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.

Tasty Sourdough Pizzas at The Hole in the Wall

The Hole in the Wall
Location
: 2867A Dundas Street West, Toronto
Website: https://theholeinthewallto.ca/

The Hole in the Wall is a delightful little spot in the Junction (with a fairly generous streetside patio) that specializes in various sourdough shenanigans: they’ve got sourdough loaves, sourdough bagels, and what I ordered — sourdough pizza.

The Hole in the Wall

I tried a couple of pizzas: the margherita (“fior di latte, fresh mozzarella, fresh basil, tomato sauce”) and the cacio e pepe (“white base, zucchini, pecorino, black pepper”).

The Hole in the Wall

They were both delicious.  As you’d expect from a place that specializes in sourdough, the crust was stellar — it’s got a great balance between fluffiness and chewiness, and a nice sourdough flavour that really pops.  It’s a crispier than a standard Neapolitan-style pizza, but it totally works.

The Hole in the Wall

It’s also very aggressively charred, but it never crosses the line into burnt territory.  The char adds a subtle bitterness that contrasts nicely with the more flavourful dough.

The Hole in the Wall

As for the pizzas themselves, they were both great (and translating the creamy, peppery bite of cacio e pepe to a pizza is actually fairly ingenious), though not surprisingly, I preferred the margherita.  I’ve said it many times before — I think a good margherita pizza is a perfect food, and this was a very good one.

Tasty Middle Eastern Flatbread at Manousha Inc.

Manousha Inc.
Location
: 6039 Erin Mills Parkway, Unit 6, Mississauga
Website: https://manoushainc.ca/

Manousha is a take-out gem in Mississauga that specializes in mana’eesh, a Middle Eastern flatbread that comes with various toppings.  They also have a handful of interesting looking subs, but I figured the mana’eesh is probably the way to go.

Manousha Inc.

And yeah, it’s definitely the way to go (though I’m sure the sandwiches are good too — I think another visit is in order).

Manousha Inc.

I went with the zaatar, which comes topped with a mix of zaatar (a Middle Eastern herb blend) and olive oil, along with the chicken musakhan (a Palestinian dish featuring sumac-infused chicken with onions).

Manousha Inc.

The crust is great — it’s slightly crispy on the outside, and it’s got a great balance of chewiness and fluffiness on its interior.  They bake everything in a wood-burning oven, and clearly, they know how to use it.

Manousha Inc.

Both mana’eesh were quite tasty, though the musakhan was the highlight.  It’s a little bit tangy, a little bit sweet, and satisfyingly meaty from the tender chicken.

Quick Bites: Pho Tien Thanh, Ice Creamonology, Nani’s Gelato

Pho Tien Thanh
BBQ Pork on Vermicelli at Pho Tien Thanh

Not a ton to say about this one — aside from the pork being a bit dry, this was a tasty version of a classic dish.  Most of the herbs and veggies are under the noodles, so you’ll just have to take my word for it, but there was a really good proportion of meat, noodles, herbs, and vegetables.  The meat was a little bit sweet and nicely savoury, and the whole thing was thoroughly enjoyable, if nothing too mind-blowing.

Ice Creamonology
Blueberry White Chocolate Cheesecake at Ice Creamonology

I wasn’t crazy about Ice Creamonology on my first visit, but I’ve been back a couple of times and it’s definitely getting better (or maybe it’s just growing on me?).  The ice cream is nice and creamy, and while it’s still a bit stretchier than your average scoop, it’s not as gummy as it was the first time I tried it.  I will say, however, that I haven’t been back since they’ve moved to Queens Quay, so I have no idea how it holds up now.

Nani's Gelato
Pumpkin Pie soft serve at Nani’s Gelato

I recently mentioned that the Pumpkin Pie Blizzard from Dairy Queen is the king of Blizzards, and this is basically just that, but a billion times better.  I tried this last October (I’m still working my way through my backlog since the blog came back from hiatus);  if you like pumpkin pie, the next time Nani’s brings this back (hopefully sooner than next October), you need to try it.  It’s so good.

Pho Ngoc Yen is a Hidden Gem

Pho Ngoc Yen
Location
: 1090 Kamato Road, Mississauga
Website: https://sites.google.com/orderup.ai/ngocyenrestaurant/home

Pho Ngoc Yen is one of those restaurants that must rely pretty much entirely on word of mouth; hidden away in an industrial neighbourhood in Mississauga, it’s basically in the middle of nowhere.  The odds of you stumbling onto it are quite miniscule.

Pho Ngoc Yen

But yeah, it’s definitely got the word of mouth that it needs, and I can see why — it’s great.

Pho Ngoc Yen

I got the Pho Ngoc Yen Dac Biet, which the menu describes as “NY’s special: rare beef, beef balls and boneless beef shank with rice noodles.”

Pho Ngoc Yen

It’s a great bowl of pho.  The generous amount of meat is tender and tasty, and the broth is beefy, richly spiced, and thoroughly delicious.  The noodles were slightly on the soft side, and my bowl was missing the beef balls, but the broth and the beef were both so tasty that this never felt like a big issue.