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Clearly we here at Plato Putas love eating out, but there’s one thing better than eating at any restaurant, street stall, diner or counter. And that’s being invited into someone’s house for a homemade meal. Friend and foodie extraordinaire Tara recently held a Mexican fiesta at her new apartment. She slaved all day in her kitchen making four sauces from scratch (incredibly fresh salsa, guacamole, chicken marinade and avocado sauce) and prepping for our feast of Chicken and Bean Tostadas.
Tara is an accomplished writer and journalist who now lives in Toronto, and she owns more cookbooks than anyone else I know. At the age of 14 she started working at a Mexican restaurant in Vancouver called Topanga Cafe (2904 West 4th Ave.) where she learned to make these tostadas.
A tostada is like an open-faced taco that starts off with a corn tortilla that’s slathered in bean sauce, salsa and topped with pan-fried chicken pieces.
The whole things is covered in shredded cheddar cheese then inserted into a hot oven. This softens the tortilla, makes the cheese melt and in some spots it gets deliciously crispy. Right before serving it’s topped with shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, more cheese, olives and drizzled with avocado sauce.
This was my first tostada and I’d describe it as several layers of well-balanced yummy goodness. The bottom part is hot and gooey which contrasts well with the fresh, crispy ingredients on top. Obviously the meal was fantastic, the company was thoroughly entertaining and our host was both gracious and highly skilled. And the best part of this homemade meal (besides the chocolate cupcakes for dessert), was being sent home with a tupperware container of fresh salsa.
We’re still recovering from all the eating and relaxing we accomplished in Costa Rica. Look out for new posts about their local dish called a casado, amazing fresh fruit smoothies, the best free hotel breakfasts we’ve ever seen and an alcoholic beverage called Liquid Lava (which of course is consumed while watching lava flow out of an active volcano).
Thank you all for your patience and for continuing to check back constantly. We will have new posts up regularly starting on Monday. Ciao ciao!
It’s time to get our foreign eat on! Plato Putas are hitting the road to eat our way across Costa Rica. We’ll be diving into the culinary world of South American cuisine until May 26. We’ll miss you and will be thinking of you with each meal we devour.
When we return there’ll be loads of reporting, mouth-watering photos and everything you’ve come to expect from Plato Putas. Plus, we’ve got some new ideas launching soon — guest blogs, more videos and a celebrity or two! In the meantime, take a read through the archives, leave some comments and we’ll see you soon!
Saturday mornings usually mean two things: the opportunity to finally sleep in and brunching with friends. Saving Grace is a gem of restaurant located at 907 Dundas Street West in quaint Little Portugal.
The exterior is nothing to gawk at, in fact, it’s a bit on the drab side. But step inside and find the unassuming environment both cozy and inviting; from the simple plywood tables to the garage sale bohemian mix of tableware. The restaurant seats a mere 20 hungry folks which is why you’ll typically find a lineup of people parked on benches and loitering outside. Don’t fret, it moves fairly quickly and the staff is friendly with perky smiles and bottomless cups of coffee. Your main focus should be deciding which dish from the diverse menu will feed your hungry soul.
One of my favourites is the Flauta ($10.75), shown above: fresh corn tortillas, fried and stuffed with red beans, sweet potato and feta. It’s served with a side of greens topped with avocado, tomato, pickled onions as well as baked potato wedges.
The freshly baked Waffles ($8.75) are unconventionally brilliant with lime ricotta and sour cherries.
The Open Omelette special ($8.75) consists of decadent caramelized figs and brie, garnished with a blueberry peach chutney. It’s served with a side of baked potatoes and we added a New Zealand lamb sausage ($2.75) for some additional protein.
The meals above were all ordered from the ever-changing specials board. Saving Grace also offers plenty of vegetarian options and thirst-quenching fruit juices such as fresh orange mango ($4) or blueberry lemonade ($3.75). There’s also their infamous freshly baked muffins ($2.50) — blood-orange pistachio, lemon ricotta cornmeal or chocolate pear, to name a few. The flavours change daily so be sure to visit Saving Grace not just on the weekends.
Candy nostalgia brings us great joy. Aside from the yellow packets of Chews sour gum, my favourite 10-cent gum was Rain-Blo. There was something about the slightly sour, sugary sweet blast of artificial strawberry flavour that made it perfect for munching during the walk home from school.
Pop open one side of the wrapping straight into your mouth to make access to the gumball easy and efficient. In these days of swine-flu-paranoia, this is an ideal hands-free eating experience. As soon as that one loses its flavour, spit it out and pop in a new one. The best in the strawberry pack are the rare balls speckled with loads of red dots (see below). Keep an eye out for those like the one on the right. Even your BFF will understand why you won’t share ‘em.