Who could possibly forget that wonderful episode of The IT Crowd when Jen goes on a date to a tapas restaurant with a guy “who doesn’t like sharing” thus defeating the entire point of tapas. And what the heck IS tapas? I believe Jen summarizes it nicely: tiny food from Spain.
I think tapas might be the greatest idea ever. How many times have you been to a restaurant and found yourself debating between two or more entrees? You consider for a gluttonous second ordering them all but cannot justify the stomachache and so you settle for one, always thinking of the the others. Not so at a tapas restaurant (or an izakaya too I guess). The portions are small and intended for sharing which is perfect because you get to try a lot of different dishes AND if you don’t like something you get to be really generous and let the others have the rest of it. It’s win-win really. And it is an ingenious way to make money. The bill adds up as you keep ordering dishes.
Torito was voted best tapas in the city so we spent the better part of our Saturday night gorging on delicious Spanish food. We managed to cover the spread really well eating fish, quail, ham and steak. The ham was the only cold dish, the others were all hot. And who could pass up a plate of churros with caramel sauce after all that good eating?! To start we ordered sangria, Brent had it with red wine, I had it with white wine. Each of us claims that ours was better, however I would like to point out that the white wine had a more subtle flavour and therefore did not overtake the entire drink as the red wine did. So there, I won.
To start we ordered the ham and the special of the night: stuffed quail. We were it would be a while for the quail to arrive, she paused and said about 10 minutes. Hardly a wait if you ask me. In that time we managed to devour the deliciously greasy salty ham. It was so greasy, my fingers glistened afterwards. But not for long, soon after I was struggling to carve a tiny stuffed quail. This is no easy feat when your fingers are slick with ham-grease and you are working under low-light “mood” lighting, your beast of a quail lit up only by one tiny flickering candle and just the slightest hint of overhead lighting. Nevertheless, I managed to (somehow!) succeed, chopped it right in half without making a giant mess. That is until I tried transferring it to my plate. Then it got a bit messy. It was a damn delicious mess though, trumping the ham. Almost as if on queue, as I was stuffing my face with the messy stuffed quail (it was stuff with corn and what I think was barely and then drizzled with sauce) the waiter arrived with our next dish: fish. Thankfully the fish was already cut in half and splayed open for us. All we had to was happily eat it. And that we did. It was so soft and and perfectly flavoured. Our last dish of the night, that is before dessert, was steak frites… with a fried egg on top. It was a nice touch, adding a different texture to the bites. The stand-out was the frites, for these were no ordinary frites, oh no. They were cut so thin that they were crispy, but not as crispy as chips, they still had some of the smooshiness that makes fries not chips. Delicious, really really so.
To top off our night we had churros for dessert. A nice way to end it, we were served a plate of tiny (but of course!) churros with just the right amount of caramel sauce (i.e.: not drenched). Due to their small size they were a bit too crispy and not as good as the ones we had at La Carnita. All in all though, it was a night full of good eating. This is one of those places you have to return to to try everything on the menu.