Playa Cabana’s newest location may be the smallest of them all. The small space on Berkley seats just under 35 diners, with extra space to be found on the front patio. They are also opening up a second floor and an outdoor patio this summer.
Cocina Economica has a homey, family vibe. The restaurant is modeled after the tradition of small, family run restaurants in Mexico (sometimes in someones home) that serve up home style cooking.
Dishes are meant to be shared here, with slow-cooked meats served by the pound or half pound. Proteins include chicken, barbequed lamb, pulled pork and braised beef. Vegetarians, don’t feel left out: Vegetarian chroizo and cactus is also slow cooked and served.
There will be a daily soup, like the one featured above with beef and corn.
The first taco I devour is the Costillas De Cochinita. These bone-in pork side ribs are cooked in achiote, chipotle, guajillo and banana leaves. Tender and saucy, the pork bursts with flavour, and the tortilla is fresh and soft.
The Lamb Barbacoa is demonstrated before our eyes. This bone-in lamb has been slow cooked in ancho adobado. It’s shredded and sauced up for us.
Mmmm. I get mine with all the fixings- rice, beans and fresh salsa.
Other dishes include marinated pork leg served right off the spit, and occo busso beef shank braised in tomatillos and jalapenos.
Speaking of salsa, I tried the salsa roja and salsa verde with crisp, house made tostadas. Delicious.
Ready to wash it all down? Cocina Economica specializes in mezcals. They have over 20 imported single species mezcals. Made from 100% pure agave, these drinks are done in a single village, by hand. The agave is smoked underground for a natural smokiness. Yeast is not added, but naturally fermented. This drink typically is made in the backyards of people’s homes, and hasn’t been available in Toronto until now. Of course, a full cocktail list is also available.
Cocktails are made up fresh daily, and served in clay pots from Mexico.
Barato is made with agave jimadon blanco, triple sec, fresh lime and simple syrup.
Sangria is made with Mount Gay rum, Baco Noir and fresh fruits.
There’s always room for dessert, and trust me, you’re going to want to try these ones.
Tres Leches cake is soaked in milk and topped with fresh whipped cream.
My absolute favourite dessert is the rich Alfajores cookies. These decadent cookies are handmade from cornflower cookies filled with hand churned dulce de leche. It’s to die for, and the perfect way to finish off a meal.
Cocina Economica will have a website soon. In the meantime, you can make reservations here.
Playa Cabana Cocina Economica, 114 Berkley St Toronto , ON , M5A2W7 647-748-4777