Cheap Eat of the Week: La Carnita’s avocado mango salad
By Gizelle Lau
La Carnita: more than just tacos (Image: Gizelle Lau)
If you’re at all into Toronto’s food scene, it’s very likely you’ve known of La Carnita for some time now. You may have gone to one of the original pop-ups on King West, or you may have stood in line the Toronto Underground Market for a bite of one of the tacos. To the joy of many, La Carnita’s Mexican street fare can now be tasted and savoured at a new, permanent location on College Street, in the old Briscola Trattoria location.
In a city gripped with taco fever, there’s no denying that La Carnita makes some delicious tacos. At the new restaurant, you can get classic La Carnita tacos ($5) such as the famous codfish taco, complete with “voltron sauce,” pickled red cabbage and green apple, or the newer — but much-loved — crispy squid taco (as seen at the Street Food Block Party).
Don’t get too caught up in the taco list, though. Hidden away at the bottom of the starters menu — usually a suspicious sign, where the dishes tacked on at the end to appease vegetarians or healthy types reside — is the avocado mango salad ($8).
Perfect for the dead of summer heat, the salad sits in the cup of a half avocado. It’s filled with fresh, julienned mango that’s tangy yet sweet, queso fresco (a traditional Mexican cheese), then topped with lime dressing and cilantro. Then, the clincher: crispy plantain bits and pepitas (pumpkin seeds) to add just the perfect texture to a beautiful summer salad.
La Carnita, 501 College St., 416-964-1555
Gizelle Lau is a food and travel writer and photographer in Toronto who lives from one meal to the next. Her column, Cheap Eat of the Week, highlights dishes that costs $10 or less. Follow her on Twitter for your daily dose of food from in/around the city.