Dinner @ Maizal (Liberty Village)

I have been on a hunt for a good Mexican restaurant in Toronto for ages. I lived in Mexico and love authentic Mexican and Latin American food, but finding such cuisine has been next to impossible in Toronto. Maybe I am being too picky? Maybe…

Anyway, I was telling a fellow blogger about this dilemma, and she swore to me that Maizal would not disappoint. So, I contacted the owner, and made reservations for myself and 6 friends.

The menu itself is simple, with corn tortillas serving as a base for the majority of the dishes. The menu consists of 7 sections: botanas (appetizers), vegetarian quesadillas, meat quesadillas, quesadilla combos, garnachas (other tortilla options), cold drinks, and hot drinks. Everything is made from scratch – the corn is cooked, hand-ground, and pressed into tortillas.

This is how it went….

VIBE

The restaurant is small and super cute. Though there were a lot of decorations, and ornaments on the wall and tables, none of them looked too “cliché.” It was bright and festive-feeling, which is quite appropriate for a Mexican restaurant—you want the space to exude a sense of fun and warmth. And if you took a moment to read the posts on the wall, you could get an education too!

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THE FOOD

This is what I ordered, minus onions:

Tacos Dorados

Fried chicken tacos topped with avocado sauce, lettuce, salsa, and crème fraîche, with a side of black beans. (3) $10

Frijoles (my friend and I split it)

Mashed black organic turtle beans. Salsa, melted cheese, and crème fraîche on top. $6 (for 2 people) 

Verdict?

I actually really enjoyed the food. I thought it was simple, but very tasty. Only issue that I had were the portion sizes–too small. Also, there was not enough beans in either one of the dishes that I ordered. The tacos were two bites each, and the beans that you got on the side was about the size of 1-1.5 tablespoon. For $10 I guess it’s not a bad deal, but I just hated feeling like I was being teased–sigh, okay, I love beans. You got me! But really, the ratio of nachos:dips (guacamole and beans) were all off–not enough dip!

In terms of my friends, all the items were a hit except for the Nopal Ahogado, which is grilled cactus drowned in a guajillo salsa and topped with melted queso panela. Served with fresh tortillas for $6. The consensus was that it was bland, with an odd texture, and its only redeeming factor was the cheese on top.

In Sum

I would definitely come back, but I am not sure if my friends would return. You see, I love simple food cooked well, and my friends on the other hand, felt that there was not enough wow in the food to make the trek back to Liberty Village.

Oh…

Wanna see them make the tortillas? Check out this post!

Maizal Quesadilla Cafe on Urbanspoon

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