Here in Toronto, Mexican restaurants are few and far between. Good Mexican restaurants? Rare. And most of what passes as Mexican is really Tex-Mex. Now, I have nothing against good Tex-Mex, but sometimes you crave a bit more. This lack of mexicana surprises both the captain and me; this is such a multicultural, cosmopolitan city. And Mexico is a popular travel destination for winter-weary Torontonians. You'd think good Mexican would be popular. Well, popular it might be, but rare it remains.
So I am very pleased to announce that we enjoyed a lovely meal with friends at the Calli Cafe Latin Lounge in Toronto's western suburb known as Etobicoke. I discovered this gem by way of a review at The Toronto Star. I then contacted our good friends Lori and Clayton, who not only also love Mexican but live walking distance from the new cafe. And last night the four of us tried it out. The verdict? Two thumbs up.
And can you believe it? I forgot to take even one picture of the food. And me with a camera in my purse and everything. That's what happens when you talk too much.
There were highs and lows; there always are when a new restaurant starts to draw a crowd. On a Wednesday night we had to wait (a very short wait) for a table, and they had already run out of guacamole and mole sauce. Disappointing; we intended to try both. We wanted both. But still, it was encouraging to know that these things are made fresh. The review we read told us our meal would start off with "chips with garlicky salsa" but none were forthcoming. This was a shame as we did experience quite a wait before any food made its way to our table and something to munch on would have been appreciated. Everyone was very pleasant, particularly the owner, but not once were we approached and offered a reassurance that our food would be out shortly, let alone an apology for the wait. I put this down, the slowness, to their inability to handle their newfound fame, but it's an act they'd best get together.
The food was terrific. The captain enjoyed chicken tacos -- slices of chicken bathed lightly in an aromatic sauce, served with warm corn tortillas, a tangy hot sauce, as well as churro beans. With the exception of the hot sauce -- not his thing -- he ate it all. The rest of us had enchiladas, and the absolute standout of the evening were the Enchiladas Suizas -- corn tortillas wrapped around shredded chicken, topped with a terrific tomatilla salsa. Yum, yum. The aforementioned churro beans accompanied the enchiladas, along with rice. And the tortilla soup that Clayton enjoyed was also first-class. Served steaming hot as well.
All in all, I'd go back. We didn't have dessert but next time I think I will. Homemade dulce de leche? I'm there! For those in Toronto who are curious, the Calli Cafe is at 4906 Dundas Street West, right at Burnhamthorpe Road. I recommend you try it. It's a small restaurant, so get there early if you want both a table and some guac!