El Trompo in Kensington Market , with its west-facing patio, is one of my favourite places to be on a sunny afternoon in Toronto. This spot, serving up delicious and simple Mexican food, is usually always busy, but tables turn quick as service is prompt and food comes out fast and hot.
We start with the guacamole ($6.75), creamy avocado packed with plenty of diced tomatoes, onions, and coriander. The portion, served in a deep bowl, is plenty for two to share and served with a basket of greasy fresh corn chips. We also order the Pico de Gallo ($3.99), fresh chopped tomato swimming in its juices with coriander, chili, onion and lime juice, also served with corn chips but best reserved to top of the tacos that are on their way.
I order a glass of horchata ($1.50), a delicious, milky drink made from rice water, spiced with vanilla and cinnamon. For my main I go with my favourite plate of tacos, the Al Pastor (the El Trompo specialty) made with pork meat, topped with pineapple, coriander and onions ($9.75). Five small tacos on a plate don't look like they'll go far, but they are flavour-packed. I especially like the saltiness of the meat against the sweet morsels of pineapple accented by the spicy hot sauce found on each table.
The Spicy Tinga Chicken Tacos ($9.75) are filled with shredded chicken in a tomato-based, smoked-chipotle pepper sauce. Topped with coriander once again, they could use a bit of an extra kick. We pack on the Pico de Gallo and salsa and plenty of extra squeezes of lime.
And because we are two hungry hippos feeling like something more, we order the Al Pastor fajitas. At $12.99, this hot plate is served with strips of pork, grilled peppers, onion and bacon, and topped with cheese. A side of warm corn tortillas are served alongside, and the portion is just a bit much for us to finish off after our previous two entrees. The dish is full of delicious grilled peppers, soft caramelized onions and plenty of black pepper.
Each time I head to El Trompo I always seem to stand by my favourites, but they have a pretty extensive menu of classic Mexico City dishes that I still have yet to try including the Quesos Fundidos, Molten Cheese dishes served in clay pots with various toppings like mushrooms or chorizo sausage. While we usually order meat dishes, also notable is that there are plenty of vegetarian options on their menu that are heavy on the mushroom, cheese and grilled vegetables.
El Trompo also has a short brunch menu with various egg dishes served with beans, corn tortillas, pico de gallo and Mexican style cinnamon-scented coffee. Last but not least, you can buy El Trompo's house-made Chorizo sausage at $18.00/kilogram to take home. Oh! Don't forget to check out their churros ($2.00), a delicious traditional Mexican pastry that is deep-fried and dusted with sugar and cinnamon. It's only available on weekends. Get 'em while they're hot.
El Trompo is open Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday from 11 am - 8 pm, Thursday and Friday from 11 am - 9 pm, Saturday from 11 am - 6 pm, and is closed on Sundays.