tough critic.

15% is all you will ever see from me normally.
At more well-heeled establishments, I make a point to secretly quiz my server on either the kinds of ingredients in front of me "What kind of potato is this?" or their dish preparation "How do they cook the Short-Rib?". Based on their response and ensuing service I give my allotted tip (though, rarely do I go under 15% either).

Here though, just the two cooks, smiling, talking away, us, sitting on lawn chairs in a tight back-end of a Latin grocery store, I don't blink at 50%.


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