the BEST mexican food at Vaughan Mills. wha??
3175 Rutherford Rd, unit 28 - 905 669 2277
Ive had the privilege to review most of the top mexican joints in the city through Toronto Taco, and who woulda thunk that the latest and greatest is in my own backyard in the burbs!
Less than a week till Christmas, and all I really want is some good tacos.
No, scratch that, I want some great tacos. And I want to eat them with the year old change I found in my winter jacket.
Enter La Taquiza. Its spanish for the Toni Kukoc of taco joints in Toronto. Looks like a below average spot in a strip mall full of crappy stores from the passer by, but its got what the others don’t - Heart. Spicy, jabanero flavored heart. Toni Kukoc got socked to the bench when MJ came back to the Bulls during the ‘95 season but he still racked up the points behind Jordan and Pippen. What I’m saying is La Taquiza is located in one of the ****** strip malls just outside the king turd Vaughan Mills. Not the first place I would expect one of the best taco spots in Toronto to live.
Technically its not even Toronto; technically its in the heart of the burbs at Jane and Rutherford Road. But thats just how the taco gods work sometimes.
This place has been open for a little over a year now but its just in a crappy location. The inside is pure cheese, but its still welcoming. Staff is all shipped straight from Mexico and are pretty enthused at my arrival. This is the kind of place I could chill at for hours downing nachos and they wouldnt put up a stink.
No doubt the biggest thing I was looking forward to was the salsa bar. In pure Californian style, La Taquiza does it big with FIVE salsas, limes, onions, jalapenos, and even cilantro to go nuts on. The green tomatillo salsa was the salty medium favourite. The owner told me about an even spicier jabanero salsa they have stashed in the back.
Clockwise: Limes, cilantro, extra hot salsa rojo, mild pico de gallo, green tomatillo salsa, jalapenos, medium hot piquante salsa. I stocked up good.
The girly and I order some Juaritos and Sangria, and take a look at the menu. Its got a good selection, and even better prices. She got a steak burrito for like 6 bucks and I got 3 tacos for 7 and change. Their taco selection owns with a bunch of choices including steamed lamb, al pastor, and even carnitas (fried pork stuffs).
My taco platter comes out in a jiffy. Bonus points for double wrapping each taco in their amazing torts, and triple points for hooking up the side of beans to dress up my tacos with. I ordered the al pastor, chicken, and ground beef. All of the tacos come pretty bare bones and its up to you to use the salsa bar to make em how you want em. The ground beef had some fancy name because it came with corn, peas, peppers and beans in it. Pretty much a shepherds pie taco and it was great. The Al Pastor taco was so good I didnt even need anything on it. Its like a piggy choked on a pineapple and out popped my delicious taco. So much flavour marinated in the meat, these tacos could go head to head with the downtown legends any day.
Shepherds pie in a taco. Leprechauny goodness.
Girlfriend gave me a big thumbs up for her steak burrito. Loaded with rice and beans, she scarfed it down without making a mess like only she can do. It wasnt overloaded with spew like every other burrito out there, and I could actually taste the flavor of the marinated steak. Because it wasnt a big a sloppy mess, it could even stand up on its own without collapsing. Now thats a special burrito.
It came with that white fruit in the background sprinkled with cayenne. Im not sure the name of it, but it was a nice touch. Made me feel healthy.
We were in a jam to get downtown, but the owner recommended we get their home made cake next time with tres leches sauce. That, plus all the other staples they had on the menu like huaraches, tostadas, and home made nachos ‘n guac make La Taquiza a hidden taco oasis.
Theres fresher and more authentic tacos in the city, but this place keeps it humble. I dont have to worry about camping out in the bathroom after eating here, or that my grandma’s civics going to get towed if I dont shell out 10 bucks. La Taquiza has all the homey goodness from the suburbs and none of the nitty gritty from the downtown. So spread the word before this place turns into a Starbucks.