A Mind-Blowing Burrito at Comal y Canela

Comal y Canela
Location: 1692B Jane Street, York
Website: https://www.comalycanela.com/

I’m a bit late to the party here, but I feel like there was a time on Instagram recently where every other post was someone dipping a beefy taco into a cup of soup.

I’m talking about birria tacos, a dish in which braised beef and cheese are crammed into a tortilla, dunked in a beefy soup, griddle-fried, and then served with even more soup for dipping.

Comal y Canela

You can get this at Comal y Canela, and yeah, it’s good.  How could it not be?  Tender beef, gooey cheese, flavourful soup?  It’s like a French dip sandwich but better, with amplified flavours and textures that are an absolute delight to eat.

The really surprising thing, however?  The birria tacos weren’t even the highlight of the meal.

I also tried the michoacano burrito, which the menu describes as “giant flour tortilla with a cheese crust, black bean puree, braised pork, onion, jalapeno, avocado, crema fresca and queso fresco.”

Comal y Canela

Good lord, that burrito.  I don’t want to overstate this, but I think this might have been the best burrito I’ve ever had?  I’m skeptical that a better burrito exists.  Okay, maybe I’m overstating it a tad, but I really, really enjoyed this burrito.

Comal y Canela

Every part of it works so well, though that cheese crust (I’m guessing they just take a pile of cheese and let it brown on the griddle) is downright genius.  The combination of the gooey, crusty cheese and the ultra-tender pork (not to mention the creamy avocado and literally every other ingredient in this thing) is pure magic.  I guess I could do without the raw onions, but there’s so much else going on here that they really just add some crunch.

Comal y Canela

It’s hard for me to say that this is the best burrito I’ve ever eaten, because I’ve had quite a few burritos in my lifetime, but I can honestly say that I cannot remember eating a better one.  It’s that good.

Quick Bites: Pizzeria Via Napoli, Ikkoi Japanese Family Cuisine, Nani’s Gelato

Pizzeria Via Napoli
Margherita pizza from Pizzeria Via Napoli

I suppose you could order something from a Neapolitan pizza joint that isn’t a margherita pizza, but why would you?  As I’ve mentioned before, it’s the perfect food.  It’s also a great test of a restaurant’s chops, because it’s so simple that if your technique isn’t on point, and if the ingredients you’re working with aren’t great, it’s going to show.  Pizzeria Via Napoli’s version absolutely hits it out of the park; the crust is flavourful, perfectly chewy, and has a good amount of char on its exterior (including the bottom of the slice).  And the other ingredients are just right.  Margherita test: passed!

Ikkoi Japanese Family Cuisine
Ramen from Ikkoi Japanese Family Cuisine

Speaking of food that’s perfect: ramen.  It’s the best.  I ordered the tonkotsu ramen from Ikkoi (they serve several other styles of ramen, along with sushi and other Japanese standbys), and it’s pretty decent.  Is it the best bowl of ramen that I’ve ever had?  No; their menu is so broad that they’re probably spreading themselves a bit thin.  But there’s also absolutely nothing wrong with it.  I wouldn’t go out of my way for it, but if you’re in the area and you’re craving a bowl of ramen, it’s worth a shot.

Nani's Gelato
Dark Chocolate Oreo at Nani’s Gelato

Nani’s continues to be great.  I don’t particularly feel the need to write about Nani’s every time I eat there, because I think it’s fairly clear by this point that I think Nani’s serves some truly stellar gelato.  But I would like to note that, even though it’s not technically on the menu, Nani’s does have a kids size cup that’s pretty much the perfect amount if you’re not super hungry.  It’s the same size cup as the small, but the gelato pretty much only goes to the brim instead of being mounded way up.  I’m not sure why they don’t advertise this size, but I’m definitely glad I know it exists.  And now you do too!

Enjoyable Ice Cream at Scoops in Port Credit

Scoops
Location
: 82 Lakeshore Road East, Mississauga
Website: https://www.instagram.com/scoopsicecreamshop/

Scoops is a fun little ice cream shop in Port Credit that serves scoops, sundaes, and milkshakes, and that makes all their own ice cream in-house.

It actually reminds me a lot of Ed’s Real Scoop, particularly the layout, with gelato up front and the various ice cream flavours behind it.

Scoops

They have a whole bunch of interesting flavours (I didn’t count, but it’s gotta be over twenty); I went with Nutella banana.

