Pomarosa Coffee Shop & Kitchen just opened at Coxwell & Danforth, bringing with it a strong Latin American snack game to the east-end. Head chef Luis Hernandez is from Venezuela and has always had a passion for cooking. Fueled by a dream of owning his own restaurant, he worked in a number of Toronto kitchens before opening Pomarosa with his Colombian wife, Vivian Ortiz. She recently told me a bit about the planning stages of their shop… “We kept going back to our idea of Arepas, such a staple in our respective countries. All the Arepa joints seemed to be in the west-end. We wanted to bring them east and offer something different. We are relatively new to the east-end but we love the vibe here. The mix of people, the friendliness and the small community feeling… we wanted to bring the ‘hood something that is so close to our hearts and our childhoods.”
Now, on to the food. The Arepas are made-to-order from corn flour, which makes them completely gluten free. We try 2 different ones on our visit: Chicken & Avocado as well as a Bean & Cheese. Both are topped with fresh salsa and a cilantro crema. These bad boys are bursting with flavour and can easily be eaten with a knife & fork. I slightly prefer the Bean & Cheese due to how nicely everything is melted together at the bottom of the Arepa. The hot & cold contrast is quite luxurious, as is the added crunch from the sprouts. Luis tells me he plans on adding a 3rd “Arepa of the Day” on weekends. Looking forward to that.
Next we try a delicious Sous-vide Egg dish that layers cheese, chorizo, salsa and sprouts atop perfectly cooked eggs. Think Venezuelan Huevos Rancheros, served in a mason jar. Luis says this is common in Venezuela for those who are looking to eat on the run. The plan is to roll out a salad menu in the coming months as well.
Pomarosa is also a coffee bar, serving-up all the usual suspects. The coffee is sourced from Pilot Coffee Roasters in Leslieville. Their Cortado is delicious. And if you need a reprieve from the hot sauce you’ve added to your Arepa, they also have AYCD cucumber ice water… taking me right back to “Better Call Saul.”
So the next time you are taking a stroll down the Danforth and are looking to try something new, pop in to Pomarosa and say hello. While the paint might still be drying, Luis is a pro in the kitchen. What a welcome new addition to the neighbourhood. Quite pleased Molly, Amber and I are within walking distance. “Salud y amor y tiempo para disfrutarlo!”