La Carnita

Posted on June 30, 2012


Before I start this blog post, let me give a disclaimer.  I am not complaining about my current busy schedule.  Busy is good.  Busy means improvement.  Busy means I am living and breathing what I set out to do.  Like YAY!

And it has been busy this month.  Crazy schedules with school and my business and I even threw in dragonboating to the mix as if I don’t have enough to keep me up on my toes.  This last week I was holding on to what was left on my energy bank and comforting myself that the long weekend was in the horizon.  When the long weekend did finally arrived, I patted myself in the back and rewarded myself with a meal at the newly opened, not-so-pop-up anymore La Carnita.

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For over a year I have enjoyed La Carnita’s food through getting in line in FoodTruckEats and Toronto Underground Market events. Every Torontonian foodie knew one just have to pick out one of the longest line in that event and it would eventually lead you to La Carnita’s table.   It should be a good sign how Torontonians love La Carnita’s food as they are willing to line up for over an hour for La Carnita.  So it was not that surprising that they finally opened a permanent spot up at Bathurst and College.

Approaching the restaurant at about 6:30pm, I could see from the outside that there was already a short line by the door.  I was quite happy that my friend Valerie came ahead of me and found a table immediately.  I should have realized that being a long weekend, all foodies would be scouring the city of treats.  I know because I was one of them.

Once inside, a long sleek black bar lined with several beer taps and polished butcher block counter was on my left and a row of bar stools facing a matching wood ledge was to my right.  More space could be found at the back and every table was occupied.  I loved the harmony of the elements of the design of interiors of the restaurant.  Even though there was a variety of textures and materials, it did not feel contrived or over the top.  I loved the whimsy of the light fixture too, a big grid of a basket stuffed with light bulbs hid the main light bulb and glowed softly through.

I finally located my friend Valerie and I was happy to see that she was sitting on one of the better lighted tables.  With the intent of giving myself a reward for staying sane this month despite the craziness of my work hours, I ordered the perfect set.  I started with Mexican Street Corn, followed it up with Carnitas taco and split a Key Lime Paletas and Churros with Valerie with a Muskoka Lager to wash it all down.  Pretty indulgent I know!  Valerie in turn went for an Avocado Mango Salad, Tostada de Lengua taco and a Muskoka Lager just like me.

The service was surprisingly very fast.  I half expected it to be a little late as the place was brimming up to the gills with foodies.  First one I tasted was the Mexican Street Corn and  I think I could eat five ears of that corn.  The sweetness of the corn contrasted by a zing of heat was amazing, dancing wickedly in my mouth as I bit and bit some more.  I half cared that I might have some Mexican crema and queso anejo in my cheek as I licked my fingers to get the most out of it.  I found it funny when I realized that I was still rotating the ear of the corn even though I have already have eaten the nibs.  It was THAT good.

Moving on to my taco, it was just as I had it in the so many food events I have been to.  Fresh vegetables balanced the deep flavor of the meat.  What’s not to love?  Every now and then, I stole from Valerie’s plate to taste her food and I got zinged by a slow heat of her chosen taco.  Downing it with my beer, the heat disappeared and I finished up my own plate.

As the server was cleaning up our plates and traded it for dessert, I was in full anticipation to be wowed by the Key Lime Paletas.  I always have a thing for tart desserts.  And wow was not enough to describe this treat.  If they ever put this up on retail, I would not think twice and I would buy it.  The churros came next and because of how fresh and piping hot it looked, I almost forgot to take a picture of it.  The serving came with three pieces dipped in warm house made cajeta.  Valerie and I were chewing on one piece each when I realized I haven’t taken any picture of it.  The freshness of the churros were reminiscent of the best one I have tasted in Barcelona.  Finally I have found my go-to churros place when I have a craving for one!

When the meal was done I was totally happy with the reward I have chosen for myself. I look back at this month of June and it was just so amazing.  Summer has just began and I look forward to more busy times ahead! :)
La Carnita on Urbanspoon