It’s pretty decent.  It’s probably not worth going out of your way for if you’re not already in Port Credit, but it’s a solid scoop of ice cream.  My flavour was a bit icy, but was otherwise quite rich and creamy.

Scoops

The yellow colour made me worried that banana extract might be involved, but if it was, I couldn’t tell (the ice cream actually had a slightly underripe banana flavour).  And of course, I don’t have to tell you that banana and Nutella are great together.

Also: I’m just happy whenever an ice cream shop is still using plastic spoons.  Sorry, the environment — wooden spoons are horrible.  I’m pretty sure that if they eat ice cream in hell (fart flavoured, I guess?), they use wooden spoons.

Amazing Roast Pork at Luen Hing Barbecue

Luen Hing Barbecue
Location
: 888 Dundas Street East, Mississauga (inside the Mississauga Chinese Centre)
Website: None

If a restaurant has an enormous slab of tasty-looking roasted pork hanging in the window, you should eat at that restaurant.  That’s just a fact.  Is that a law?  I think that might be the law.  If you see a restaurant like that you have to eat there or you’ll go to jail.  That sounds fair to me.

Luen Hing also has chicken and duck hanging in the window, and clearly I have to go back, because that pork… wow.

Luen Hing Barbecue

I ordered the roast pork and barbecue pork on rice, which comes with a seriously generous amount of tasty eats for about twelve bucks.  It’s a great deal, that’s for sure.

I actually brought this home instead of eating in the food court, and I had resigned myself to the fact that the pork skin probably wouldn’t be particularly crispy.  It’s hard to retain your crunch when you’ve been steaming in a sealed take-out box.  But oh man, that skin was crisp.  It was at delightful, kettle chip levels of crunchiness.

Luen Hing Barbecue

And the pork itself was so good.  Super flavourful, nice and tender, fatty but not too fatty, and of course, the aforementioned super crunchy skin.  Delightful.

The barbecue pork wasn’t quite on the same level — it was a bit dry — but it was still quite tasty, with a nice balance of sweet and savoury.

The steamed cabbage and the sauce they poured on top were also quite good.  It all adds up to a seriously satisfying version of this dish, and a restaurant that I’ll almost certainly be returning to in the near future.

Gravy Lovers Sandwich at KFC

Gravy Lovers Sandwich at KFC
Location
: 1610 The Queensway, Toronto
Website: https://www.kfc.ca/

KFC just came out with a sandwich called the Gravy Lovers Sandwich, and yes.  Of course.  Of course I’m going to try that sandwich.  I’m sold just based on the name alone.

The Gravy Lovers Sandwich, as per the KFC website: “features our delicious hand breaded chicken filet, 1 slice of Monterey Jack cheese, creamy mayo and 1 crunchy indented hashbrown with an individual gravy.”

Here’s the problem with ordering anything from a big fast food chain: it’s a crapshoot.  Sometimes you get food that’s nice and fresh, and sometimes you get food that’s… not.  I very much got the latter.

Gravy Lovers Sandwich at KFC

It’s a decent enough sandwich in theory, I’ll give it that.  How could it not be?  Fried chicken + gravy is always going to be a good thing.

It comes with a surprisingly large container of gravy (which is standard KFC gravy — thick and generically salty, but tasty enough), and you’re supposed to take off the top bun and pour it onto the sandwich.  I poured out about a quarter of it, and used the rest as a dip between bites.

Gravy Lovers Sandwich at KFC

The biggest problem here (aside from the fact that they forgot about the slice of cheese, and I guess decided to give me lettuce instead) is that both the chicken and the hashbrown had clearly been sitting in one of those warming trays for hours.  Days?  Weeks??  The meat had a texture that I will charitably describe as leathery, and the hashbrown (which you expect to be crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside) was crunchy and dry throughout.

The copious serving of gravy actually helped quite a bit in this regard, because the sandwich otherwise would have been inedibly dry.  I finished it, and I don’t think that would have been the case if not for the added moisture from the gravy.

Also: the sandwich (on its own — no combo!) costs $11.50 before tax.  Maybe I just don’t eat enough fast food these days, but I’ll admit that this gave me sticker shock.  For around the same price, you can go to a local joint like Chica’s or PG Clucks and get a sandwich that’s roughly a trillion times better.