El Trompo’s tacos:
If they don’t cure what ails ya,
So, have you noticed how tacos are a pretty big deal in Toronto? I’m kidding, of course you have. Unless you were living under a no-fun-allowed rock (I’m so sorry) for the past three years, then you must have witnessed the birth of our reigning taqueria monarchy which includes Grand Electric, La Carnita, and Playa Cabana. On top of that, let’s not forget the food truck players (shout-out to Gourmet Gringos!) and how almost every restaurant now has some sort of taco homage on their menu at least once every other season (even Red Lobster did over the summer, I kid you not). Oh, and remember the long-standing choice wedding venue and every grandmother’s top brunch spot, The Boiler House? It has become El Catrin.
Years and years ago, if you were to say to me “Lets grab some tacos Alice because you are pretty cool and so are tacos!” I would have suggested to you two possible places worthy of my time: Tacos El Asador in Koreatown or El Trompo in Kensington Market.
Oh, sweet El Trompo. They are like this awesome loyal friend who knows you have paid upwards of $7 for one small taco behind their back but they’re still going to let you get 5 (FIVE!) of theirs for only $9.75. My go-to is the Al Pastor, tender marinated pork with bursts of sweet pineapple tucked between onion and cilantro. Or maybe I’m feeling a little sassy and will get the spicier house-made chorizo filling? Or maybe I’ve been overwhelmed at work and want to be grounded with something comforting and familiar like the home-away-from-home grilled chicken?
If you’re with friends, the guacamole is a must. If you’re not with friends, but you’re me and have completely no shame in consuming on your own an entire bowl of a dip which is the very taste-bud definition of the phrase ‘fresh avocado’, then get it. With no regrets. It is one of the few places that knows just the right amount of lime to put into one’s guacamole. It is so simply but beautifully made. Respect.
I will leave you with one last gush – their margarita. I am normally not a slushy drink fan but this…this is perfectly salted and I love it. It’s like smelling ocean air, not drowning in the water. The ratio of ice granules to liquid? Just the right amount – textured liquid but still drinkable through a straw. Not over-sweetened, not over-tart, not over-salted. And at $6.75 a drink, not over-priced either.
This place make simple good food and simple good drinks. It doesn’t over-complicate. Nothing’s broken so they don’t try to fix it.
Guys, just go. Go. And bring me with you.