Thursday, June 04, 2015

#PayPalitTO Series | Eating & Drinking For Free in Toronto [Using PayPal] - Episode 2: Wilbur Mexicana

Hello again, and welcome back to free food + drink with the magic of PayPal!
If you need more context on this series (& how to get all this amazing edible goodness for free) jump back to the first post/episode.

For lunch, I decide to head on over to Wilbur Mexicana, which by looking at its logo on the PayPal app, seems like the perfect place for yuppies and hipsters in the area (& anyone residing in Liberty Village maybe?). The address is 552 King St West, just east of Portland St.

I believe Mexican Food has a special place in a Torontorian's heart, from what I have observed, and from what my food preferences have transformed into since I've moved to the city.

Which should be no wonder that there would be a long lineup going way past the entrance and only getting longer once I queue for the free food to see what the fuss is all about.

One thing I always do to determine where I go out to eat and with #PayPalitTO is look at Yelp reviews and see what's worth getting. That, and checking their online menu (if it's available, which in this case, it is). Most people were raving about the tacos so I opted for that (& for $3.75 for one + tortilla chips, why not?). Another thing I learned about Wilbur via Yelp was their extensive salsa bar, which got me pretty stoked about the place more than anything.
The main reason I got stuck in a queue due to it being people's lunch breaks and all, which was fine. I happened to be free today to check it out and have a sit-down meal.

Final price and remainder when paying for each taco seperately using PayPal app.

Once you enter the establishment, someone may (or may not in my case) hand you a menu for you to decide on what you want to have so it makes the line move faster. The employee handing over menus skipped me(?) so I asked someone ahead to use theirs once they were finished with it.
When you get to the counter,  place your order and pay in whatever method you desire. This is my first attempt at making two separate orders in order to use both vouchers, and it was (thankfully) a success! Due to the hordes of people, it more or less looked like I was ordering for someone else (aw).
Needless to say, I do the whole "2 separate orders" gig multiple times with other places afterwards in subtle and not-so-subtle ways. The employees at every establishment I attempted this with were cool with it. *thumbs up emoji*
Like the majority of fast-casual restaurants (specifically taking the Panera Bread example), once you place your order and pay, they give you a placard with a number on it (and cute illustrations) and you sit anywhere and twiddle your thumbs hoping they manage to find you with the correct order.

This place also has great lighting, and the feel of a cafeteria (not just any cafeteria of course, but a cool cafeteria). Wilbur's surprisingly has similar decor to that of Dineen's Coffee with the whole old-fashioned library environment at the back of their restaurant (as well as their open-to-view kitchen area).

All dem avocados.

This is 1/2 of the tacos I ordered: The Bulgogi Taco; Korean-style beef with sriracha crema mayo, cabbage, pear (which I honestly couldn't taste in this), and sesame seeds on a flour tortilla. Each come with a side of tortilla chips, and depending on your appetite & how much you can consume, these are surprisingly filling (especially with a double order of chips).
While I usually go for more traditional flavours, I love fusion cuisine and couldn't pass this one up. Yelp users praised this (well, most of them since there's always a negative Nancy Yelper).

2/2 taco: The Grilled Avocado Taco with pineapple salsa, chipotle crema and cotiga cheese on a corn tortilla. Since I passed up on the guac, I had to get something with avocados, and this right off the bat sounded delicious when I saw the description online. And I usually never go for the veggie option.

On to the infamous salsa bar...

Most things available at the salsa bar were toppings on my taco (or other tacos) so unless you felt like you really missed out on a specific salsa from another taco, give it a go. Also, ALL THE LIMES. Citrus fruits are the bomb yo. Self-serve is a 1-Up from Chipotle's (when asking them to put more of black beans is, well, a bit too much to ask of them..).
Also, this hot sauce section took me by surprise. Apparently Sneaky Dee's has nothing on these guys. They should up their hot sauce game.
However, from sampling 5435432555 of these, most of them (as I suspected) are weak taste/spice-wise.
Nonetheless, I overhear these Latino guys trying to find the best hot sauce and pull out Melinda's. Judging from the little hot sauce was left from these bottles (and what they seemed to go for), this was the clear winner.

✎-------------------------------------------------------------------Overall Verdict--------------------------------------------------------------------
Bulgogi Taco: Not bad. Wasn't fan of the bulgogi itself but enjoyed the other elements of this taco. Wouldn't have this again.
Grilled Avacado. Would have a thousand times one of these if I could fit it all in my stomach. I would highly recommend this one, even if you are a meatatarian.
Overall experience: would go again, just during an off-peak hour and with friends.

Be sure to use the first $5.00 voucher by Sunday, June 7, 2015! 
The second voucher expires by Sunday, June 14, 2015.

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