Monday, December 16, 2013


Hola amigos!

A few weeks ago, S and I hit up a new restaurant on King West, one that used to be a club but has since been transformed into a local destination for latino street food, Valdez.

Although it was only a Wednesday, the restaurant was bustling with people grabbing drinks after work or meeting their friends for dinner.

The first thing we noticed was that the space was nice and warm, but also a bit rustic. Closer towards the back, there were tables with colourful chairs, characteristic of the bright colours of Latin America.

We ordered glasses of sauvignon blanc (our fave!), and it was the sweetest and smoothest sauvignon I had ever tasted. I typically like my white wine to be a little bit more medium-bodied, but this wine was divine (casually busting out my rhyming skills).

Their menu consists of 3 sections-- Ceviche, Stuff, and More. This basically meant ceviche, appetizer-styled dishes, and entree-type dishes. We decided to do it tapas style and ordered a whole bunch of stuff off their Stuff section.

Our smorgasbord of latin goodness!

First up, chuzos al plancha. This was amazing. The beef was so tender and had amazing flavour. It was also served with two arepas.

Beef skewers (3oz), chimichurri, arepa

Not realizing that the beef skewers came with arepas, we also ordered a full plate of arepas. These... I did not like. They were quite dry, tasteless, and were only served with a butter-esque sauce (which I later learned was some sort of cheese).

White corn meal, queso d'hoja

Yucca fritta. Aka fried yucca. This was also a little dry but it was my first time trying yucca and I quite enjoyed it.

Fried yucca, cilantro mojo, mayo

Croquetas. I had some really delicious croquetas at Toca (a blog post I never got around to doing... woops), so I had high hopes for these ones. These were okay, but had a bit of a smokey flavour that I wasn't quite sure if I liked.

Rice, chicken, peppers, roasted garlic aioli

Pastel. The most amazing things, ever. Basically like cheese wontons but on steroids. These had a bit of guava paste in them which gave them a bit of a sweeter flavour. They were really filling though due to the cheese, so it was hard to eat more than two!

Cream cheese, guava paste, chive

The cute bag they put some of their food in! This particular one contained the ever so traditional empanadas.

Corn meal, pork, potato, L5S (do not know what these things are), aji 

And last but certainly not least, their chips & guac. Now I am not an avocado/guac lover by any means, but my oh my this guac & chip combo was amazing. Instead of using tortilla chips, the guac is served with an assortment of thickly sliced, perfectly seasoned vegetable chips. Taro and purple potato were my two favourites!

Plantain, yucca, taro, potato, avocado, onion, chili, cilantro

Valdez has easily become one of my go-to restaurants for any latino food cravings. Heck, I'd come here for the guac & chips alone.

I'd also like to give their bathrooms a special shout out (yes I know that is a bit weird but I liked them that much). Their washrooms are completely separate stalls, each with their own different wall murals. This particular one tickled my fancy the most. Also since it was Movember, each washroom had a mustache stuck on the mirror which you could take a selfie with and then submit to some contest to win a prize of some sort.

For me, I just wanted a mirror selfie with the mustache.

Valdez Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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