The Little Horse

Walking up and down King Street West, pre-Metaphorphosis (a hugely acclaimed play adaptation of Franz Kafka’s famous novel), when freezing cold, looking for a nice place to run into for a quick tipple leaves a lot to be desired, it’s all so ‘samey.’

Having finally stepped into a pink cove a few steps away from the Royal Alexandra Theatre, to make a quick call, I found myself in the cosy glow of El Caballito. Not one for tacos, I glanced down the menu, the offbeat ‘antojitos’ (little cravings) even caught my eye and the fact that they serve fresh juices.

On entering this candle-lit gem, one is cushioned in a warm and hazy feeling underground, which reminded me of the buzzing atmosphere at some of the joints I used to frequent in London’s Soho. Sitting tucked away in a corner, you see the friendly staff going about the day engaging with customers.

I’m told that El Caballito is just two weeks old and currently in its soft opening, hence no fresh juices for the time being. I was more than happy to go with sparkling Mexican water to wash down house made totopos (plantain, sweet potato and taro chips) alongside fresh salsas (Macha, Roja, Verde and Cruda). Which by the way, were not only delicious but a welcome and much needed deviation from the usual corn chips and finely diced tomatoes served up in the name of Mexico.

The grand opening is on February 5th and at weekends, I’m told it turns into more of party with a DJ, hard not to believe with the 64 different types of tequila they offer daily served traditionally in the tall thin shot glass known as a, you guessed it (I hope), caballito.

A breath of fresh air to King Street West, El Cabillito is quite different from the average Mexican joint downtown Toronto has come to know. I’ll be returning for some of Executive Chef Elia Herrera’s other delectables and a drinks menu more interesting than the rest. For taco addicts, my research indicates that this place, brought to us by the culinary heads behind Little Anthony’s and Estiatorio Volos is being hailed as home of the midnight taco, something to think about at your next meeting.

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