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Restaurants

El Cafetal Restaurant and Bakery

Posted by Liora Ipsum / Profiled on April 1, 2013 / review policy

El Cafetal TorontoEl Cafetal Restaurant and Bakery has been a fixture on St.Clair for almost a year, but now under new ownership, it's expanding its mix of Mexican and Colombian specialties to include some new Peruvian offerings as well.

El Cafetal Restaurant and BakeryThough the operation is up and running, the no frills interior remains untouched -- the furnishings are comfortable enough, it just doesn't win any points for style. It's a 'come for the food' kind of place anyway. Locals know it as the place to get Latin American baked goods like Colombian butter cookies (Galletas de Montequilla) and guava jelly thumbprint cookies (Palovorosa) for a buck each.

El Cafetal Restaurant and BakeryOwner Julia Servat is already experienced at feeding crowd, she's run J.D. Best Fine Food for over 25 years and earned a reputation for her Alforjes Torte ($3.50 a slice), a 6 layered cake that alternates delicate shortbread with dulce de leche. Her cookies already stock the counters of cafés around town, but this new bakery cafe offers them fresh, straight from the source.

El Cafetal Restaurant and BakeryA freezer at the back of the room, stores prepared foods like Tamales ($3.50), Arepas ($5 for five) and Peruvian Empanadas ($7.50 a pair) filled with lean ground beef, onions, raisins and hard boiled eggs. Everything is made from scratch, frozen fresh and easily ready to be baked or reheated at home.

El Cafetal Restaurant and BakeryThere's a menu of daytime cafe offerings too, like big Colombian breakfast plates, Bandeja Paisa ($13) loaded with eggs, beans, chicharrón (fried pork rinds), chorizo and plantains, as well as, Latin comfort foods like Papa a La Huancaina ($9), a boiled potato dish served cold and smothered in cheese sauce.

El Cafetal Restaurant and BakeryEl Cafetal has plans to redecorate as it settles in over the next few months, though currently, the aim is for a seamless transition so that regulars can still get an authentic, cross-cultural taste of South America from this one stop destination. The restaurant is closed on Mondays, but otherwise opens at 10:30am daily. Take-out and catering orders available too.

El Cafetal Restaurant and BakeryPhotos by Jesse Milns

Discussion

8 Comments

Conor / April 1, 2013 at 01:13 pm
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I am sitting in Peru right now (where all of that food is generally available around the corner) and am still drooling.
Anni / April 1, 2013 at 09:03 pm
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Food sounds and looks delicious - just a few misspells: it's galletas de mOntequilla, and alFAjores :) Buen provecho!
Anni replying to a comment from Anni / April 1, 2013 at 09:04 pm
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*sorry that's mAntequilla (not montequilla)
Asian Catering / April 5, 2013 at 07:00 am
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Great food and a great place indeed.
LUCIE / April 10, 2013 at 11:45 pm
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WHEN I GO TO EL CAFETAL RESTAURANT I FEEL IN FAMILY, THE OWNER AND EMPLOYEES ARE VERY NICE, ALSO THE FOOD IS VERY GOOD. YOU CAN GET A BREAKFAST, LUNCH OR DINNER.
smiley / July 17, 2013 at 08:52 pm
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I had fried mahi mahi from their Peruvian menu and it was wonderfully done - simple decor but very good cooking! Their $10 set menu is also quite good.
Mariana / September 17, 2013 at 10:44 pm
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I was there last weekend. The food was amaizing, the servers were so nice and the patio looks divine! Good luck!!!
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