One of the best of the few real Mexican restaurants in Toronto, is El Trompo. There are plenty of Tex-Mex eateries in this city but they don’t sell REAL Mexican food. The entrance of Kensignton Market (the location for El Trompo) offers different versions of this cuisine. One is El Trompo, obviously, and the other is a restaurant called Big Fat Burrito which sells an Americanized type of Mexican food. This is a good example of how in the culinary world, Mexican food has taken two separate roads. Two likely reasons for this are for one; the Big Fat Burrito is considerably bigger than El Trompo and has to find quicker ways to serve more customers (ie Tex-Mex over Real-Mex). Another reason is that Big Fat Burrito has three locations in Toronto and again needs more effecient ways to ship, prepare and serve food.
The interior of El Trompo includes a small open kitchen at the enterance, a warm and comfortable Mexican dining area and a closed prep area at the back. In the dining area there are pretty paintings on the walls, colourful painted wooden chairs and tables and a giant 3-D beer bottle (What the ….?!)at the back. Next to the open kitchen there are decorative objects from mixed cultures on a table, as an example, a Chinese money-cat, a statue of Buddha and a small painting of Jesus.
Because my Nana came with my mother and me, we were able to order a large variety of foods. I ordered Pico de Gallo and corn soup as appetizers, Chorizo tacos as the main course, Mexican pinapple sodapop as my beverage and a Churro for dessert. We went on Sunday, so we were able to order the corn soup and churros as they are Week-End Specials only. The Pico de Gallo has fresh tomatoes and refreshing spicy flavour that’s not overwhelming, which is why I always order it when we go there. The Pozole Rojo (Red Pork and Corn Soup) was very hearty with a homey mexican soup flavour. I also liked how they brought a bowl of condiments including diced radishes, shredded lettuce, deep fried corn tortillas, red chili flakes and dried oregano. When eating the Chorizo tacos, I could tell that the meat was a spicy sausage and also it went really well with the cheese (we don’t know what kind it is, but we REALLY want to know). The chopped cilantro adds a fresh herbiness, while the lime juice and a little bit of acidity. Cheleta con Queso (Pork with Cheese Taco) has a unique savoury flavour created by the marinated meat and secret cheese, that is hard to associate with any other flavour or dish. One of the things Nana ordered was the Spicy Tinga de Pollo (Chicken Quezadilla) which is one of her favourite items on the menu. She said “Oh God” when she bit into it, saying that it was the perfect spice level for her, while my mother and I couldn’t taste any heat at all. The huitlacoche (Corn Truffle Quezadilla) is made from a fungus (not a truffle) that grows on corn. Eeewww, but good. This is something new we tried and each of had different ideas on what it tasted like. I found it to be sweet and not unlike the cheese they use while my mother and Nana said they also tasted some earthy qualities. For dessert we ordered Churros, which are stick-shaped Mexican Cinnamon donuts. The waitresses also offer chocolate sauce on them but we always say NO! The Churros have a crunchy exterior with a soft chewy hollow interior and a generous dusting of cinnamon on the outside, which would be ruined by the chocolate sauce.
Along with the great food the staff are also very friendly. One of the waitresses recognized us from our last visit and also made good suggestions, such as, not ordering two soups as they are filling and also trying a Mexican soda pop. I actually really liked that Pineapple drink.