Friday, August 09, 2013

REVIEW | La Carnita - a good spot for delicious tacos in Little Italy

La Carnita has been on my foodie bucket list for quite some time now but I forgot about it until my friend Meghan recently brought it up again! Just a 20 minute walk from work on College, we decided to head there for a double date.

They will take reservations for groups of 8 or more but for anything else, you’ll just have to show up and wait for a seat. They open at 5 and we got there at 5:30 so it wasn’t a big deal getting somewhere to sit. It was really nice out so we sat out on the patio in the front.

Their menu is simple and won’t give you overwhelm you with options and give you a headache. They have appetizers, tacos and desserts. There were 4 of us so we got to try a lot of different items from the menu.

We decided to start with the Tortilla Chips with Guacamole ($6.50). These aren’t your average tortilla chips from the grocery store, they were fried.  They were a little bit too fried for my liking but the guacamole was really fresh and tasty. 

Prior going to La Carnita, I had researched the food and found photos of the Mexican street corn ($8) and soon as I saw the pictures, I knew I had to order it. One order comes with 2 full size corn on the cob with Mexican crema, queso anejo, arbol and ancho chili powder. It looked just as good as it tasted. The corn was grilled and cooked perfectly. The spices and crema on the top were the perfect addition to this appetizer. It’s definitely a step up from your average butter and corn on the cob!

Tacos seem to be the new craze in town lately and I’m not talking about Taco Bell. These are petite little tacos that are filled with a generous amount of toppings. One will probably not be enough to keep you fill but you’ll be able to try a lot of different flavours.

We ordered the Beef Cheek ($4.75) as well as the Chorizo ($4.75) tacos. The Chorizo taco definitely packed a punch with the spices and I found it to be flavourful but too spicy for my liking.  Again, that comment is coming from someone who can’t really handle her spices, so it’s probably not saying much that I think it’s spicy.  The Beef Cheek was braised and this was definitely my favourite taco of all the ones we tried. The braised beef was very succulent and had a lot of flavour without overwhelming my palette.

From left; Tostada de Ceviche, Avocado &Frijoles and Pollo Fritto
We also ordered the Pollo Fritto ($4.75), Crispy Avocado & Frijoles ($4.75) and Tostada de Ceviche ($6.25). The Ceviche taco had a fried taco shell rather than a soft one. The taco filling was very light but it was very hard to eat with the hard taco shell. I would have preferred it with the soft taco as everything was falling out as I was trying to eat it.
Jeff thought the Pollo Fritto taco which had crispy chicken thigh was very tasty and tasted like fried chicken in a taco!

Now moving on to the desserts… On my way to La Carnita, I stopped by Jelly Modern Donuts for some desserts (review coming soon) but we heard good things about the churros ($5) so we had to order a second dessert.  So glad we decided to get extra dessert because the churros were so delicious! They were served with a housemade cajeta sauce. It sauce was the best compliment to the pastries. It tasted like a caramel sauce.

We also ordered the Tres Leche Cake ($6).  It tasted like a spongy pound cake and it was topped with fresh strawberries.  The cake was okay, not very heavy which is a good thing when we’re finishing off a meal but I don’t think I would be ordering this again when I know I can get the yummy churros.
Overall I had a very pleasant experience at La Carnita and now that I’ve jumped on the taco bandwagon, I’m excited to go out and try more places! 

La Carnita on Urbanspoon
La Carnita on Foodio54

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