Over the past few years, quite a few delicious little places have been making an entrance into the Brampton food scene, adding food innovations and culinary surprises the likes of which any foodie can appreciate. It seems it was only a matter of time before Brampton got its first authentic Mexican restaurant. No need to leave the city for a delicious fish taco or bite of authentic carnitas because La Catrina is here to save all of the Mexican loving foodies across the city!
La Catrina started off as a quaint little setup that sold delicious food at the downtown farmer’s market every weekend. At the persistence of their loyal customers, they decided to open up a full-time restaurant, and boy are we glad they did. Keeping with the trend, La Catrina is now permanently nestled in the Downtown core on Queen St. West. As you enter you’ll be greeted by the eccentricities and colour of Mexican inspired artesania; it’s bright, it’s colourful and it’s most certainly upbeat.
As we were seated, a fresh batch of salsa was brought to our table, a regular salsa and an extra spicy salsa verde as well as a fresh batch of Chicharrones. Our drinks were brought promptly after; Horchata (pronounced Orchata) a creamy rice-based drink sweetened with cinnamon and sugar as well as Jamaica (Pronounced Hamaica) a sweet drink made from dried hibiscus flowers. Both were a nice little taste of Mexico.
We started off our meal with the shrimp Aguachile, a type of Mexican ceviche. The Aguachile was comprised of fresh shrimp, lime, onion, cucumber, cilantro, avocado and Serrano hot sauce. It was a refreshing bite with well-balanced acidity and a nicely added crunch from the cucumber. The Serrano hot sauce added a nice kick as well. The only disappointment was the dish not being served with tostadas as it typically would, but with crackers.
For our main course we enjoyed a variety of different dishes. First we had the gorditas; thick, crispy corn tortillas stuffed with meat. We had the Chicken Tinga, a shredded slow cooked chipotle chicken and the Cochita Pibil, a shredded pork marinated in a variety of spices. Both were good, though if you’re not a fan of corn tortillas, this may not be the dish for you. The bottom layer of the Gordita is a thicker than the usual corn tortilla.
The Gorditas were followed by the crispy chicken tacos, a crunchy corn tortilla stuffed with marinated chicken all rolled up tightly and the Tacos Carnitas. The crispy chicken tacos were delicious, with a nice crunch factor and the carnitas were spectacular.
The Carnitas, a braised and shredded pork served on a corn tortilla, were perfectly seasoned, oh so delicious and just about as close to traditional Mexican food as you can get without actually going there.
We didn’t stop there, we also had the fried fish tacos, which was the absolute standout dish of the evening. Mind. blowing. A fresh warm corn tortilla topped with light, crispy beer battered fish, a creamy chipotle mayo with a delicious kick and freshly chopped sweet mango orange slaw and cilantro. It was delicious, to say the least; the fish was light and perfectly crispy and the fresh coleslaw and cilantro on top made every bite fresh and tasty. Can we put in an order for a lifetime supply, because we’d really love to eat this everyday for forever! Chef Eddie even gave us a behind the scenes peek at how our delightful fish tacos were made.
To top off our meal we enjoyed a slice of Tres Leches cake for dessert (Tres Leches means three milks). The cake was perfectly moist, the icing creamy and the peaches in the middle were a sweet surprise. It was a great way to round off our meal.
All together, a great place to grab lunch or dinner. Chef Eddie and his team serve up a mean lineup of delicious Mexican fare, with a few nice twists. The upbeat atmosphere and large dining room makes it a great place for large gatherings with family and friends.
La Catrina Mexican Restaurant
35 Queen Street West • 905- 497-1766
SERVICE–Very friendly and attentive service. Chef Eddie often comes out to greet patrons as well.
RECOMMENDED–Three words, FRIED FISH TACOS.
DRINKS–The usuals. A few traditional Mexican drinks including Horchata, Jamaica and a few different flavours of Jarritos.
VEGETARIAN / VEGAN–No
PRICES–Apps, $6-10. Mains $8-$12
OPEN–Tuesday to Friday from 11am to 9pm and weekends from 12pm to 9pm.