Location: 392 Roncesvalles Avenue, Toronto
I had a bit of an iffy meal on my last visit to La Cubana, but if the sandwich I just had was any indication, that was just a blip on the radar. La Cubana is still very, very good.
Specifically, I had the Guava BBQ Shortrib Medianoche, which Toronto Life recently called the 11th best sandwich in the city. I don’t always agree with Toronto Life’s opinions on food, but in this case they’re dead on. It’s outstanding.
The sandwich features a very generous amount of shortrib topped with “red cabbage slaw, chimichurri, pickled jalapeno, crispy onion.” It’s served on a soft bun they bake in-house.
The shortrib itself is absurdly good. It manages to be melt-in-your-mouth tender while still retaining its texture. It has a nice beefy flavour that’s complemented perfectly by the guava BBQ sauce — the sandwich is saucy as hell (there was a huge pool on the plate when I was done eating), but the sauce is so good that it feels just right. It’s sweet, but it has a tangy, zippy bite that balances it out.
Everything else complements it perfectly. The crispy onions are really tasty, and you get a good amount of crunch and acidity from the slaw and the jalapenos. It’s a great mix of flavours and textures.
And the bun is soft and fluffy, with just enough substance to hold up to the saucy, generously stuffed sandwich. It’s so good.
Location: 408 Bloor Street West, Toronto
Like Hanabusa Cafe in Kensington Market, Fuwa Fuwa specializes in Japanese souffle pancakes, which are basically like a cross between a pancake and a custardy souffle.
I’ve already talked about Hanabusa Cafe; you can probably just read that post to get a sense of what Fuwa Fuwa is like. They’re very, very similar.
I ordered the cookies and cream, which comes with two pancakes topped with Oreo-cookie-infused cream, a whole Oreo cookie, and a scoop of ice cream on the side.
It’s quite good — the pancakes are light, fluffy, custardy, mildly sweet, and very creamy. The only noticeable difference between this place and Hanabusa Cafe are that the pancakes here are slightly creamier. I couldn’t tell if they were slightly underbaked, or if that was intentional. Either way, they were very tasty.
The cookie-laden cream compliments them well, though the ice cream was overly sweet, with an odd flavour I couldn’t quite put my finger on.
Location: 69 Kensington Avenue, Toronto
Seven Lives serves what is frequently called the best fish taco in the city, which makes deciding what to order there quite easy. It’s the fish taco. It’s gotta be the fish taco.
I’ve actually been wanting to try this place for quite a while, but it’s popular; the place routinely has a line-up going out the door, and it’s a tiny restaurant. If you don’t get a seat on one of the two benches out front, or at the one table inside, you’re out of luck. You’ll just have to eat and walk, which is a bit of a challenge with their generously-stuffed tacos.
It’s worth the wait and the hassle. It is as advertised: it’s clearly one of the best fish tacos in the city, if not the best.
It consists of a very generous piece of fried haddock topped with cabbage, pico de gallo, and a garlicky sauce. Everything works really well together. The fish, in particular, is delicious; it’s super tender and flaky with a very satisfying crispy exterior that never overwhelms the fish itself.
The toppings are great — the cabbage and the pico de gallo add some nice freshness and crunch (not to mention an acidity that helps cut through the fried fish), and the creamy sauce brings a nice garlicky bite.
My only real issue here are the two corn tortillas, which were a bit stale (corn tortillas are one of those things that pretty much have to be consumed within minutes rather than hours of being cooked — they get stale fast). But that’s a minor complaint for an otherwise superlative taco.
Location: 93a Ossington Avenue, Toronto
I think this is going to be the shortest post I’ve ever written. The tarte au citron flavour at Bang Bang is basically like the best lemon meringue pie you’ve ever had, but as an ice cream.
Lemon meringue pie? Delicious. Bang Bang? Delicious. Cram those two things together? Yeah, it’s delicious. Of course it’s delicious. That’s just math.
The ice cream is creamy and pleasantly tart, with a great lemony flavour. It’s got silky meringue swirled in for some additional creaminess and to help cut the tartness of the ice cream. And then there are buttery, delicious chunks of pie crust.
It’s all just as good as you’d hope it would be.
Location: 21 Ossington Avenue, Toronto
Kung Fu Dawg set up shop in a little stand on Ossington last year, and they served up some pretty tasty dogs. Alas, that was a short-lived endeavor; they’ve been replaced by OHA, which describes themselves as a purveyor of “Turkish fusion street food.”
It’s mostly a hot dog stand, however. They have a grilled cheese sandwich and something called a “wet burger” on their menu, but they otherwise serve a variety of hot dogs.
I got the OHA Hot Dog, which comes topped with potato salad and tomato sauce.
It’s a tasty dog. Though it lacks Kung Fu Dog’s nice snappy bite, the all-beef hot dog has a nice meaty flavour and a satisfying smokiness.
It’s topped with a thin tomato sauce that packs a decent amount of tomato flavour (I assumed this would be ketchup-esque, but it’s not particularly sweet or vinegary) and a variation on potato salad called Olivier salad. Potato salad sounds like an odd topping, but its zesty creaminess actually works quite well with the salty and smoky hot dog.