Location: 615 College Street, Toronto
Hotmess was selling tacos at the recent Taste of Little Italy festival; having heard nothing but good things about their Tex-Mex grub, tying it out was a no-brainer.
They were doing beef, chicken, and corn tacos; I went with beef. It was quite good.
It’s very simple: spiced beef, diced tomato, shredded lettuce, and cheddar cheese served in a hard shell tortilla.
It’s basically Taco Bell if Taco Bell were really, really good.
The beef was nicely spiced, and unlike Taco Bell, it actually has the taste and texture of beef. How about that! The lettuce and tomato are fresh and crunchy, and the cheese adds a nice salty bite.
The shell is probably the highlight, oddly enough. It’s obviously freshly fried, and it’s glorious — the level of crunch is profound. It’s ridiculously satisfying.
Location: 613 College Street, Toronto (but it’s only served during Taste of Little Italy)
The Taste of Little Italy street festival is a decent event for food — lots of interesting vendors, and generally some pretty good eats to be had. However, every year there’s one clear highlight, and that’s the Risotto al Parmigiano Reggiano served up by La Forchetta Ristorante.
Oh man, that risotto. It’s pretty basic: it’s got some green onions for colour, sometimes some chopped asparagus (though I didn’t taste any this year) but it’s otherwise no-frills risotto. I think what really pushes it over the edge is the big wheel of Parmigiano Reggiano that they serve it in. The Italian cheese melts generously into the rice, giving it a luxurious richness, and a really satisfying, almost nutty flavour. As they serve it, they scrape the bottom of the wheel with the spoon, ensuring that each serving is as packed with cheese as possible. It’s seriously good.