Quickies: Tacos El Asador

I’ll go ahead and say it: Friends who eat together, stay together. There’s something quite intimate about sharing food with someone close and talking your heart out that makes it one of my favourite things to do.

After cocooning with mountains of reading material for school, taking a day off to spend time with kidA listening to Jean Grae tracks and interviews, made me feel all like, “yeah, don’t rush me!”. Taking off for a stroll in the Annex afterwards was the best idea. kidA and I both share a love for used book stores, so we stopped along the way, taking notes of where we could find what and for how much so we could come by once we’ve read through our current to-read lists. On the way back, kidA says: “Have you ever been to that taco place?” No need to explain really… Immediately, I replied, “El Asador?” I had been there about a year or so before, and was feeling up for tacos, so we peaked in, only to find it packed with people. We figured we’d order and take it to go if a table didn’t free up but just as we walked in, a couple was leaving and so we pounced!

Tacos El Asador has gained quite the attention for the small, unpretentious restaurant that it is. The whole trend of fancy tacos and gourmet burritos has proven to be disappointing, and often means less for more. Madre and padre taco shops are where it’s at. At Tacos El Asador, you order at the counter from an array of cheap options, like tacos or enchiladas for $2-4, quesadillas for $3.30, burritos for 4-6$, and… you get the gist. The service is so quick that the food got to the table almost as quickly as we did!

kidA was craving soft-shelled fish tacos, and got 2 servings with a side of rice. The tacos were delicious, with big, meaty slices of fish that were possibly pan-seared (not fried), and well seasoned. A good dollop of guacamole, some chopped tomatoes and onions topped them off. They were nicely complemented by the hot sauce and sliced jalapeños served in separate bowls on the table. The rice didn’t live up to our expectations. Pretty bland and with frozen carrots and peas mixed in, it really wasn’t worth it. We tried mixing in hot sauce to salvage it but, alas, some things can’t be saved.

I ordered a beef burrito, one of my favourites! I was pleased with the tasty meat, and the most perfect, fresh tortilla I’ve possibly ever had. Most of the topping inside the burrito consisted of iceberg lettuce, which was a let down. While flavourful overall, something was missing… The experience was beneficial in another way though: I discovered how un-photogenic a burrito is…

I was still feeling hungry after the burrito, so I got myself a chorizo hard-shelled taco. Then it hit me: This place is all about the tacos! …um, hence the name, maybe? The chorizo taco was beyond words amazing. The crumbled soft cheese on top was a nice touch, and it was served in a double taco shell, perfect for grip (we all know how messy tacos are…).

This spot is now on my list of favourite quickies and cheap eats. You can’t go wrong with the tacos, and bonus: they’ve got glass-bottled fanta, and the sweetest employees (kidA had an across-the-room winking fest with one, if you’re not convinced).

Location: Tacos El Asador, 690 Bloor St. W.
Damage: 21$ with taxes and tip, for 2 people
Rating: eight point five pies out of ten overall, ten on ten for the tacos

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