I’ve been wanting to try Paraiso Tropical ever since I saw a couple walk out with takeout food. I remember thinking, “you can order hot food at the grocery store?!?!” and then attempted to find more information online. Good luck with that because there’s not a sniff of a menu online. That meant we were going in with no idea what type of food there would be but I was hoping for good things.
While I waited for A to show up, I browsed the aisles. They have everything you need to make your own Latin American food – spices, beans, masa, hot sauces, drinks and snacks. They even had my favourite Mexican sauce (Valentina)! I’ve never seen this anywhere else in town – pretty happy that I found a spot that has them in stock. Didn’t know you could get them by the litre!
The menu! You’re welcome. They have tacos (only on the weekends) and pupusas (Friday and the weekend). They only had boiled cassava (no fried) when we were there so we passed on that. Their food is pretty heavy on the starches and carbs, so keep that in mind when you order. We ordered a couple different things to try and tasted most of the items available from their food cart. There’s no room to sit so it’s strictly takeout. Lucky for us, it was a beautiful Friday in December for lunch outside. That’s right, we picnic tabled it up!
2x Pupusas ($3.00 each)
The pupusas had a pretty generous portion of pork stuffed inside them. The man working the counter topped things off with a good amount of cabbage and tomato sauce. They were almost out of them when we ordered but he went to the back and was able to replenish his pupusa goodie basket. Good but wish they were warmer. Nothing beats fresh from the kitchen – these were lukewarm at best.
Chicken empanada and Salvadorean empanada ($3.00 each)
Both types of empanadas were pretty good. If they hadn’t been sitting for awhile, they would have been even better. The Salvadorean had an excellent filling and tantalized the taste buds. That one I would easily eat again.
2x Argentinian tamale ($3.00)
We each got our own tamala but we could have easily shared one. Or better yet, we should have tried the Mexican tamale (in a corn husk) to compare. The masa was light and moist while the filling had potato, chicken, chickpeas and even an olive inside. Pretty decent.
Paraiso Tropical is a solid spot to grab any Latin American staples along with harder to find items. As for the food itself, I’d give it a decent rating for what it is. If you can somehow time your order to coincide with the food coming out hot, it would be much better. Otherwise, it’s merely decent. Tough to recommend over El Rancho when it’s only four streets down the road.
9136 – 118 Avenue