El Barrio
234 Augusta Ave.
416-203-8777

Rating: *** 1/2
Hours of Operation: Tues to Sun 11 a.m.-8 p.m., Mon 11 a.m.-4 or 5 p.m.
Price range: $5-17
Licensed: No
Time in 2:31 p.m.
Time out 3:48 p.m.

El Barrio in Kensington is extremely laid-back — garage doors open, music blaring, lackadaisical staff, and tables full of folks looking to get away from work give the place a slight island vibe. No rushing here.

The menu features Mediterranean-style salads, sandwiches and mains.

My vegetarian companion chooses the Piquillo Pepper, Manchego Cheese & Spinach Tortilla ($9). A baked omelette with potato and sautéed onion, served with mixed greens, fills and pleases him.

Being a meat enthusiast, I cannot resist the Flank Steak with Seasonal Vegetables ($12). It is served in tender bite size pieces with velvety mushrooms, eggplants and roasted red peppers underneath. Freshly made salsa verde elevates the dish, but why there is a weird rice crisp covering the plate is beyond me.

Delectable dishes and good portions. Now if only we could get our bill.