Regulars of the previous occupants of 35 Baldwin Street, Agave y Aguacate, will say the meat and bones of the place has relatively stayed the same. Similar design concepts, brightly coloured walls and closely related logo. It is the heart of the place that is noticeably different with the arrival of Reforma 35.
Keyvan Foroughi knows this space intimately having owned the former Agave. Its turquoise walls, bench seating, and creative art work are all part of his constant vision of recreating places he loves most in his travels through Mexico; vibrant, social and relaxed places. When he partnered up with former co-owner of Fonda Lola, Andres Marquez, and brought in Chef Marcos Sanchez from Diwan, the food and drink finally lined up with their equally shared vision.
Creative and flavour filled dishes dominate a small menu of Mexican Street food. Expected dishes like enchiladas and guacamole and chips are available, but the sheer love of great tasting Mexican food can be found in abundance throughout the choices. The Cesar en Mano is a brilliant deconstructed take on the Caesar salad. A create-your-own handheld salad “taco” with lettuce leaves, avocado dressed greens, cojita cheese, candied bacon, and crispy pork rinds will have you talking about it for days.
The rest of the menu continues down that creative line. Tacos el gobernador is by far the best shrimp taco in the city. Simple citrusy grilled shrimp, cheese and pickled onions. Taco Tuesdays offers up $2 Taco de Canasta, crispy shells filled with chicken or vegetables and all the prerequisite toppings. Beef lovers can happily indulge in salspicon de res, perfectly grilled steak with crispy leeks and a cilantro dressing.
If you want to have a quiet relaxing lunch or dinner at Reforma 35, the dining room upstairs is ideal. However if you want the chance to socialize with the incredibly friendly staff and owners, the bench seating on the main floor is where the fun begins. Many of the dishes have a story behind them, from the Cesar and it’s ‘Mexican and not Italian’ heritage, or the history behind a shrimp taco with cheese. Or if conversation falls short, you can easily kill time watching one of the many talented bartenders sling out classic cocktails or delicious spins on some of your favorites. The beet margarita is a huge hit with its earthy tones and laid back sweetness. Enjoy some dessert while sitting there – either option of the Platanos Fritos (fried plantains) or the Flan de chocolate are decadent winners.
One of the most important things that the owners at Reforma 35 wanted to create was a restaurant that was about simple and delicious food. A place where you can socialize, relax or enjoy the scene around. Simple and delicious is always successful, and at Reforma 35, they have it perfected.
35 Baldwin Street, Toronto