Hey guys, I have finally visited Grand Electric! This place has been on my list for a very very long time. If you haven’t heard by now; I absolutely love Mexican food. I’ve been hearing good things about this place for a while. Supposedly a really trendy restaurant that has amazing tacos! How can I say no?! You can follow them on Twitter at @grandelectricTO or visit their website Grand Electric. This place isn’t about authentic Mexican food and doing it the way its done in Mexico. If you want some authentic Mexican food take a look at my post on El Trompo.
1330 Queen Street W
Toronto, ON M6K 1L4
The thing that I have been hearing most about this place before going was that the waits were notoriously long and the fish tacos are awesome. Dinner service starts at 5:30pm, I’ve heard people going at 6:00pm and having to wait 2 hours; are you kidding me?! I went to a Raptors vs. Clippers game a month ago on a Friday night (for those of you who don’t know, its basketball) and was pretty excited because I told everyone about this place and I was so ready to try it. After the game around 9:00-10:00pm we got there and was told it will be a 2 hour wait; again, are you kidding me?! I saw it coming though since it was Friday. We ended up eating somewhere else, needless to say, I was disappointed. My next thought was, this place better be good, making me wait like this! And here we are, 1 month later and the opportunity came up and I didn’t hesitate.
Today, a Thursday, I was hoping maybe not as much of a wait as Friday nights. My friend got there at 6:00pm and was told he could be seated right away. We were still half an hour away. He was told there might not be seats by 6:30. He took the seats and held the fort down while we were stuck in traffic. But because of his heroics, we got seats instantly! Shout out to my buddy, Ace Lee!
Grand Electric is a hip/trendy restaurant/bar; very “Hipster” if you will. Aside from this sign on the door, it would be pretty difficult to find. If you are looking for a big sign while driving, forget it, you’re not going to see it. We almost walked by it after we parked. As you can see, very trendy, if you know them, you don’t need giant signs, right?
I don’t really know how to describe the inside except to say its exactly what you would expect after seeing the outside. Wood cabinets, wood panels. I did think the shark hanging there was awesome though. Again, a very hipster look on the inside.
The lighting was dim and the music was loud. If you don’t like loud music, this might not be for you, but I enjoy the music. It was so dark that half the time I couldn’t tell what I was eating haha, but it allowed me to have a more intimate time with the food (sorry, not trying to write 50 shades of tacos here). It wasn’t easy to get some decent pictures because of the darkness, I will definitely come during the day in the future and see if that helps.
They have a full bar, which was nice. Other than the bar and another bigger table, most of the tables were small square tables for 4 (more like for 2). The place was small, which explains the long waits. I personally love small restaurants so I had no problems with this. Not the most comfortable seating but the food makes up for it.
The drinks menu was written on a chalkboard.
We didn’t have too much time with our server, but she was really nice and helped us when we needed, described the items well and insightfully. We were too busy eating to want anything extra anyways.
And now what you have all been waiting for; the food!
Tacos – $3.50 each
We started off by ordering 1 of each tacos. Here are the Baha Fish Tacos, Beef Cheek Tacos and Spicy Arbol Chicken Tacos. Fish Tacos were great, Beef Cheek was good. We all agreed the chicken was the worst out of the 6. It wasn’t super flavorfull and didn’t really stand out in any way; decent.
Pork Tinga Taco, Scapple Taco, and Crispy Cauliflower Taco. Pork Tinga was excellent. Crispy Cauliflower I enjoyed; it was the most neutral flavor of the night. As you probably know cauliflower doesn’t have a huge flavor. There was a hint of the cauliflower but it was fried perfectly and the crunch was a very nice touch. The scrapple was a pleasant surprise.
Outstanding Tacos worth further mentioning – Baha Fish Tacos
The Fish Tacos were excellent. I’ve been reading that these are the best fish tacos in town and I have to agree. Out of all the fish tacos I’ve had in the city, these are by far the best ones. You get a big piece of fish. Fried perfectly, nice crisp to it, not overcooked, juicy and tender inside. The toppings and the sauces were excellent as well, creamy and refreshing. Definitely get this when you visit!
Outstanding Tacos worth further mentioning Pt.2 – Pork Tinga Tacos, Beef Cheek Tacos.
