Introducing: The Mexi-Can Market, a diminutive taste of Mexico in Little Portugal
Just over a year ago, Pavel Valdez, then 18, moved to Brampton from California to study business at Humber College. He’s already put his training to good use at the Mexi-Can Market, a diminutive Mexican grocery in Adam Giambrone’s old constituency office. He stocks the spotless store with imported products such as sangrita—a spicy tomato-citrus concoction traditionally sipped with white tequila—and barbecue charcoal made from his family’s mesquite trees in northern Mexico. He also serves crispy-chewy dulce de leche–stuffed churros, fried on demand, and will happily recommend his favourite flavour of Jarritos soda (it’s lime) or offer tips on how to make the best tacos (with chorizo). The shop has been such a success that he’s already opened a second location on College near Spadina and has plans for a third. The favourite pastime of Toronto food snobs—complaining about the city’s lack of authentic Mexican—is getting harder and harder to defend.