Espresso Mi Vida
Espresso Mi Vida in the Junction is easy to miss but this hidden gem, tucked quietly into a strip mall near the local No Frills, has been serving up sustainable, affordable and made from scratch Latin inspired dishes since 2008.
There's a contagious charm to Espresso Mi Vida. Spanish tunes stir in the background, their staff congenially moving to the beat as they prepare their food with precise detail and passion. They've even mastered the perfect burrito grill, timing it right down to the last second.
We start with the Chicken Mole Empanada ($3.25). The pastry dough is crumbly and the chicken moist, stewing in its cocoa spices. Their in house Mango Hot Sauce is the perfect accompaniment: sweet, tingly and loud in flavour. If the numbing side effect fades, don't fret, you can buy it for $3.25, like all their other homemade sauces.
Next up we opt for their most popular burritos. First the Green Egg ($6.25), which is not to be confused with Dr. Seuss's variety, but equally as much of a tongue twister in flavour. Two eggs scrambled with spinach, onion, brown rice, cheese, avocado and salsa verde. There's nothing stingy about this burrito.
The Chimi Chicken ($8.00) is the perfect medley of flavour and texture. The chicken is hand pulled, dressed in a robust chimichurri sauce. It's joined by a generous helping of creamy avocado spread, black beans, brown rice, salsa fresca and cheese oozing out from the sides. This is unmistakably the most incredible burrito I've had the pleasure of eating.
The Traditional Ecuadorian Tamale ($4.25) has pleasant texture but the corn overpowers the other ingredients.
Just before we pay the bill I notice, conveniently located next to the cash, the Alfajores ($2.50): a fluffy short bread cookie filled with just the right amount of dulce de leche, and sprinkled with coconut and icing sugar. I have to resist buying a second.
Espresso Mi Vida is open Monday through Sunday for breakfast and lunch.