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.

A Decent Cheeseburger at Matty’s Patty’s

Matty's Patty's
Location
: 923a Queen Street West, Toronto
Website: https://www.mattyspattysburgerclub.com/

Let’s get the obvious out of the way first.  This place is called Matty’s Patty’s, but should clearly be called Matty’s Patties.  Apostrophes: they’re not that complicated!  Maybe spend the five minutes it would take to figure out how they work before you name your restaurant?

You might argue that the name is wrong on purpose because it looks better, since both words are so similar, to which I would reply that no, you need to get out of here with that.  That’s BS and we all know it.

You might also argue that no one cares, and that maybe I should be talking about the food, since that’s the point of this whole thing.  And yeah, that’s fair.

Matty's Patty's

The food is fine!  They have two main things on the menu: “Matty’s,” which is a hefty seven ounce burger that comes with mustard sauce, pickles, and onion.  I tried this about a year ago, when this blog was on hiatus, and enjoyed it.

The other thing on the menu is “Patty’s,” which is a more traditional griddle-smashed cheeseburger that you can get as a single, a double, or a triple (a vegetarian version made with Impossible Meat is also an option).  This one comes topped with either Matty’s Patty’s sauce, pickled jalapeno mayo, or spicy ketchup sauce.  I went with the single and had it topped with pickled jalapeno mayo.

Matty's Patty's

It’s pretty decent.  Nothing about it blew me away, but the patty has a very mild beefy flavour and a nice texture thanks to the course grind.  It could stand to be beefier and juicier, but you could absolutely do worse.

The pickled jalapeno mayo mostly just tasted like a slightly zingier version of regular mayo, which is too bad because the burger really needed something a bit more acidic to cut through the richness of the gooey cheese and the patty.

The bun was probably the highlight, oddly enough.  It was super soft, squishy, and fresh, with just the right amount of heft to stand up to the patty.  It kinda reminded me of the potato rolls that have become so popular in the GTA, but better.

Quick Bites: King’s Tacos, Bakerbots Baking, Hanyang Jokbal

King's Tacos
Tacos at King’s Tacos

The most interesting thing about the tacos at Kings Tacos might just be the way they serve them — an order comes with a very generous platter of meat (in this case the King’s Special, which comes with pork, beef, chorizo, onion, bacon, and cheese) and tortillas on the side, and you build it yourself.  It’s interesting, and it’s a great value, because that pile of meat is not kidding around.  That’s not to mention the very generous bowl of free (and tasty!) tortilla chips and sauces that comes with the meal.  It’s not just a good value, however: it’s quite tasty, too.

Bakerbots
Cinnamon Bun at Bakerbots Baking

I’ve heard the cinnamon bun at Bakerbots referred to as one of the best in the city, and yeah, that sounds about right.  It’s absolutely fantastic, with a slightly crispy exterior and a gooey (but not overly gooey and sweet, like a Cinnabon) interior.  The pastry itself is top-notch, with a nice chewy texture and a flavour that ensures that the cinnamon bun isn’t just one-note sweet.  Is it the best in the city?  It could be!

Hanyang Jokbal
Jokbal at Hanyang Jokbal

I mean, look at that glorious pile of pork.  Do you even need me to say anything?  Jokbal is a Korean dish featuring braised pig trotters; I tried the half and half, which is half jokbal and half bossam (pork belly, if I recall correctly).  You eat it wrapped in lettuce with some of the tasty sides and condiments on the table, and yeah.  It’s delicious.  Again: look at it.

Tasty Korean Stew at Insadong

Insadong
Location
: 4941 Dundas Street West, Etobicoke
Website: https://www.insadongrestaurant.com/

When you’re in the mood, there’s nothing that hits the spot quite like a hearty, flavourful, bubbling hot Korean stew.

(Well okay fine, as a person who generally doesn’t like food to be so hot that you’re at risk of burning yourself, I could do without the “bubbling hot” part — but since the hot stone bowl is part of the package, I guess I’ll allow it.)

Insadong

I ordered the ugeojikug, which the menu describes as “cabbage hangover soup made in a beef broth with rice.”

It’s very good.  The soup is absolutely crammed with cabbage and sliced beef, and the broth is slightly spicy and profoundly beefy.  The beef was a bit on the tough side, but everything else is so tasty that this is never a particularly big deal.  In particular, the soup itself has a very satisfying beefy flavour; they could have served that broth on its own and I would have left happy.

Asian Fusion at the Smorgasburg Food Festival

Nozomi at SmorgasburgLocation: 7 Queens Quay East, Toronto
Website: https://www.smorgasburgtoronto.com/

If you haven’t checked it out yet, Smorgasburg is a local offshoot of an American outdoor food festival, and finds a whole bunch of tasty-looking eats crammed together near the waterfront.  The vendors have been curated by food writer Suresh Doss, which means that unlike at a lot of food festivals like this, it’s a safe bet that everything is as good as it looks.  And there’s a lot of good-looking food on offer, with dozens of vendors each serving up a handful of tempting dishes.

Nozomi at Smorgasburg

I got a couple of things from Nozomi, who describe themselves as serving “Asian inspired comfort food,” and yeah, it was top-notch.

Nozomi at Smorgasburg

I tried a couple of things.  First up is the bulgogi kimchi cheesesteak, which is exactly what you want it to be.  Sometimes fusion dishes can feel a bit like they’re cramming together two things that probably didn’t need to be combined, but everything here really works: the flavourful beef, the gooey cheese, and the zingy kimchi all go perfectly together.  The soft roll does a great job of holding it all together without getting in the way.  It’s a great dish.

Nozomi at Smorgasburg

The other thing I tried is a dish they call “pocos,” which based on my attempts to google this, seems to be something they made up.  It’s basically a poke taco (it’s filled with salmon and seaweed), but with a crispy wonton-style shell instead of a tortilla.  It’s super tasty, with the tenderness of the sauce-coated salmon contrasting very nicely with the crispy shell.  Like with the cheesesteak, it takes something that could have come off as gimmicky and unnecessary, and makes it absolutely delightful.