The Pork Tinga tacos were also very good. Very good pork flavor, again juicy and tender. This is also a must get. I was torn between the pork and the fish tacos, I couldn’t decide which one I liked more, they are both must gets for sure. Cat and her boyfriend, Ace liked the pork more, my buddy, Kalam liked the fish more and I’m still on the fence.
The ones at the back were the Beef Cheek Tacos. I liked it a lot but it wasn’t my favorite. Cat enjoyed this one more than I did; possibly because they topped it with guac and she loves her guac. I thought it had a hint of Chinese beef jerky flavor to it (so good if you haven’t had before, go get some). The beef was tender as well but not as tender/juicy as the pork.
Dark Horse of the night – Scrapple Taco
The Scrapple Taco was the dark horse of the night because it was unexpectedly good. If you don’t know, scrapple is pretty much the scraps and trimmings of pork (usually the parts no one wants). It was a pleasant surprise. I haven’t had scrapple before, only heard about it, and this made me wonder why I haven’t had more of it before. It was very tender, good flavor and fat (similar to how the fat on pork belly and steaks are to die for). Cat liked the flavor but not the texture, she found it a bit too “mushy” for her liking. I didn’t mind it at all. So if you are in the mood for something different, give the scrapple a try! It won’t disappoint.
Chorizo Brussels – $8
It was weird how we tried the tacos first and decided to try some of the appetizers later. We got the chorizo Brussels sprouts first. The leaves were thin and fried or baked; almost like chips, had a nice crunch. The texture kind of felt like Japanese seaweed. The bottom was filled with flavorful goodness of the chorizo. Some sweetness and a little bit of spice. It got a little too much near the end for us. The flavors were good but I can’t see myself eating too much of it (I think it was so flavorful that it became a tad overwhelming if we ate too much – but doesn’t mean it was over seasoned – its a personal preference thing).
Tuna Ceviche – $9
Need I say more? The tuna was dressed with a citrus-y/vinegary creamy dressing. There was a tortilla on the bottom which was crunchy. The tortilla helps cut some of the acidity in the dressing. Some might find it a little too sour, I personally really liked it. The celery and cilantro add a nice layer of refreshment to this dish. Very Tasty, if you like ceviche, try this one. Similar to the Chorizo Brussels, this was very good but eating too much of it got a tad overwhelming.
Key Lime – $5
The key lime came in a little mason jar. I personally like sour desserts like this. Cat isn’t a huge fan of sour desserts so this wasn’t her favorite. I thought it was pretty good. You have to dig into the key lime and then scoop a little cream on top for sweetness. The key lime was sour (obviously) but I think its a bit more sour than most other key lime pies. At the bottom there is a cracker crumble (like in cheesecakes). I thought if you dig to the cracker crumbs and have some key lime with a bit of the cream on top, perfect bite for this dessert.
Hell Cake – $5
This is the Hell Cake. It also came in a mason jar. A chocolate stout cake. It had raisins in it; some may not like raisins in their cake but I found it to be a nice touch. The raisins were soft and squishy not those hard pieces you find in the pantry after a few years of storage. I remember hearing that there is a habanero cream as well. The textures of this thing was amazing. There are some hard chewy pieces/drizzle of salted caramel, along with the cake and cream. Every bite had different layers of flavor and textures. Some bites would be just cake, some would include the raisins and caramel. Very nice dessert. I’m not a fan of really sweet desserts and this wasn’t overly sweet.
Thanks for sticking around, I know this is a long post! If you do end up at Grand Electric, definitely go for the fish tacos and the pork tacos. If you can, I recommend you trying as much as you can, as I love the experience of finding what I like the most.
The best thing to do is go with 4 people; most of the tables are meant for 4, it will allow you to get seats and to be able to order a variety of the items to try. I would also say go early if you can! If you love waiting, you can test your luck by later on a Friday night =P.
I will definitely be coming here in the future. Maybe next time I will try going for lunch, maybe I will get some better pictures of the food since it will be brighter out. I also hope to try the items I didn’t get a chance to try tonight. I’ve heard good things about the spicy squid and guacamole so hopefully I will be trying those soon.
Definitely give Grand Electric a go. Whether you’re from Toronto, or just visiting if you like Tacos I dare to say it is a must go when you are in town. And with that, I leave you with this Grand Electric card! Enjoy!
1330 Queen Street W
Toronto, ON M6K 1L4