Oyamel Cocina Mexicana (Washington)

Biting into the thin non-oily tortilla chips dipped in the slightly spicy salsa was the first hint there’d be good food to come. Mexican cuisine is a meal I always look forward to in America. Where choices are abundant and things just taste more authentic compared to Canada.

Oyamel Cocina Mexicana didn’t disappoint. Their tacos were each four delicious bites. The palm sized shell could barely contain the lengua guisada ($4.50), to the point I had to finish the second half with knife and fork as the thick slices of tender beef tongue fell out. Braised until permeated with flavours, this is the way tongue is meant to be served: bites of the soft meaty properties while the unsightly bumps are hidden from view.

The pollo a la parrilla ($4) had lovely smokiness with the chicken even the green onion garnishes getting some time on the grill. If you order multiple tacos, eat this one first as the flavours are mellow. The smear of smashed heirloom Resboseros beans at the bottom were the perfect condiment, just thick enough to hold everything together but fluid enough to not get sticky.

Cheese lovers, the quesadilla huitlacoche ($10) is for you with tons of soft gooey Chihuahua cheese studded with corn and bits of bell pepper, onion and tomatoes. There’s something magical about the preparation of the cheese, slightly crusted so the caramelized parts breaks into pieces that tastes like bacon bits. We had to double check with the waitress to make sure it was indeed vegetarian and pork free as it tastes so real.

Of all the items, the guacamole ($15) seemed the most run-of-the-mill. But, to be fair, it’s a dish that’s easily made at home. At Oyamel, a staff member stands in the dining room making it fresh with mortar and pestle, before topping each with queso fresco and a green tomatillo salsa. I would have liked a more of the Serrano chile for heat, but did enjoy that the acid was balanced so the creamy avocado was present.

Oh land of stars and stripes, just remember how lucky you are to have such tasty Mexican food. Just why would anyone ever want to build a wall to keep out something so delicious?

Overall mark - 8 out of 10

How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 401 7th St NW

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Gastro World's Grading System

  • Anything under 5 - I really disliked and will never go back
  • 6 - decent restaurant but I likely won't return
  • 7 - decent restaurant and I will likely return
  • 8 - great restaurant that I'd be happy to recommend
  • 9 - fantastic restaurant that I would love to visit regularly and highly recommend
  • 10 - absolute perfection!

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Oyamel Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato