Monthly Archives: January 2013

Taco Tour, Part 1

A few posts ago, I wrote about doing a taco tour in Toronto. It would be like my Mexico City coffee shop tour, only in Toronto and for tacos. The criteria for this tour are taste, ability to evoke Mexico, service, price and bathroom cleanliness.

Today I went on the first installment of this new adventure. It took me to El Trompo in Kensington, where I was doing some grocery shopping. I entered, and was pleased to see that the restaurant took cards. (I had spent all my cash at Kensington’s cash only stores, or stores where for obvious reasons one prefers to use cash.) It was playing the radio from Mexico – I learned about the “gobierno de la república,” which is obviously not Canada’s government. The emphasis on what the government was doing somehow suggested to me this was not US radio either. It was also in Spanish. So the restaurant was doing pretty well on the evoking Mexico front. It reminded me in a small way of Mexico City, minus the crowds (I was the only customer), the traffic, the pollution and the staring/rude comments. So, Mexico City minus all the things that annoy me. That is really all I could ever ask for.

The tacos.

Image 1I sat down to eat them, which was already a bit different from Mexico. I ordered tacos al pastor, and they were made on good tortillas (from La tortilleria, a future stop on my taco tour), with good pork. I think the pork may have in fact been too high quality, because I could not wrap my head around the taste. Or it could be that El Trompo doesn’t fry their meat after it comes off the skewer. Who knows. It was served on a plate covered with paper – which is like a taquería in Mexico City – except that the plate was a real plate and not a taco plate (about the size and weight of a frisbee). I had café de olla on the side, which was spectacular: good coffee with a cinnamon flavour. The unfortunate part was the price, $ 15 with tip, which became even more unfortunate when I made the fatal error of converting it into Mexican pesos.

Next stop: Gran Tenoch.


5 pieces of unsolicited thesis writing advice

1. Write every day.

2. Take a break every now and again. Sundays and thesis-free vacations are helpful times to do this, but as long as they don’t last too long.

3. Talk to your supervisor, even if you think your thesis is terrible.

4. The thesis is a means to an end, not the end. It doesn’t have to be perfect, it has to be done.

5. Edit. This might be even more important than writing.

5 Things I Wish I’d Known Before Writing My Thesis

If I could turn back time…

This list was initially going to be 10 things long, but I could only think of 5. What 5 things do you wish you knew? (Tomorrow will be a new spin: 5 pieces of unsolicited advice).

1. Read every article and book carefully and make good notes.

2. Keep a good working bibliography. I took this advice after I finished my first chapter. Don’t wait that long!

3. It is important to have hobbies. Especially hobbies that have measurable results, like cooking.

4. Microsoft Word has a read aloud function.

5. Sometimes a break is healthy, sometimes it’s procrastination. Know the difference.

Tacos in Toronto

I really like eating tacos. One of my favourite parts about Mexico City was being able to walk down the street and buying delicious tacos from Don Guero, a taquería near my house.  Upon my return to Toronto, I decided that I should keep eating tacos. Since I will need a project to keep me going through the winter and my final thesis revisions, I am setting up a taco round-robin for myself.

Here are some of the places I am considering: Grand Electric, La tortillería (Kensington or Dufferin), Dos Amigos, El Trompo, Gran Tenoch.

Any thoughts?

Things that have made the MLA conference fun

Yes. actually fun.

1. These are interviews for jobs I want, but not the life I want.

2. Having friends and someone to room with.

3. Stuart McLean and the Vinyl Café podcasts (for example, Dave Cooks a Turkey).

4. Marco Antonio Solis and other cantantes (singers) from my awesome New Year’s Eve playlist that attempts to recapture the rocola (jukebox) at la Buenos Aires (my favourite cantina in Mexico City. In December it even had a creche).