Weekly Lunch Pick: the heavenly tinga tostada at Agave y Aguacate
Desperate for decent street food, eager Torontonians line up daily at this little Mexican food stall in Kensington Market. Francisco Alejandri makes each item to order, employing the expert knife skills he honed during his years at Scaramouche, Torito and the Jamie Kennedy Wine Bar. Different combinations of avocado, tomato, lime juice, red onion and pork-fat fried black beans adorn most of the dishes, but each has its own charms. The heavenly tinga tostada ($5.50) is a mound of tender, pulled chipotle chicken sautéed with cabbage, that comes on a crunchy, fried-to-order tortilla shell. A cooling slice of creamy avocado, dribbled crema fresca and slivered red onions provide a nice contrast to the bold flavours below. The meal is best enjoyed al fresco on a nearby park bench with a decadent square of tart lime charlotte ($2.75): rich lime custard sandwiched between Maria biscuits dusted with lime zest and a drizzle of buttery Arbequina olive oil.
The cost: $8.25, tax included. Cash only.
The time: 20 minutes on a rainy weekday (from order until the last crumb was polished off)—relatively speedy compared to the snaking lines you find on sunnier days.
Agave y Aguacate, 214 Augusta Ave. (look for El Gordo Fine Foods), 647-208-3091.