La Revolucion, at the corner of Keele and Dundas, is the sole contender for Mexican restaurants in The Junction, but it is worthy of competition. Owner and operator, Indira opened shop in November of last year and has big plans for this little cocina y cantina.
Walking in, we were greeted warmly by Mexican music, and Indira herself. Decoration is minimal giving it an open, airy feel. Photographs of Mexico hang on white stucco walls, and tables are covered with burlap and dotted with Jarrito bottlecaps under their glass tops.
We ordered a margarita and a Michelada (both $6.50) to go with our Guacamole Bites (also $6.50) to start. The margarita, made with freshly squeezed lime juice (they hand squeeze over 40 limes a day) came rimmed with a blend of lime-infused spices which was so much tastier and authentic than the typical salt job. Steph proclaimed it was the best margarita she's had since visiting San Francisco's Mission District....which although not Mexico, still says a lot. The Michelada can be thought of as the Caesar's Mexican cousin. Made with Clamato, hot sauce, and your choice of beer, it is less dense and more refreshing. I definitely see more of these in my future.
Guacamole is hit and miss with me, but the guac at La Revo was definitely a hit. Very creamy with chunks of tomato and just the right amount of cilantro, we found ourselves using our nachos more like small shovels.
For mains, I went with the "Junction Burro" burrito with chicken ($8.50), while Steph opted for the tacos ($8.00 for three - top photo). The burrito, wrapped in an oh-so-soft tortilla, was pleasantly heavy on the chicken. It was big enough to bring home one half that now resides in my fridge and is destined to be my next days lunch.
The tacos can be mixed and matched so Steph went with one each of chicken, steak, and tinga - shredded chicken cooked with onions and chipotle, that Indira claims to be addictive. While Steph agreed with this statement, she still favoured the steak taco. Both dishes came served with an avocado based sauce - which was surprisingly creamy given that it doesn't contain any cream at all - and a delicious hot sauce that gave just the perfect amount of slow burn without being overpowering. The defining quality to everything we ordered (besides tastiness) was freshness.
After our meal Indira showed us into the back room. Pushing past the Mexican flag hanging in the doorway, we walked into la cantina. With dark textured walls and ambient lighting, it is the opposite of its cocina counterpart. Records adorn the walls and instruments lay strewn about, giving it a relaxed basement rec-room vibe.
A musician herself, Indira wants music to be a big part of La Revo. July will see live music on Thursdays and Fridays with open jam Tuesdays. Flamenco Saturdays are in the works, providing some friendly competition for the salsa dancing that happens down the street at Lenos Colombian restaurant.
Right now La Revolucion maintains a steady flow of regulars, but I forsee it becoming a Junction favourite in no time.
Footnote: Good signage has a special place in my heart, and I give La Revo an A+ for theirs.
Open Tues. - Sun. 12:00 - 9:00
Toonie Taco Tuesdays
Comedy Night Thursdays in La Cantina (9:30)
Coming soon... weekend brunch!
Writing by Rebecca Fleming with photography by Stephanie Rowe