September 26, 2012

Grand Electric

Have you ever dined out at a restaurant and the food was enjoyable but the rest of the service was lacking? My recent experience at Grand Electric was a train wreck from the beginning. I have no patience for bad service. No matter how good the food may be, if customers are not treated with respect, I will not dine there a second time.

I arrived at Grand Electric around 6:15p.m on a Tuesday and the place was almost packed given that they open at 6:00p.m. On top of that, there were also people standing in front of the restaurant waiting in line. At the front of the line, there were two ladies holding clipboards and I went up to them wanting to get a table but they completely ignore me and continued their conversation. It wasn’t until I opened the front door and decided to go inside and seek assistance that they stopped me and asked if I was dining alone. I told them I have a friend coming in 10min and they told me that I would have to wait outside because they do not seat parties until all guests have arrived. At this point I was a little annoyed by the fact that the staff did not attend to me immediately and the fact that I know for sure that my friend was going to be here soon and I cannot wait while I have a drink.

When my friend arrived, we were immediately seated this time. The atmosphere is vibrant and casual. The décor compose of white walls, lots of wood furnishing and menus that are only written on blackboards. The only decorations are sagging string of Christmas lights and a glowing bullhead. 

The menu is really simple, a selection of tacos, all $3.50 a piece, salmon ceviche, spicy squid, fresh guacamole, and a few other items. There’s also a huge selection of bourbons to choose from. 

One thing I must mention is the hardcore rap music blaring constantly. It was hard to order food when my server can’t hear me on several occasions. This is not a place to take someone if you want to talk to them.   

We started off with a bowl of their famous guacamole. The dish is traditionally made and the flavor is simple. The guacamole had just enough spice and was creamy and light. The key to this dish is the fresh house-made tortilla chips and generous use of limejuice. In the middle of the guacamole was a Chicharrón (fried pork rinds) dusted with chili powder. The Chicharrón was crisp and airy, it tasted similar to shrimp chip. 

Top: Spicy Arbol Chicken

The Spicy Arbol Chicken tasted mild and had a slow building spice that only hit and leave a burn on the tongue after swallowing. I usually eat very spicy dishes and even I found it to be quite hot for most people. The spice took away the savory flavor of the chicken.

Right: Baja Fish 

The Baja Fish is lightly battered and deep-fried. It was a huge piece of fish relative to the small tortilla. However it tasted like fish and chips with thousand-island sauce. 

Bottom: Pork Belly Al Pastor  

The Pork Belly is lean and meaty. Contained pineapple bits and the taste reminded me of sweet and sour pork. 

Left: Beef Cheek

The Beef Cheek taco was saucy, tender and tasted like pulled brisket but more rich. However it was a tad too sweet for my personal tastes, but less so than the pork belly with its pineapple bits.

The only thought I had after I tried all the tacos was it weren’t authentic Mexican. I personally think that this place is overrated, totally pretentious. The tacos are over-sauced and are a fusion between Mexican and Chinese. I don’t understand why so many people love it. The service of the staff is enough to make me want to never return again.
Décor - 6
Atmosphere - 6
Service - 4
Food – 6
Overall – 5.5

Grand Electric
1330 Queen Street West
Toronto, ON M6K 1L4
(416) 627-3459
Grand Electric on Urbanspoon

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