Taco Beach is Toronto's hottest new patio pop-up
What do you get when you combine a plant store, a bottle shop and a taco joint? Why, Toronto's hottest new patio destination, of course.
They wanted to put a version of their plant store into a big event venue space you might remember being used for Christmas bar Miracle, but they wanted to have a food component as well.
A quick word with Jonny Poon across the street at Favorites was had, and Taco Beach was born, a concept serving chips and salsa, ceviche, quesadillas, and of course, tacos.
Apparently Poon has tried to do a restaurant in this space twice before, but this time the project came together pretty casually, albeit in six days. Last Resort made its quickly pulled together debut on August 6, and the concept blew up their first weekend.
Everyone who arrives to the patio is required to sign in for contact tracing, wear a mask when not seated and stay distanced. Walk up to a bar or a window with a food menu for service.
The patio is decorated with what at first looks like spray paint scrawls, but is actually artwork by Laura Dawe, as well as huge plants that actually just so happen to help with social distancing with their spikey leaves.
Chips and salsa ($9) refresh with a pico de gallo and totopos, AKA tortilla chips, made fresh here using tortillas from Good Hombres.
A corn salad ($8.50) is very acidic with crema, cotija cheese and lots of lime.
A shrimp and scallop ceviche ($14) continues the cold finger food theme of the apps, a combination of juicy shrimp and scallops with aji amarillo, yellow tomato and yellow bell pepper.
Quesadillas ($10.50) are stuffed with Oaxacan cheese and either poblano pepper or chorizo, and served with a mild sauce.
Any two tacos are $11.50, the only two varieties on offer right now a chicken tinga and a carnitas variety with crunchy chicharon and salsa verde, both served on Good Hombres tortillas.
Ask for hot sauce to majorly bump up the heat.
A Sonoran hot dog special takes inspiration from Latin-American bacon-wrapped dogs, popular in Arizona, loaded up with refried beans, pickled jalapenos, pico de gallo and cotija. Watch out for other specials and new menu items.
There's always a Sloosh du Jour ($12), today's a Negroni-like mix of orange juice, gin and Campari.
There's also a to-go window where you can pick up slooshes to drink while strolling the neighbourhood, as well as wine and beer to take home.
While there's only a small area for browsing Dynasty's plants that allows five customers at a time, the back area of the event space is full of other plant possibilities available for online ordering and pickup.
Here, you can get everything from cute two-inch cacti for $5 to huge dracaena marginata kiwi plants for $250.
Take care to note that the hours of the patio differ from the plant shop. Food starts at 5 p.m. on weekdays and 3 p.m. on weekends, and goes until 10 p.m., while the plant shop opens and closes earlier.
"What we are doing at Dynasty will likely continue and turn into something indoors as the season changes," says Poon. "The plan is to have seating amongst all the plants in the warehouse area."
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