- Address: 1330 Queen St W, Toronto
- Visited: 04/18/2013, Dinner, 2 people
- Cuisine: Mexican
- Rating: 5.0 5.0 Excellent, worth every $
4.5 Good, food & value
4.0 Good, but $$, would re-visit
3.5 Meh, good $, would re-visit
3.0 Meh, would not re-visit
2.0 Did not like $$ [$] <20; [$$] <40; [$$$] <80; [$$$$] >80
- Website: http://www.grandelectricbar.com/
The hype surrounding Grand Electric has been loud and continuous since opening in 2011. With the warnings from friends about no reservations, hour line waits outside in whatever weather with no guarantee of seating in addition to its west end location, it’s taken me longer than planned to finally make it to Grand Electric. I wanted to make sure I was at the door when they opened for dinner service, on a weekday with sunny weather (just in case). The planning was needed. About ten minutes after we were seated at the bar, every seat was filled up. Next to Guu, Grand Electric is now on my list of restaurants that’s worth the effort to get a table.
Atmosphere: The feeling inside was very comfortable and laid back. The bar was filled with bottles of homebrews (ie. vanilla infused bourbon) for a unique assortment of drinks. I loved the built in shelves behind the bar and the record player in the corner. There was a lot of wild turkey decor. The restaurant feels like a neighbourhood gem, a place to stop by often for taco and cocktail or shot of bourbon.
Service: Our waitress was friendly and suggested the “Jesus Juice” when I asked for a fruity drink. The bar tender was also all smiles and it was fun to watch him mix and pour. All of our dishes arrived quickly and each platter of tacos came with intros to identify them. Just make note that Grand Electric is cash only and they do not split bills (as stated on their menu) so come prepared.
Food: Now for the food. There were only two of us and I wanted to try as much of the menu as possible, this resulted in very full but happy bellies and a long after dinner walk.
For tacos, we ordered the Baja Fish, Beef Cheek and Scrapple first followed by the Pork Tinga and Chicken. I didn’t know what scrapple was before but the BF was super excited to see it on the menu. To my understanding, it’s almost a homemade spam, but the texture was softer and fried. My favourite taco off the first platter was the fish; it was buttery soft and not battered too thickly. Next was the beef cheek, I liked the kick of the jalapeno in contrast to the sweetness of the braised beef cheek. The scrapple was ok, it wasn’t as flavourful as the other two and came with a heavier sauce. Between the chicken and the pork, I liked the chicken better, with a healthy handful of cilantro and crispy texture.
We also tried a few side dishes, the Guacamole and Chips, Chorizo and Brussels and Tuna Ceviche. The guacamole and chips came with a large piece of deep fried pork rind, which was amazing. It was crispy, airy and was fought over. The chips themselves were a little oily and the guacamole was good, but I usually make mine with cilantro mixed in a bit more lime. I loved the Chorizo and Brussles dish, the brussel sprouts were roasted, salted and tasted like chips with a savoury chorizo sauce. The bottom of the dish was very salty, where the brussels were soaked in the sauce. I was a bit disappointed with the Tuna Ceviche, the portion was large but I would’ve liked more lime flavour and the sauce used was very creamy.
We didn’t have any room left for dessert, but next time I will be saving just a bit to try to the key lime pie.