Saturday, August 8, 2009

Boulevard Cafe - a taste of Peru in the Annex

So, I think that one of the best things about the summer is eating outside, agree? One of the best patios, IMO, in Toronto has to be at local Peruvian favourite Boulevard Cafe. A 30 year veteran of the Harbourd strip boarding the Annex, and U of T, this spot is hopping with revelers enjoying the wonderful food and drink any night of the week. The patio is cozy but boisterous, the service can be attentive or vacant which is a shame, but they do have some of the best sangria in the city.

I rarely venture here in the winter, but the inside is cozy with lots of room, upstairs a fire place, and the alcove for a romantic dinner, a great spot year round. For me it is all about the vibe of the patio, and dining al fresco.

If you enjoy Latin food and have not been to Boulevard, what are you waiting for? The menu is simple yet complex flavour abounds, and there is truly something for everyone. Meatatarians, vegetarians, and even picky eaters should be able to satiate themselves here. Meat, seafood, poultry, you name it. I am a creature of habit when it comes to spots that are in my standard rotation tending to order the same things and sample what my companions order to get a feel for the diversity of the menu. My three "go to" dishes are the Boulevard Burger, the mixed grill, or the lamb chops. On this occasion it was the chops.

Lamb Chops, Fries and Salad - and the famous green sauce.

We started with the Humitas (a fave of BFF) to share, and enjoyed the lovely Peruvian corn bread (my fave), and of course sangria, sadly I didnt get a picture as we were all thirsty after the walk down. It was nice to enjoy a rare night out with sis and bro in-law sans kiddies. My friend had the burger, which is always great as are the fries and yummy salad. Bro and I both had the chops, and very much enjoyed them. Nicely spiced and perfectly grilled, a true taste of summer. Did I mention the green sauce? A goat cheese based sauce perfectly accompanies the hand cut fries. My sister got one of the specials, the chicken option of the day. The plates are noting fancy but are pleasing to the eye, and they do try.

Chicken with a Mango Sauce, Roasted Yams and Beets

Desert was a key lime tart, always a crowd pleaser when bro and I are in the room. Tart and sweet, just lovely with a good strong cup of coffee.

The place can get very noisy with tables of 10 and 15 all around, and a good time was had by all. The food, as always, was quite enjoyable. A decent place to linger over a leisurely meal, and people watch, but not a place to go if you are on a schedule. Come, enjoy, and dont forget to order a pitcher of sangria.

Peace, love, and Ice Cream.

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