I am delayed in posting about this great little space that newly opened around a month ago at 920 Queen Street West, adjacent to Carmen, owned by the amazing and talented Luis Valenzuela. Although I could focus on the food, which is great of course, I want to focus on the concept of Mercat Del Carmen.
Due the popularity of Carmen, the requests for take-out versions of his popular restaurants dishes – or just cheese and bread that are served on his dinner menu, Luis’ desire to serve the community fast food that is made with care and good ingredients, and wanting to minimize food waste, he created Mercat Del Carmen. The space is small with access to and from Queen Street and the main restaurant as well. The space is welcoming and warm, with art, ingredients and cooking tools to reflect and convey the culture. If you are lucky enough to be greeted by Luis and his smile, you will be treated not only to great food, but also interesting stories as he prepares your food. He has such passion for what he does, and loves to share it with everyone. Whether it’s been at Torito, Recipe for Change, Carmen, and now his “Mercat”, Luis has always shown a great interest in conveying where his ideas and food came from and how it was made.
Go by and try one of his house baked croissants, a sandwich to go, or just pick up some Carmen signature dishes, coffee and St. John’s Bread. I can’t wait until the weather is warm and the whole storefront is open, and the best ingredients are in season, and I know in Luis’ kitchen too.