Showing posts with label fish tacos. Show all posts
Showing posts with label fish tacos. Show all posts

Stack (Toronto)


When firing up the Big Green Egg is too much of a hassle, my husband and I go to Stack for our barbequed meat fix. With a huge smoker displayed in a glassed-in room, Stack is the real deal; they’re not preparing “barbeque” in a regular oven or salamander. Thanks to the equally powerful exhaust system, even with the centrally located smoker, the dining room only has a hint of smoldering wood and smoked meats aroma.

As expected, their pulled pork ($12) arrives with plenty of barque mixed into the mountain of meat. With three versions to choose from, the North Carolina version was my husband’s first choice – the vinegar based sauce has a pucker inducing quality that also helps mellow out the fattiness of pork. Indeed, the meat was full-flavoured and delicious, but the dense bun made the sandwich heavy and it felt like the carbs were at odds with the protein. Perhaps switching to a lighter brioche would make the pulled pork even better.


All sandwiches arrive without sides; the tacked on fries ($5) were an amazing combination of fresh cut potatoes, hot temperature, and crispy edges. They were much better than the house salad ($5.50), where the citrus vinaigrette was sickeningly sweet. Resourcefully, I salvaged fallen pieces of pulled pork from my husband’s plate to flavour the salad in lieu of dressing.


Stack’s brisket dinner ($20.49) is a popular choice. Despite being very lean, the meat is tender enough, although I’d prefer it cut thinner so it’d be less chewy. Topping the meat is a sweet barbeque sauce that’s thick enough to wipe off if it becomes too much; personally, I really liked it and wished there was more sauce. Although the plate doesn’t come with the pickles and onions noted on the menu, there was a sizeable piece of warm corn bread. With the large basket of fries (you receive a choice of side), it’s a filling meal so prepare to leave with a doggy bag.


The fish tacos ($12) were surprisingly good for a barbeque restaurant. While the grilled catfish did get a little lost amongst the toppings and could benefit from the spicy sauce being placed directly on the fish (since it’s under seasoned), the thin corn tortilla was a great choice for a wrapper and each taco incorporated ample amounts of guacamole, pico de gallo, and roasted corn kernels (a great addition that really made the taco).


Although I still prefer my husband’s barbeque creations, it’s difficult to dedicate the hours of preparation and cooking required to make really flavourful meat. Thankfully, Stack’s smoker is always preparing something that actually incorporates the smoky aromatic essence. During weekdays and the winter, Stack is where to go.

Overall mark - 7 out of 10


How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 3265 Yonge Street

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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!


Is That It? I Want More!

Other Gastro World posts similar to this:



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

La Carnita Eglinton (Toronto)


As an establishment you have to decide: are we going to be a full-service restaurant or casual walk-in? Once you start taking reservations and proceed to warn patrons about the 15-minute grace period and two hour seating limit, you’ve slated yourself into the full-service category. It also means you need to spring the extra minimum wage hours to hire a host or hostess.

Upon arriving at La Carnita, we awkwardly waited at the empty hostess stand. After two food runners passed us with no acknowledgement and a line of other diners started forming, my husband approached the bartender to inquire about a host, only to be told that they have one and to just go back and wait.

A waitress passes dangerously close to us, takes one look and decides to walk back the other way. Finally, after a few minutes, someone who must work downstairs at Good Fortune (he’s in a tropical shirt while La Carnita staff swathed in black) stops and greets us. He’s cheerful and advises that they all “share” in the job – oh poor delusional soul, you most certainly do not.  That same waitress that avoided the line in the first place, suddenly approaches and offers to show us to our table if the other guy tells her where to seat us. Take a deep breath, stay calm

From there the service improved, the waitress that seated us quickly took our drink orders and provided good suggestions. The Peach Don’t Kill My Vibe ($13) she liked was rather refreshing filled with fruity flavours that hid all hints of alcohol. Whereas, the Spring It On ($13) we chose ourselves had none of the promised St. Germain or cucumber - it’s really best classified as gin with simple syrup.

Yet, when I wanted another cocktail and stopped one of the runners, I was informed he couldn’t take the order and would go find someone else. After five minutes and no follow-up, I decided to skip the second drink, our food would be finished soon anyways.

Having ordered practically all the tacos, their fish ones reign supreme. The best was the grilled fish tostada ($9.95) which starred a thick slice of perfectly cooked Arctic char; it was still jewel-tone in the centre. The light smokiness from the grill went well with the sweet corn salsa and hint of Diablo's Fuego hot sauce in the background. But, it’s messy. The crispy tostada has no chance of holding up against the heavy fish – consider replacing it with a regular tortilla wrap instead.


The In Cod We Trust ($5.79) combines the typical deep fried battered fish with crunchy red cabbage and green apple slaw. There’s plenty of flavours thanks to the lime crema and “Voltron” sauce (a spicy soy drizzle). Sure, fried fish tacos are practically a staple item at every family restaurant in Toronto, but La Carnita does them well.


Although it was included in the menu description, I wasn’t expecting the coconut milk used in the tostada de ceviche ($7.95). Hence, at first bite was thrown off by the sour cream taste and consistency of the ceviche. In hindsight, it wasn’t terrible, incorporating plenty of cubed tuna and bits of tomato and cucumber. It just didn’t look appetizing and if it weren’t for the crispy shell, the mixture would be way too soft.


I’d go back for the pollo frito ($5.79), a thick crispy chicken tender smothered in a nutty sweet mole, hot sauce, crispy green cabbage, and refreshing pico de gallo. It was way better than the carne asada ($6.79) which despite having great flavours, I still couldn’t get over the odd soft texture of the meat (too much powdered tenderizer perhaps?)


The daily special ($5.25) wasn’t any better. That evening featuring pulled pork with mango salsa. The spicy salsa was delicious, but even with all the flavours couldn’t save the terribly dry pork.


If you craving meat, I’d go for the ancho BBQ wings ($15.95), the crispy edges smothered in a poblano lime barbeque sauce that’s thick and flavourful, almost like mole. With seven to an order, there’s also plenty to go around.  


By the end, I wasn’t sure whether to stay for a slice of the Sweet Jesus ice cream cake or just grab something on the way home. Our waitress was awfully friendly and the food came at a respectable pace. Yet again, we did have less than half an hour left to the strict two-hour seating limit. In the end, we decided to leave while things were still good. 

On the way out, sure enough, another line had formed by the hostess stand. Poor patrons, where’s the delusional guy in the tropical shirt when you need him?

Overall mark - 6.5 out of 10


How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 130 Eglinton Avenue East

Follow me on twitter to chat, be notified about new posts and more - https://twitter.com/GastroWorldBlog
____________________________
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!


Is That It? I Want More!

Other Gastro World posts similar to this:


La Carnita Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato