In recent years it’s been tougher and tougher to find kick ass authentic Mexican food in Montreal. I’m not talking about those tourist traps that have you praying to the Porcelain God at the end of the night to have mercy on your soul and sphincter. Im talking about legitimate Mexican style street food. So I’ll admit that when I was invited to Ta Chido I was somewhat skeptical. With the haunting images of my last beef burrito disaster elsewhere I wasn’t sure what to expect.
From outside this place looks tiny and if you aren’t paying attention you can walk right by it. Walk inside and wow you really see this is a small, quaint spot. The first thing that catches my eye is the whacked out decor all over the place in here. I’m talking Hitchcock dream sequence craziness in here. It turns out that the owner is a huge toy collector and he seems to have a taste for some strange and unique pieces of art. The toys and art give this place a pretty zany feel. Hope awakens in me that they’ve got the same approach to the food.
When I said this place was small I mean if you’re more than 4 peeps it’s best maybe to call ahead. It looks to seat about 25 in total including bar space. Although I’ve never reserved, except when we book the whole place for a party, and we’ve never waited more than 30 minutes for a table even on the crazy Friday night 3 tacos for 7$ madness. This is a family run joint and you get that feeling pretty quickly just from the service. It feels more like someone’s welcoming you into their home more so than a restaurant and that’s just the kind of vibe I love.
Drinks here are tasty as hell, ranging from the classic margaritas to a fantastically drinkable Pepe Pepino margarita which is a brilliant cucumber and tequila concoction that I rarely stray from. The margaritas are served in Mason jars which adds a 27.34% sexy factor to the drinks too. They’re also the only spot that I’m aware of that offers mezcal cocktails in Montreal. If you go that route I urge you to tread lightly. The last time I went on a mezcal bender I woke up two days later in Cornwall with no pants. No one was happy about that situation.
The menu here is simple. You’ve got a green salad, black bean soup, or soup of the day to start with. The first time I ate here they were serving a smoked ham and beer soup that I still dream about. Wow I honestly just drooled a bit at the thought of it. The black bean soup is a hearty dish with great flavors and is one of the best things around in the winter time. It’s extremely filling though so keep that in mind if you’re planning on breaking your personal best taco devouring record.
Unlike the ground beef garbage you’ll get at other “Mexican” places the tacos here are something to behold. The mole and mole verde tacos are the stars here for me but all variations of tacos here are all tasty. One particular vegetarian one with potato, onions and feta is another one I go to often. Friday nights are a great time to go nuts on the tacos since, as I mentioned above, it’s 3 tacos for 7$. Nothing is stopping you from having 6 by the way. That would add up ro 14$. How’s that for some on the fly sexy math for you? And yes some of us can eat 6 of these. Don’t judge us.
The main attraction here are the tortas. These traditional Mexican sandwiches are mouthwateringly tastetastic. I had never tried one of these before coming here and I feel shame and sadness for not having had this sooner. I should mention here that everything you’ll eat here is made in house, including this ridiculously good bread. All sauces, smoked ham, soups
are all done here. You just can’t beat real comfort food made from scratch. You want your mind to be blown? Go for the pulled chicken mole torta and marvel at how crunchy the bread will stay on the outside whilst the inside of it soaks up all that mole sauce goodness. I can never decide which of these I like best but you sure can’t go wrong with the Hawaiiana (smoked ham and pineapple), the above mentioned mole, or the Cubana (breaded beef cutlets, pulled pork and smoked ham. Damn!!!). I’m putting this out there now, and I will bare knuckle fistfight anyone who says otherwise, these are the best dang sandwiches in this city. There. I said it. Someone had to.
The family that runs the joint are incredibly friendly and you can quickly see that Ta Chido is a labor of love. Sexy, juicy, smoky love. They do all this while keeping a pretty low profile but they’re growing quite a rabidrun underground following. Oh and you can eat here for under 20$ easily. Drop 30$ and you will be fit to burst. Home cooked food with killer drinks at great prices. Is there anything better than that? No, there isn’t.
5611 Parc Avenue