Introducing: Reforma, Baldwin Village’s new Mexican restaurant (in the old Agave y Aguacate spot)
Neighbourhood: Baldwin Village
Contact: 35 Baldwin St., 647-748-6448, reforma.restaurant, @Reforma35
Previously: Agave y Aguacate
Co-owners: Keyvan Foroughi (Agave y Aguacaté) and Andrés Márquez (Fonda Lola)
Chef: Marcos Sanchez (Diwan)
The Food: Simple Mexican classics like tostadas de tinga, chorizo chilaquiles and chicken enchiladas. “Reforma simply means to reform,” says Márquez. “We want to strip Mexican food of all the garnishes and bring it back to street level.” Nothing here gets cooked sous-vide or braised for six hours or cooked in duck fat. And tacos are made with three—not 10—ingredients.
The Drinks: A super-short list of fiesta favourites that includes margaritas, mojitos and piña coladas. Drinks come in two forms: classico or mejor. The mejor (translation: better) can mean luxury spirits or quirky variations like a beet-and-hibiscus margarita.
The Space: The “renovation” took one hour (it involved putting a banner over the Agave y Aguacate mural). Otherwise, the two-storey, 44-seat space is exactly the same as it was before, right down to the crystal decanter light fixtures and the Our Lady of Guadalupe mural.
Tacos gobernador: shrimp, pickled onions, Oaxaca cheese and jalapeño-spiced sour cream. $12.
César en Mano: a build-your-own, hand-held caesar salad. Candied bacon, chicharrón, cotija cheese and avocado caesar mousse are included in the kit. $12.
Márquez makes the avocado caesar mousse for his César en Mano.
Tacos de canasta: in Mexico, some women sell these “basket tacos” from the baskets of their bicycles. The ones pictured here are filled with roast chicken and then grilled (but there’s also a vegetarian version stuffed with potatoes and beans). $7 for three (or a toonie each on Tuesdays).
This is a dish Márquez’s mom would make for him when he was younger. The chayote gourd is boiled, baked with sour cream and Oaxaca cheese, then topped with a crumbled tortilla crust. $4.
Chef Marcos Sanchez plating the chayote dish.
The flan de chocolat is made with chili-infused chocolate. $8.
This mejor margarita is made with tequila and lime, hibiscus and beet juice. $12.