You're not running for the border and heading to Taco Bell when you make a visit to El Sol as the restaurant is authentic Mexican food but definitely plan on staying for a bit because the service is on the slow side!
We went for our good friend Stacey's birthday and were forewarned to ensure we ordered our drinks, appetizers and main's all at once because it takes a bit of time to cook!
El Sol - which means the sun in Spanish, doubles as an art boutique and there are clay painted suns decorating the wall which adds to the mexicali atmosphere of the space.
We settled with our coronas and wine for the evening and ordered their guacamole for an appetizer - which was very fresh and came with their home made salsa. They were very fresh and had great texture but lacked some punch. To add kick, the server brought us some chilli flakes and we mixed it with our dips and it gave us the extra punch that we were lacking.
The menu was very impressive with many Mexican dishes that I had never tried but it was a bit pricy.
Jen ordered the pazole which is a pre-hispanic stew with corn, raddishes, lettuce, shredded machata beef and came with a lemon that she squeezed in there. It was served in a piping hot humongous bowl and the beef was very tender. The flavours of the hearty soup was tangy from the lemon and also of a light beef broth mixed with different vegetablesto give it the extra texture and the beef. Around the plate was tostito chips for her to dip and scoop as well which added extra salt and crunch to the meal.
The birthday gal and I shared the "El Sol" combination platter with tacos of all sorts including one soft taco with spicy chorizo - which had a lot of spice to it that my tougue was tingling, another soft chicken taco that was a bit milder while the chicken was perfectly cooked with a hint of chilli taste and it went down easily. There was the taco nortenas which was stewed and marinated machata style beef on a circular hard taco with all the trimmings of cheese, lettuce, onions and tomatoes. This was my favourite taco out of the combo platter- it was a good blend of textures and flavours with the marinated shredded beef that was juicy and the veggies and melted cheese with sour creme. It was also the most difficult to eat as it was one circular taco instead of a wrapped soft taco or hard shell taco. It was also served with 2 hard shelled chicken tacos which was very good too - similar to tacos you would serve at home though! The platter was a lot of food as it came with a side of rice and refried beans. We totally ate all the rice and tried all the tacos- es muy delicioso.
Despite the service - I would love to go back and try their con mole sauce enchiladas, cactus salad and sopas!!
El Sol 1448 Danforth Avenue (at Coxwell)
By Jacqueline Vong at 6:00 PM