Location: 690 Bloor Street West, Toronto
Type: Central America
Hours: 12-9pm on Mon ,Tues, Thurs, Fri, Sat 2-9pm on Sun, closed on Wed
Cost: $30 Dinner for two, appetizer and non-alcoholic drinks. Includes tax and tip
Carrot’s Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Meat-Eater’s Rating: 4 out of 5
Tacos El Asador is a great local haunch located off Bloor West, specializing in both Mexican and El Salvadorian foods. The restaurant owners are from El Salvador so I highly recommend trying the national dish, Pupusas, made of a corn tortilla and stuffed with beans and cheese.
Side Note — My friends and I tried to make our own pupusas once. Eight YouTube videos, an entire package of corn flour and four hours later, we ended up with a very sad product. They looked great, but we all know that looks can be deceiving. I mean, just look at this photo of Katy Perry without make up. Thank gawd Tacos El Asador is around!
I ordered three pupusas ($2.85 each) in each of the three flavours they offered; cheese, beans and a mix of cheese and beans. The mixed cheese and beans pupusa was definitely my favourite of three, as it provided a better variety of flavours. Pupusas traditionally come with cole slaw, salsa and hot sauce to be piled on. The server set down additional bowls of Jalepenos and spicy salsa, then looked me straight in the eyes and said “This is VERY spicy.” Sounded like a triple dog dare to me. (I was too scared to take the dare. *hangs head in shame*)
The walls are vibrantly painted with beautiful hand carved wooden fixtures, an El Salvadorian tradition. Tables consist of less than a dozen picnic tables crammed inside the small space. Meat-Eater (who grew up in El Salvador) assured me that the decor and the food were very authentic, something you would find in the country if you were to ever visit… and you should visit. If not for the Pupusas, than at least for the surf.
Fruit-flavoured sodas are really popular in Latin American so its very fitting that Tacos El Asador offers a variety of non-alcoholic drinks imported from El Salvador and Mexico. I tried the Leech-flavoured pop as per Meat-Eater’s suggestion. As much as I loved the sweet fruit flavour, a great alternative to a boring Cola, it was a little too sweet for my likings. I would still recommend trying the drink, but share with a friend.
Overall, Tacos El Asador provides an authentically fantastic Latin-American dining experience and has officially become one of my favourite hidden gems in Toronto.
Return of the Carrot