For our last Friday in Toronto for 2007, Julianna, Pooja, and I decided to go out for dinner and a movie to celebrate the end of term. The usual problem of where to go for dinner came up. I gave them 6 places to choose from (always come prepared when you yourself are not prepared to make a decision) and it took no time to decide on an old non-wing favourite of mine: Tortilla Flats.
Tex-Mex: what a wonderful portmanteaux. Texas and Mexican cuisine. Most people enjoy Tex-Mex food with its exotic yet friendly flavours, aromas and association with relaxing with a margarita. While we weren't planning to get that comfortable, we did make our selves at home at this saloon. I had never been to this new location (it used to sit about a block East of Spadina, but has since moved several blocks West of Spadina on Queen).
So why Tortilla Flats? Well here is what a few local web-journalists said about this South "South" of the Border Eatery:
"Tortilla Flats is the casa for Tex-Mex cuisine. Serving up common Mexican combo dishes, the Flats features fajitas for two at $30, tortillas, quesadillas, burritos, combination platters, and margaritas. The moderately priced restaurant is also a casual eatery, allowing patrons to relax on the patio during the sunnier months. "
"Festive food and atmosphere of the Lone Star state. Spacious and upbeat, serving Tex-Mex staples such as steak or chicken fajitas, burritos, quesadillas, chimichangas, enchiladas, cheese enchirittos and nachos. Vegetarian dishes and kids’ menu available. Lunch, dinner daily. Casual"
Martini Boys' Aaron Jacobs
"Tortilla Flats has comfortably moved into Still lounge. Perfectly situated to capture the ravenous exiting and entering the likes of Funhaus and other area bars, this fluorescently yellow Tex-Mex resto uses the renovated former Duke of Connaught to deliver its famed fajitas, tortillas, combination plates, good margaritas and all things Mex." - A.J.
Tortilla Flats on themselves:
"Welcome to Tortilla Flats in Toronto! We are the Tex-Mex place to go when in Toronto! We have a lot of original items you won't find anywhere else, like real suicide wings, a strawberry chimichanga in a chocolate tortilla, or margaritas made with strawberry infused tequila. Our kitchen is ALWAYS OPEN during operating hours, so you can fill those late night hunger pangs! And check out our Texas-Size Cocktails ! We have also added 3 tequilas to our list (now 7)."
First up was Pooja and her vegetarian friendly veggie burrito. Thick, full of beans and accompanied by rice and re-fried beans, this monster tortilla dinner was more than a challenge to Pooja.
Agreeing with Pooja on some point of pop culture, Julianna was willing to try something different.
Now this post is almost a month after the actual event, but I believe she went with the beef chimichunga. Maybe it was chicken. It might have been an enchilada. Either way she ate managed to make her way through the duo delights.
I went with their F l a t s ’ S a m p l e r: Some nachos, calamari, wings, jalapeño caps, jalapeño poppers, Texas Twizzlers, and garlic cheese bread. It was a fiesta in my mouth sampling some fairly non-traditional Mexican food, but Tex-Mex additions. I couldn't eat any more food, but I was seriously tempted again to order some wings because 3 wasn't enough!
Now as proven from above with Julianna's order, I often have a hard time remembering certain dishes and what they are exactly. So here is a quick reference chart thanks to some research over at wikipedia.org:
a traditional Mexican dish composed of a rolled, folded, pliable maize tortilla filled with an edible substance. In North America the most common is a hard-shell version (unknown in Mexico), such as sold by fast food chains which are filled with seasoned ground or shredded beef (or chicken or pork), cheese, lettuce and sometimes tomato
a flat tortilla that is toasted or deep fried served as an appetizer typically topped with a thin layer of refried black bean paste (frijoles refritos), chicken or beef strips or other kinds of animal products. These are usually topped with thinly chopped lettuce strips, sour cream, chopped onion, salsa and guacamole or sliced avacados.
a flour tortilla wrapped or folded around a filling. The flour tortilla is usually lightly grilled or steamed, to soften it and make it more pliable. In
Flour tortillas are folded into rectangular packages and filled with a wide range of ingredients, most commonly beans, rice, cheese and shredded meat. They are then deep-fried and usually served without a sauce, but may be accompanied with salsa, guacamole, sour cream or cheese.
is typically made with a corn (maiz) tortilla dipped briefly in hot lard or oil to soften then dipped in the chosen enchilada sauce. The tortillas are filled and rolled up, placed in a casserole dish, then layered with sauce and possibly other additions such as cheese and chopped onions or olives.
Enchiladas can be filled with almost anything, depending on the cook's taste and means.
So with pretty good food comes pretty good times. We had some fun, and then headed off to see JUNO, a hilarious comedy about a pregnant 16 year old - a MUST to see. It was a great way to end off the semester.
So if your looking items flooded with cheese, sour cream and beans, Tex-Mex is the way to go. And you can find it all at Tortilla Flats.
458 Queen Street West, Toronto