Mad Mexican joined the burgeoning Baby Point food scene recently with surprisingly little fanfare. They're yet to host their grand opening and lacking a liquor license, but already offering an incredible range of authentic Mexican snacks and sandwiches.
After enjoying huge success with a range of guacamole and salsas that are now available in over 120 stores across the GTA, owner Jose Hadad decided to open his own site. Upon graduating from culinary studies at George Brown, Jose began making dips for his friends, who persuaded him to try selling them at St Lawrence Market. One sale led to another, until demand had risen to the point of necessitating a dedicated storefront.
Operating as both a store and a restaurant, with glass doors looking into the production kitchen for Hadad's mini empire, he's made available the full range of products, alongside a series of dishes to enjoy on site. Hadad's no newcomer to the service game, already operating the successful Frida restaurant at Eglinton and Allen.
Each dish showcases a little of what the store is selling, with his Chunky Guacamole ($8) using their well-known guacamole with house-made tortilla chips, and an ĂÂĄrbol-garlic oil drizzled over the top. It's a huge portion for $8, and easily puts the taco heavyweights in Toronto to shame. The guac is also seriously chunky, with a nice sharp bite from the lime.
Tacos come in at a competitive $3.50 per piece, with each taco coming with all three of a range of salsas: pico de gallo, salsa verde, and salsa morita. We tried the carnitas, served Michoacan style, with slow braised pork topped with onions and coriander. Next up was the D.F. style Barbacoa featuring amazingly tender spiced lamb, which worked really well with the smoked jalapeno notes of the salsa morita.
The Guerrero-style fish taco comprised grilled cod with the pico de gallo and a Nappa cabbage slaw. The tortillas are all made in-house, and held up wonderfully. They're more moist and supple than La Tortilleria and a little bigger in size too.
The tortillas also make their way into an excellent tortilla soup ($7), with a tomato, pasilla chili & chicken broth, huge chunks of avocado, onion and Oaxaca cheese topped with thinly sliced strips of those tortillas. Again, it's seriously huge, and could easily suffice as a lunch option by itself.
The La Revolucion tortas sandwich ($12) is the most expensive item on the menu. With a crushed black bean paste, Oaxaca cheese, onions, fresh avocado, chorizo and grilled sirloin stuffed into a light Portuguese-style bun, it's easily the best option to pick up for takeout and was filling as well as delicious.
Whilst there's no booze just yet, Mad Mexican is easily worth a visit. It's hard not to opt for a cheeky taco or two whilst ordering a bag of tortilla chips ($3.50/$4.50) or dip. It's only open from 11am-8pm for now, but one hopes that once that license is in place, you should be able to stop in a bit later. For now, you may have to make do with using it as an excellent lunch stop, or a place to pick up supplies on your way to a party.
Photos by Jesse Milns