New Glenora spot shows off influences from the Americas and Europe
By Steven Sandor | April 12, 2022
If you’ve walked or driven past West Block as much as I have, you likely have seen the El Corazón signage out for a long time. We’ve known for months that this new eatery was set to open near the corner of Stony Plain Road and 142nd Street, but, it wasn’t till early April that the lights were turned on.
Overlooking the plaza that surrounds the restaurant, El Corazón is a place to see and to be seen. The menu is a cross-section of Latin dishes, from Spanish paella to Mexican and Argentine flavours and cooking styles. In fact, from appetizers to tapas to entrees, the menu is pretty darn big.
But, I started the night off with the Mezcal Margarita. With strawberry, lime and apple flavours, it would be fair to worry that this would taste like the fruit-juice-with-a-splash-of-liquor “cocktails” that we all grew out of once we graduated from the world of university parties where drinks were mixed in bathtubs. But the mezcal and chili spice shine through, with the fruit offering a nice balance.
We started with Chi Chi Fritas; these are fried potato kicks and pork skins. If you think “there is no way that could be anything but good,” you’d be right. It’s fried potatoes and crispy pork. This is not rocket science, people.
My dining partner considers himself a taco connoisseur; he likes his spice, but he was impressed by how the heat built in the Carne Asada tacos. The addition of spicy Thai chili to the flank steak and salsa verde earned an enthusiastic thumbs up.
I went a traditional, Spanish route. It’s been a while since I had paella, so I ordered the seafood variety (there’s also a vegetarian paella on offer). The rice was perfectly cooked, with plenty of mussels, squid, prawns and nice little bits of chorizo sausage that were like buried treasure in the rice.
All in all, a pretty darn good first impression. It’s a spot that can either be a dinner destination, or a place to sip cocktails and share snacks.