1078 Queen St W
Toronto, ON
M6J 1H8, Canada
Cafe – Latin American

 Oh boy. It’s been a while. It never occured to me… my cravings for this beauty. I only ever had the pleasure of trying this once, at the South American Food Festival in Fairfield. It was certainly unique. It was the first time I ever tried such a concoction, one of my first steps in venturing out of the Asian food I knew a loved. Here, it was were I had my first Empanada, and began to purchase Lebanese treats. 
El Almacen is all about Mate Beverages. It’s a beautiful concept, you can read more about it here. Mate, also known as ‘Yerba Mate’ leaves are finely chopped and ground up to make up a powder. You can be sipping this drink hours on end. With a couple of teaspoons of Yerba Mate, you even it out with your desired amount of sugar all into a Gourd. Using your metal spoon/straw (also a Bomba), you blend it all together and sip away. 
El Almacen, as expected, has a nice set of Empanadas available, in: Beef & Green Olive, Mixed Vegetable, Spinach & Cheese and Ham & Cheese at $3.50 each. They also serve up combos of Soup of the Day – Grilled Sandwiches – Empanadas.
After seating ourselves, I also realised that merchandise and the table artwork was of a man I met just that previous weekend. He works as a bartender by night, and is a crafter and artist by day – the tables have certainly worn after many wipes, but you can still be appreciative of his work and wonderful art, over here: Fiat Mihi. Absolutely beautiful!
 1. Mate Gourd ($3.95)
2. Cheese & Spinach Empanada ($2.50)
The Mate Gourd was great, just as I remembered. The Mate Gourd Set provides more than enough Mate Tea for the table to be satisfied.The Spinach & Cheese Empanada on the other hand, wasn’t such a party.
Mate captures beautiful shots.
The atmosphere of this place, is very nice. It definitely leaves it as a winter, daytime visit for me. I will definitely be coming down around here again (especially since it’s a brisk seven minute walk away), it needs many, many more visits and catch-up sessions. 
El Almacen on Urbanspoon