Che Baba Cantina (Kingsway and Fraser, Mount Pleasant)
I love my neighbourhood, and I adore every single effort that people undertake to beautify it and to make it more livable. I live reasonably close to Kingsway and Fraser, and because of that, I am a fan of new restaurants that are slowly but surely making their way into this area (which once was showcased as a derelict place in a movie called “Mount Pleasant”, which I reviewed about four years ago, remember?)
Che Baba Cantina is one of those efforts to strengthen the community around this area, which is now blossoming. A small but extremely bright and cozy cantina, Che Baba Cantina boasts a French-inspired menu with a multicultural staff that is friendly to the bone. I took JT here for lunch as I was determined to try this new restaurant ASAP (sorry Annemarie and Gillian, the curiosity did kill the cat).
I ordered a Tartine with Seasonal Greens ($13, pulled Pork with red onion, pickled fennel and green apple served on toasted mustard seed bread) which was pretty filling and very well done. The pulled pork was deliciously well cooked with the red onion mixed for tart flavor. While for a lunch item this side of Main Street it seems to me a bit on the expensive side of things, I was perfectly full and able to undertake a reasonable walk around the neighbourhood. I cannot say the same for JT who ordered a platter of tartinettes ($12, smaller versions of the tartine, 5 in total) but without a salad, it would have been very little food for one person.
While I absolutely adored Che Baba Cantina, I think the price is a tiny spec on the side of slightly expensive, for a lunch menu. For dinner, I haven’t tried it yet. I would think that maybe there’ll be some adjustments on portions and what not, but it’s definitely a place to try with customer service and food that is totally worth the visit.
Disclosure: I paid for both of our meals on my own dime. I have no connection to the restaurant owners or anything like that, but I wanted to write about this place because it’s one of the great additions to my neighbourhood.