Mexican food has never been hotter — or better — in Toronto. Just in time for the annual celebration of Mexican heritage, spicy food connoisseur and host of Everyday Exotic and Heat Seekers on Food Network, Roger Mooking, tells us which of the city’s tacos is tops.
Mooking first opens the taco shell from Milagro to inspect the braised pork and black bean filling, claiming that it “smells great!” He’s not disappointed when he finally tastes it, claiming it has the most flavour of all the tacos tested. He happily declares it the winning dish.
3187 Yonge St. Price: $17.95 for 3 tacos plus sides.
“This is a fresh dough, man!” the delighted judge exclaims, immediately impressed just looking at Lone Star’s taco shell. He awards this dish the runner-up title, praising the smoky heat and tender texture of the pork.
9301 Yonge St. (Richmond Hill). Price: $14.99 for 3 tacos plus sides.
“This looks promising,” says Mooking with a cheeky grin, speculating on which eateries make their shells in-house. He squeezes some lime on the taco before going in for a first taste. Ultimately he enjoys the pineapple added to the pork, but finds the taco altogether a bit too sweet.
277 Augusta Ave. Price: $9.75 for 5 tacos.
“This is a classic presentation that you see a lot in L.A.,” Mooking says, referring to the double shell, which is meant to hold in the juices from the filling more effectively. Ironically, he finds this taco too dry — although he compliments it for its “robust flavour.”
690 Bloor St. W. Price: $2.90 per taco.
When our affable judge takes a hearty bite of the beef taco from Mexico Lindo, the shell falls apart in his hand, leaving him wishing they had doubled up à la Tacos el Asador. However, he claims the flavour, particularly of the salsa verde, is very good — the perfect amount of heat.
1618 Bayview Ave. Price: $10.95 for 2 tacos plus sides.
Looking at the ingredients used in the chicken taco from Z-Teca, including romaine lettuce and a creamy sauce, Mooking jokes that it more closely resembles a chicken Caesar wrap than an authentic Mexican dish. It does, however, get high praise for its freshness.
1800 Sheppard Ave. E. Price: $7.95 for 2 tacos.