This post is a first installment in a new series I am embarking on called ‘Local Business Spotlight’ where I will highlight a local small business in my city that I believe is worthy of a mention. Small businesses are the core of many local communities and it’s very important to show them support in this changing economy. Let’s face it; big box restaurants will never be healthier and fresh tasting as your local family owned restaurant. I want to do my small part in highlighting these wonderful local gems and bringing them the much needed attention.
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Local Business Spotlight – Mi Taco Taqueria
Just in time for Cinco de Mayo I would like to put a spotlight on a great local small business in Toronto’s Queen Street West neighborhood called Mi Taco Taqueria (Mi Taco). This family owned restaurant is mainly run by a mother-daughter team who work alongside other staff in the restaurant on a daily basis making and serving authentic tacos. I had an opportunity to meet with each of them and chat about their business.
Mi Taco Story
Mi Taco co-owners Lidia and her daughter Vanessa are born and raised in Toronto. When Lidia met her husband Greg who is from Dallas the whole family moved to Texas. Over the years both mother and daughter immersed themselves in Mexican culture and fallen in love with Mexican cuisine. This is where the idea of opening a Mexican restaurant took shape. After moving back to Toronto some years later, the family decided to open an authentic tacos restaurant. In order to satisfy Toronto’s diverse culture they decided to add burritos and burrito bowls to the menu, which proved to be a good move in the long run. In October 2015 Mi Taco opened its doors and has been going strong ever since.
Mi Taco Authentic Tacos
There are six types of tacos at Mi Taco:
- ‘carne asada’ (beef)
- ‘tinga de pollo’ (chicken)
- ‘shredded brisket’ (beef or veal)
- ‘picadillo’ (beef)
- ‘vegetable seasonal’
- ‘grilled pescado (fish) or shrimp’
You can also order Mexican burritos with house made flour tortillas and burrito bowls.
I can tell you right now that no matter what flavor you order, the tacos are scrumptious and there are many toppings you can choose to top off your tacos such as:
- smashed beans
- Mexican rice
- grilled onions
- shredded lettuce
- shredded cabbage
- pico de gallo
- queso fresco
The tacos reflect authentic Mexican flavors with an option to add a special flavored sauce or ‘crema’ to your order. There’s accompanying side dishes that you can add to your order such as:
- chips and guacamole
- chips and salsa
- elote (Mexican street corn)
- Mexican rice
- smashed beans
Our Mi Taco Experience
Ivisited Mi Taco Taqueria with my boyfriend on three occasions and we had a great experience each time. The tacos I had the pleasure of tasting were the ‘carne asada’, ‘tinga de pollo’ ‘brisket’ and ‘grilled pescado ‘. They all had wonderful and unique flavors. My favorite taco was the ‘tinga de pollo’ (chicken) and the ‘grilled pescado’ (grilled cod). We also ordered a side of tasty guacamole with chips; Mexican street toasted corn, which was really delicious as well as rice and beans that accompanied the food nicely.
Why We Like Mi Taco?
What I like about Mi Taco is the fact that you can customize your order with any toppings and sauces to your liking. You can opt for complete authentic tacos flavors or you can spice things up by adding a flavorful ‘crema’. Another important fact is that Mi Taco makes all of their food from scratch in a small kitchen on the premises. Their dishes are made fresh daily and they even make their own flour tortillas. It is apparent to me that the owners and the staff take pride in the food they make.
What Makes Mi Taco Different?
It’s hard to find a decent restaurant in Toronto that makes, bakes and serves real authentic and fresh cuisine. Lidia developed all the recipes herself with an emphasis on authentic Mexican flavors. You can usually find her or Vanessa working alongside their team at the restaurant, a rare treat these days. Did I mention they make a great margarita and serve beer as well? Oh yes they do. This is a great little local joint to grab a bite, sit down with friends or even go for a quick fun date with your loved one. Sticking to the idea of having a simple menu with fresh and exciting ingredients has proven to be the success of Mi Taco while other places have long gone from the Queen Street West strip.
Mi Taco Dining Options
Another bonus of Mi Taco is that the dine-in experience is unassuming, unpretentious and very welcoming. The dining room is small but unless you come during the busy lunch hours you can usually find a spot to sit comfortably. If you’re not in the neighborhood you can still try Mi Taco’s food because they have partnered with food delivery services such as Foodora and Uber Eats so you can get your food delivered. I also found out from Lidia that they do offer catering for a variety of events and their catering business is growing every day. So consider using Mi Taco for your next family or office function.
Me Taco Special Events
In a couple of weeks and for the remainder of the summer Mi Taco will be switching to using organic blue corn chips to serve alongside its signature guacamole and salsa to celebrate the upcoming Blue Jay’s baseball season. I don’t know about you but that sounds yummy and a great way to show your home team spirit. Go Jays Go!!!
So I hope you check out Mi Taco Taqueria next time you’re in Toronto and craving authentic tacos. And if you’re in town right now why not visit them on Cinco de Mayo? They will be giving out Mexican candy and you can get your face painted so you can enjoy all the Cinco de Mayo festivities around town.
Have you visited Mi Taco yet? What was your favorite dish? Do you prefer to visit small family owned restaurants or are you a fan of big franchises? Let me know in the comments below. And don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter!