Valdez (Closed)

Valdez Toronto Restaurant | Latin Street Food

Fellow compadre, owner and former Top Chef Canada contestant, Steven Gonzalez (El Jefe), has successfully created with Valdez a restaurant culture that mixes traditional Latin dishes with down-to-earth street food. It’s a party on a plate that respectfully represents our ancestors’ roots while evolving tastes and ingredients for the average Latin street food lover, like me.

For those of you familiar with Colombian culture, Valdez is the name of our famous Colombian coffee brand and in the case of Chef Gonzalez’ post, it means a lot more than that. Valdez is his uncle’s last name, the man who inspired this wonderful Jefe to become the man that he is today – a classical French-trained chef and a true Colombian at heart.

Just last week I visited Valdez for the first time. Invited by the folks at Zomato Toronto, the recently launched innovative foodie app, a handful of foodies and yours truly, found ourselves indulging on succulent Latin dishes that left us longing for more.

Chef Gonzalez, in partnership with the folks at Zomato, decided to open our appetites with a glass of cava and a terrific shot of Japanese Tuna ceviche.

Valdez Toronto Restaurant | Latin Street Food

Marinated in a mixture of lime, ponzu and chiles, this ceviche came paired by watermelon, pickled ginger, radishes and pear. The tuna was fresh, tender and tasted like the ocean. My compadre Steve explains his food better in this quick clip.

Next up, we were seduced with a selection of plantain, yuca (cassava) and corn chips with salsa, guacamole and popcorn. All fantastic nibbles and bites to washed off the strong ceviche taste and started us off with our delectable meal.

Valdez Toronto Restaurant | Latin Street Food

Latino street food really speaks to all of the unique dishes one can find in Latin American streets. Empanadas, a Colombian cornbread staple, are corn patties that are typically stuffed with potatoes and minced beef. In the case of Valdez, the apple did not fall far from the tree, or in this case, the empanada. The version of this street staple at Valdez included beef, potatoes, Chef Gonzalez’ famous latino 5 spice and topped off with a home-made Aji (a spicy sauce that often contains tomatoes, cilantro (coriander), habanero pepper, onions and water).

Valdez Toronto Restaurant | Latin Street Food

As part of the special menu for the Zomato Toronto foodies, el Jefe served us a tender flank steak drizzled with red chilies and accompanied by some more steak on skewers, chimichurri sauce, arepitas (white corn meal and cheese) and rice and beans. This was mixture of Argentinian and Colombian favourites all served in one plate, with a nice spicy kick to it. The rice and beans were a hit as it was the steak, but the arepitas were the winner, just like when Colombia scored 5-0 to Argentina in 1993!

Valdez Toronto Restaurant | Latin Street Food

Another hit from the El Jefe was the Choripapa, a bowl full of spiced pork, potatoes, peppers and goat cheese drizzled with chipotle mayo. It was silky, spicy, chewy, crunchy and creamy all at once.

Valdez Toronto Restaurant | Latin Street Food

And if good food was not enough, the Chef decided to help us digest the night off with a night cap of Aguardiente (a Colombian alcoholic drink derived from sugarcane and flavored with anise) and a delicious ice popsicle made of salpicon (aka fruit punch).

Valdez Toronto Restaurant | Latin Street Food

A big thanks to El Jefe and Zomato for a wonderful meal, great night and good company!


Until next time Foodies!

Buen Provecho,
Foodies Inked.


Dining Experience: Dinner
Venue: Valdez
Specialty: Latin street food
Location: 606 King Street West, Toronto, Ontario
Menu Items: Chips, guacamole & salsa, Japanese Tuna Ceviche, Empanadas, Flank Steak with Arepitas & Choripapa, Aguardiente and Helado de Salpicon



Valdez Restaurant on Urbanspoon

One Response to Valdez (Closed)

  1. Julio November 4, 2014 at 3:37 am

    My mouth is watering after reading this post, can’t wait to pay a visit to Valdez.

    Reply

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