Toro Toro the Brunch Spot to Explore

How do you travel to 5+ countries in a period of 2 hours?  You go for brunch at Toro Toro.

On a Sunday morning walking into Toro Toro I entered not knowing that I would experience an incredible celebration of Central and South America through food. The interior of the restaurant did not indicate that its menu is deeply rooted in traditional cultures from numerous countries but the menu and food creations led by Regional Executive Chef, Carlos Camacho, certainly did.

Toro Toro on the weekend offers a bottomless brunch for $39 featuring unlimited cocktails, especiales, sides, Antonio and dulces. To kick things off we had to start with traditional guacolme.

Made from pico de gallo / serrano pepper / crispy tortilla

Presented with the guacamole was an incredibly fresh pairing of Ceviche de Camarones which combines shrimp, habanero sauce, pickled red onion and patacones. I personally greatly enjoyed eating the Ceviche on it own without the patacones.

Following the two fresh appetizers, was a slightly heavier appetizer, Empanda de Choclo. This Empanda, which is made of sweet corn, aji amarillo, guacamole and mozzarella cheese, was the best Empanda I have ever tasted in the District. The level of crisp was just right and the stuffing melts in your mouth.

The dish following it definitely competed in my favorite appetizers list. The Braised Short Rib Arepa comes in two small round corn masa cakes topped with hoisin, achiote, guacamole, serrano and crema fresca. Typically I avoid short ribs (sorry to the short rib fans) but this one was special and after talking to the Chef I understood why. Chef Carlos spends hours braising the short rib and has paired it perfectly with the cooling effect gained from the guacamole.

In the below two dishes we explored new country influences starting with a hint of Chinese as I learnt a new statistic that 10% of the population according to the Chef in Peru are Chinese. This population has influenced the Peruvian dishes as seen in the left dish: Chaufa Aeropuerto comprised of fried rice, noodles, scrambled eggs, chorizo, snow peas, carrots, onion and cilantro. Personally I did not try this dish due to my allergy to chorizo but my guest said she would order it again.

To the right is the Lomo Saltado con Huevof featuring an incredibly tender beef filet, sunny-side up egg, sweet & sour sauce and vegetables.

There was still a long list of things to sample but by the 7th course my stomach was begging for a break. To end our Toro Toro experience we had to end with dessert, so we of course indulged with 4 desserts. First up was the Tres Leches featuring a vanilla sponge cake, cajeta, burnt meringue and a side of fresh berries.

The moistness of the cake paired with the burnt toppings and berries (highly recommend adding the mint to your bite) made me take numerous following bites. If you have a sweet tooth I would recommend this dish as it leans more to the sweet side compared to the other desserts we tried.

The next three dishes were comprised of different levels of sweetness to please all types of people from the healthy (sugar free ones) to the semi-sweet to the super super sweet lovers. Clearly the dish with the fruit salad made of berries, seasonal sorbet, granola and toasted coconut is for the healthy people. The Greek Yogurt Brûlée featuring cinnamon, agave, berries and oats were for the semi-sweet lovers and finally the Churros made of traditional churros, caramel and warm chocolate sauce for the super sweet lovers. All were truly great dishes, it just depends on the level of stomach space you have and the level of sweetness you were craving. I personally enjoyed the fruit salad the most.

If you were to leave with anything from this article it is to go book your table at Toro Toro for your next brunch in Washington DC. Once you leave happily make sure to go check out Chef Richard Sabdoval’s other DC ventures El Centro D.F. and Masa 14 which also feature great food and atmosphere. In every dish you can feel the passion, culture and love of Regional Executive Chef, Carlos Camacho has. It truly was a joy dining at Toro Toro.
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Regional Executive Chef, Carlos Camacho

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