2.18.2012

Electrifying tacos at Grand Electric

Be prepared for a line up and a wait as this new taco joint in the Queen west hood is hot!
On a brisk Tuesday evening, we arrive around 7pm to find that the resto-bar is packed with rowdy diners.  We are told that the wait time would be more or less an hour which we expected and we put our names down/ cell phone given and we go across the street to the Rhino for a drink.

2 drinks later, Charise's cell phone rings and we are in.  Approximate wait time = one hour and 15 minutes.
We are seated in the front communal table near the window.  I personally love this spot as we can always look outside and people watch but it's a bit chilly as it's the closet to the door.
Our server tells us that the menu is on the chalkboard behind us and that we are welcome to get up and walk around - it's almost encouraged.  We also are told that there is only one cocktail on the menu heavy with bourbon and it's the grand electric sour.   It's a twist on a bourbon sour with the frothiness of egg whites and a hit of vanilla at the end.  It comes originally in a tall glass.
We are sharing our communal table with a trio of hipster regulars of GE complete with geek chic glasses, gingham button up shirts over vintage rock star or iconic super hero shirts and high tops.  They direct us to order our next sour in a low ball glass because it condenses the flavour.
We start off our evening with guac 'n chips.  It comes with a fried pork rind (ChicharrĂ³n) in the middle.  We share it with our new hipster friends and start fighting about who would finish the chicharron.
They share their chicken frito appetizer which is a mound of crispy, fried chicken wings.  We are encouraged to use our fingers and get dirty with these delicious chicken pieces slathered in a sweet and citrus-y coating and sprinkled with heat from spices and of course chilli peppers. Yum!  We are off to a good start!
Now moving on to what we came for, the $3.50 tacos. While they are small, each of them pack an intense flavour and all the ingredients work together to compliment the taco.
We order a smattering of pork belly al pastor tacos, baja fish, the queso poblanos and I also order the beef cheek because I cannot resist!
We get our first platter of pork belly tacos and my beef cheek.  The pork belly were juicy and tender.  The beef cheek was similar to pulled pork and had some kick which was delicious.  The second platter came with our fish tacos and queso poblanos.
Our fish tacos were crispy and similar to an order of fish and chips in a soft tortilla.   I would say my least favourite taco was the queso poblano tacos.  I found it a little bland.  The queso (cheese) and the stewed poblano pepper needed a little more punch.  It was a slow heat but it was subtle.
One word of caution, don't leave your tacos sitting out as the sauces and ingredients drench through the soft tacos making them soggy and creating a hot mess!  We were victims of some taco failures!

If you come to Grand Electric for dinner, make a night of it.  We had a brilliant time with our new found friends, good drinks and of course electrifying tacos that pack the punch!


**** stars
Grand Electric
1330 Queen Street West, Toronto, Ontario
(416) 627-3459
Grand Electric on Urbanspoon

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