Comal y Canela: The restaurant I don’t want you to know about

Journalistic integrity forces me to write about Comal y Canela at 1692 Jane St. I desperately want to keep it secret from you, because it is a hip, gourmet Mexican restaurant right here in Weston. It’s a tiny space, with 15 seats, a cute decor, and gorgeous, delicious, authentic Mexican food. I don’t want you to know, because I fear I’ll never get a seat there again.

But it’s marvellous. And you have to go.

Tacos Dorados
Tacos Dorados
Birria
Birria
Tacos Gobernador
Tacos Gobernador

 

Comal y Canela has only been open for about 4 months, but word seems to be out. It was busy there tonight—a Tuesday—with a few families jumbled  on benches and chairs around the polished, rough-edged wood tables. The place is close, familiar, friendly, and inexpensive enough to frequent. (We spent $62 for a family of four.)

The menu is only in Spanish, in keeping with the authentic food. Our server, who was wonderful, helped us through it, as there was lots of stuff we’d never heard of. The guy next to me, emerging from a rapture, tried to explain pozole. He said it’s like chilli, but he said ‘chilli’ with a sneer. No Tex Mex hard tacos here, friend.

I wanted to try it all. The sausage is made in house, as are the tamales (they didn’t serve them today, because the recipe they started last night didn’t work. The corn meal in Canada is different, our server explained.)  The pork is ‘tip to tail’, and some of the food takes hours, or days, to make.

But oh, is it worth the wait.

I got goat birria: a rich stew, served with tortillas, chopped onion, sliced radishes, and cilantro. It was fabulous. When it was hot, it was warm hangover food. The braised meat fell apart, and little delectable droplets of red oil surfaced on the brown broth. While it cooled, it got better and better, as the spicy blackened-pepper flavours came forward. I love goat, and this was perfect; just a teensie bit fatty, with two knuckles of bone in. I joined my neighbour in the heavenly choir.

My wife had tacos gobernador (shrimp tacos). No amateur alimentarian, she loved them, and she denied me all but a bite—and that was begrudgingly granted for science. My kids had chicken tacos dorados (taquitos) from the childrens’ menu, topped with lettuce, sour cream, and queso fresco. Unfussy and unspicy, they were total kid wins.

There are only two shortcomings. The first is vanishing: I would have killed for a beer (even a Mexican one) to go with my meat, but, at least for now, Comal y Canela is unlicensed. Instead, I had a made-in-house hibiscus iced tea. It was great. The second means everything or nothing: the menu is meaty, with little for vegetarians, and nothing (as far as I can tell with my Spanish) for vegans.

But ignore those quibbles. Comal y Canela is superb.

 

 

 

Mati’s Coffee official opening

Konjet Tadewsa and her son receive a City of Toronto congratulatory diploma from Business Improvement Association Chair Masum Hossain on Saturday May, 26. Husband, Derrge and other family members were on hand to lend support.

Mati’s Coffee is the latest addition to Weston’s ‘Main Street’ and is situated at 1947 Weston Road; just north of John Street on the west east side. Originally from Ethiopia (the home of all coffee), owners Konjet and Derrge Tadewsa are a true Canadian success story. Konjet worked at Tim Hortons for many years learning the ins and outs of customer service. She and husband Derrge (who did the renovations) are now taking the plunge with this new Weston business.

Aside from coffee and other beverages, Mati’s serves a wide selection of food, from home baked muffins to donuts, delicious cake slices and meat patties.

The official opening was held on Saturday, showcasing the beautiful renovation that has transformed the site of the old Weston Bun Bakery. In attendance were some familiar faces from Weston including Masum Hossain, Marion O’Sullivan and Debbie Gibson from the BIA and Suri Weinberg-Linsky from Squibb’s bookstore across the road.

Let’s give a warm Weston Welcome to Mati‘s Coffee and make a point of supporting this new business. Did I mention they have free wifi?

Sneak peek inside Mati’s Coffee

Mati’s Coffee will be opening at the old address of Weston Bun Bakery at 1947 Weston Road. Yesterday as I was passing, workers were installing a new window and a clear view of the interior was visible.

The worker at the front wasn’t too happy at my presence but the interior looks quite spacious with a grey tiled floor, brick accent wall, some comfortable furniture visible at the front and standard tables and chairs towards the rear.

Still no web presence. Let’s hope for a quick opening.

God Bless Canada coffee shop is open!

Weston’s newest coffee shop opened this week, and though your correspondent was off skiing, Maureen, a loyal reader, sent this review:

God Bless Canada coffee shop is open, and the coffee is fresh, fresh, fresh: ground fresh for each cup and delicious.

Rosina and her husband offer fine coffee in 3 custom blends, and also ice cream cones from Kawartha Dairy ice cream, fruit smoothies, and free popcorn after school for children. The summer theme continues with hot dogs (meat but no beef) on offer, so this is the perfect addition to the neighbourhood.

This business and its owners have transformed the corner!

Maureen also spotted the season’s first robin. Huzzah!