We decided to visit Grand Electric as a group of three in order to be able to eat everything on the menu (except for salad and desserts). Our 1.5 hour wait time was spent at the Gladstone Hotel, sharing a dish of poutine and some drinks. By the time we received the call that our table was ready, we were starving and began ordering as soon as we sat down.
The first dish to arrive was the guacamole and chips, which came with a towering piece of chicharrón (fried pork rind) in the middle. The guacamole and salsa were very fresh and well-seasoned, and while a little messy to share, the chicharrón was crispy and light and very much enjoyed.
Next to arrive was the chipotle shrimp, served on a tostada. The salty crunch from the peanuts and brightness of the cilantro went well with the cool, creamy shrimp. Although good, we were unable to taste the chipotle in this dish.
We had to begin rearranging dishes on our small table with the arrival of the chicken frito – crispy fried chicken in a sweet citrus-y sauce with an abundance of cilantro, red chiles and jalapeños. Spicy and sweet, with the cilantro and lime providing a burst of freshness, this was definitely one of our favourites of the night.
The spicy squid came with sliced jalapeños sprinkled over top, which provided a little extra heat for the dish. We agreed that the sauced tasted a lot like ketchup, and decided to focus more on the next dish…
…fresh chunks of citrus-marinated tuna topped with cilantro and lime juice. Creamy, cool and refreshing with a nice crunchiness from the tortilla, I absolutely loved the ceviche.
Worried about our potential stomach space with all the food we had ordered, we opted for the small size of the pozole rojo. The soup contained an abundant amount of pork and slices of creamy avocado and tasted even better mixed with the little jar of spicy salsa on the side.
And finally, the tacos! First up were the beef cheek and baja fish tacos. We found the beef cheek to be slightly dry on our visit, but this was quickly amended with the addition of the tableside salsas. I really enjoyed the baja fish taco, which managed to be crispy and non-greasy at the same time despite the wait time it enjoyed on our table before we got started on them. However, Q & A stated that they have had fish tacos elsewhere (Q note: La Carnita’s) that, although expensive ($5/each), were unbeatably good.
The fried queso reminded us of tofu at first sight. With grilled poblaños (hidden under the cheese), this was the only taco that was noticeably spicy for me. Unfortunately, the poblaños added a lot of moisture to the taco, rendering it soggy and difficult to eat.
The spicy arbol chicken didn’t taste very spicy to me, and came topped with a white sauce and queso fresco, one of which I found to taste somewhat strange combined with the chicken. The chicken itself was quite good. The pork belly al pastor was another hit, with the sweet-savory combination of the pineapple and roasted pork belly.
Grand Electric is much more than just “the new taco place,” with great fried chicken, soup and ceviche worth returning for!
Wednesday night, January 18, 2012.
1330 Queen St W, Toronto