Madame Marie’s Weekly Roundup: Toronto’s Best Takeout, Delivery and Dining During COVID-19 – April 16, 2021

On Thursday, April 16, a number of new restrictions were announced in Ontario to help combat the soaring number of COVID-19 cases. The province’s state of emergency and stay-at-home order will now be in effect until at least May 20, 2021.

Please continue to support your local restaurants during this challenging time. Here are this week’s takeout picks.

Birria Balam
147 Spadina Avenue, Unit 109
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Toronto’s hottest Mexican pop-up dishes up comforting birria tacos that make you want to go back for seconds, thirds, and possibly fourths (if you’re not too stuffed!). Birria is a flavourful Mexican stew that’s traditionally made with beef, lamb or goat. It’s slow cooked until the meat is fall-apart tender. Birria Balam is all about authenticity and full-on flavour. There are two combos on the menu that incorporate a braised-to-perfection mixture of brisket and chuck beef, spices, and tortillas from local shop, Maizal. The quesabirria ($24) are filled with braised beef and gooey mozzarella. They’re then dipped in the braising liquid (consomé) and grilled on the plancha to achieve a crisp outer shell. The sauve tacos ($21) are more akin to a traditional soft taco. Each combo comes with a soda or water, consomé for dipping/sipping and salsas roja and verde. There’s an option to tack on salsa macha—a spicy, nutty salsa—for an additional $2. Toronto can thank Chef Kate Chomyshyn, Chef Julio Guajardo, and Chef Matty Matheson for bringing this highly addictive comfort food to the city after an inspiring culinary trip to Tijuana. Place a takeout order and get them while you can!

Gusto 501
501 King Street East

Situated in Corktown, Gusto 501 embodies the spirit of a good neighborhood trattoria—much like its sister restaurant, Gusto 101. In the days of dining in, it’s the place where you felt like true famiglia, surrounded by good company and genuine laughter. Gusto 501’s unfussy and satisfying fare—from thin crust pizzas and flavourful pastas to its famous tiramisu—are also available for takeout directly through its website. The Mezzi Rigatoni with boar ragu and formaggio di fossa is definitely a crowd pleaser. And, if you’re looking for a culinary adventure while you’re parked at home, try the Eat the City chef curated meal kits and virtual cooking classes from the Gusto 54 family of restaurants.

Hailed Coffee
44 Gerrard Street West

With a plethora of locally owned and operated coffee shops, visiting your neighborhood barista is one of the easiest ways to support the hospitality industry right now. Located just south of College Park, Hailed Coffee is a cozy shop that makes you feel at home with its high-quality coffee and warm hospitality. Hail in Arabic means cardamom, an essential spice that’s added to Arabic coffee. You can find the aromatic spice in a variety of specialty beverages at the shop, such as the cardamom latte. If you love chocolate, Hailed also makes its own brand of artisan chocolate that draws inspiration from Middle Eastern flavours. Pistachio cherry chocolate, flat white (cookies and white chocolate), and “cardamella” (cardamom and caramel) are just some of the enticing varieties you can expect to find.

Bon appétit!


Mme. M. xoxo

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Operations are subject to change during this crisis so please contact each restaurant for the most up-to-date information.