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'Best in Chow' settling ‘Taco Wars Toronto’ on Cooking Channel

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On tonight’s Cooking Channel episode of “Best in Chow” comedic host Cris Nannarone went to Toronto, Canada, to find their best taco. Cris took his winning personality and love for people to search for the best taco in the largest city in Canada.

Cris visited lovely Toronto a city that has more ethnicities than the United Nations. As he met people on the street, he asked them where he could find the best taco in Toronto; the replies were many, but the name who continued to ring in his ear, in fact, was even given to him by a mariachi band was, Playa Cabana. Cris calls tacos his kryptonite; along with many other food items. While there, a woman whose husband grew up in Mexico swears by this place, and she loves it too. Chef and owner, Dave Sidhu honed his skills in New York and Los Angeles before bringing his recipes to Toronto. Today Dave will be making his Ancho Braised Short-rib Taco, a fan favorite. Ancho is a dried mild pepper, also known as a poblano, and they grill their fresh corn tortillas on a flat top for a unique crispy texture. Cris loved the taco that contained meat in every bite and lots of extra flavors. From the flat grilled corn tortilla, the ancho braised short rib, lettuce and cabbage blend, guacamole, crema, pico de gallo, table salsa, chile de arbol salsa, habanero salsa, queso fresco, cilantro and lime, Dave swears it is the best taco in Toronto.

Next stop, per more recommendations, except for a woman who is a vegetarian; Rebozos for their beef tongue taco. Although Cris was deathly afraid of tasting it. Indalecio Marroquin, the chef and owner is from Mexico City and was an accountant before immigrating to Canada. The crew asked the chef to lie to Cris, telling him he was having a beef taco, rather than a beef tongue taco. He even tried a piece and liked it before the taco was made. As Cris and the chef ate the delicious fare, the chef came clean and admitted to Cris that it was beef tongue he just ate. Cris could not believe that he liked the tongue as much as he did. Starting with the corn tortilla, the boiled and sautéed beef tongue, fresh cilantro, onions, pico de gallo, chile de arbol and lime; it was a delicious treat that Cris did not even know he liked!

Next he was steered to Milagro to try their Tacos Zarandeados, made with octopus. This is another one of the foods Cris does not want to try, but after the last pleasant experience, he may just give it a go. Chef and owner Arturo Anhalt showed Cris the octopus, and he had the chills, just looking at it. The taco also contains tuna, that he likes. As he watched the octopus being cooked, Cris asked if it was poison, Arturo told him that when an octopus is scared, they release ink. When people are scared, they pee. Cris admitted he may just pee! Cris really did like the taco and conquered another fear in his life. Starting with a locally made corn tortilla, then adding the octopus & tuna sautéed in achiote paste, shredded cabbage, an avocado slice, pineapple salsa, cilantro, pickled onions and lime, it was a delicious treat.

Now to gather nine Toronto taco lovers to try all three and judge for themselves. As the chefs gathered around, Cris introduced the three contenders. When the votes were counted, it was a tie. In the event of a tie, it is now up to Cris to declare the winner. So Cris declared Rebozos the winner of the “Best in Chow” taco wars. Congratulations, Chef Indalecio, and display that taco trophy proudly!

Now the list of things that Cris will not eat is shorter. The remaining things are broccoli, crab, lobster, celery, turnips, liver, lima beans, Brussels sprouts, tofu, head cheese and a few more. However, hang in there, as he may just be trying more forbidden items in the next episode of “Best in Chow.”

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