When I was a kid, I knew two types of Mexican food. I had Taco Time, which was my food court staple, and I had Chi Chi’s, which was known for its sour cream-ladden chimmichangas and deep-fried ice cream. As you can tell, Winnipeg wasn’t much of a Latin American food hot spot and, truth be told, neither was Toronto until a decade ago.
Agave Y Aguacate is hidden in the back of a non-descript food co-op in Kensington Market. The chefs prepare your meal for you on top of hot plates, which allows you to smell the heavenly aromas that fill the air while they cook up your lunch.
We ordered the anita tostada and beef tongue. I’ve had the anita tostada before and declared to Robin that it was one of the best dishes in Toronto.
A toastada is covered with pinto beans,tomatoes, onion, garlic, mint, habanero and Luis Suarez`s chorizo. Honestly, do I need to go beyond that description to tell you how amazing this dish is? The mixture covered sits on big slices of fresh avocado and is covered with pecorino fresco, puya sauce and home made crema fresca. The smoky, savoury chorizo “stew” combined with the fatty, creamy goodness of avocado, pecorino fresco and creme freche makes this a comforting yet incredibly detailed dish.
Beef tongue is served as a mole, which is a spicy cocoa Mexican sauce. This mole is pumpkin seed based and is flavored with ancho, pasilla and guajillo chiles, cloves and black pepper. On top were crispy pieces of dried cassava. The mole itself was delicious, but if you’re not comfortable eating tongue you may find the meat ‘s texture to be off-putting. Its served in cubes instead of shaved, which was perfect for me. The meat is incredibly soft and tender with a tender give to it that steak or stewing beef doesn’t have.
We noticed that, set up across from Agave Y Aguacate, Rock Lobster’s new kiosk was newly open. Rock Lobster’s more known for its popular food truck, but as of last week, they set up a retail space in Kensington Market. Since it was literally a 3 step shuffle to walk over and order from Rock Lobster, we thought we would give it a try. They had their famous lobster roll on the menu, but we had ordered too much from Agave Y Aguacate already, so we stuck with the lobster taco.
While the store front is non-descript, the chefs cooking inside definitely aren’t. Kengington market has won us over with the amazing lunch options at Agave Y Aguacate. Chi Chi’s, I’ll never forget thee (unfortunately)!
Agave Y Aguacate and Rock Lobster
214 Augusta Ave
Words by Richard, Photos by Robin