A perfect place to warm up on our way to Toronto, after an extremely cold weekend at Mt. Tremblant. Spicy and hearty Mexican food sounded like a great idea and we found our place that day.
Even though it was chilly outside, the warm yellow paint almost radiated heat and was inviting us in. Besides yellow, lime green and red was generously used in the exterior façade – it was hard not to notice Ahora from afar. Surprisingly, their logo did not appear overly Mexican in style – it was a classic serif type with a rooster formed inside the letter O. The door had almost a Moroccan feel to it with bright geometric patterns all over.
We entered into a narrow bright yellow corridor with a few cactus plants, salamander and other small illustrations along the walls. Our path was down towards the semi-basement level. Getting in, we settled in the corner only to realize that the ordering was to be done by the counter on the other side.
While ordering our Guacamole, Tostada Chicken Salad and a Soft Shell Taco, we could not help to continue glancing at the condiments/salsa table nearby. While it was a great idea to lay it all out in front of everyone to come by and load up on salsas, the tiny containers made it kind of difficult. At any rate, the price was right so we stacked up a bunch of small cups with spicy stuff. The jalapeño did not make it, as it was too large for the container offered.
Chips with guacamole arrived fast. Nothing special per say, even rather plain but fresh. Some of the chips went towards previously pillaged salsas from the free table. Complimentary chips for all tables would have been even better! The Tostada Salad was a generous portion of grilled chicken, lettuce, black beans, Ahora salsa as well as guacamole and sour cream all in large crispy tortilla shell. Lots was going on in the same place, at the same time yet it all worked together. Maybe some extra spice could further help, but it was up to us to add it. As for the taco - soft corn tortilla filled with salsa gringa, cheese, avocado, and nicely cooked steak – all was in the right place, but rhymed a bit less well than the Tostada. The meat was cooked in its own juices, so it gave a unique organ smell - not ma cherie's favorite. We were surprised to find some of our lettuce leafs to be past their prime - a bit of a palate turn off. Especially disappointing, considering that the rest of ingredients were very fresh.
Our table was in an area with a lovely side skylight adding even more light to the shiny place. Upbeat salsa music and a younger crowd further enhanced the communal energy. We enjoyed our visit - don’t go here for fine dining though. It is great for the price, no frills and well-made food.