Ottawa - Ahora is an underground Mexican restaurant located in the Byward Market on Dalhousie St. It's a small, quaint, colorful restaurant with Latin music playing in the background. The ordering system is a bit peculiar, reminds me of the time when ordering food in UK bars. The moment you know what to order, head straight to the counter and pay upfront. Afterwards, head towards the salad bar where you can fill small paper cups with salsas and garnishes.
I spent several weeks in Austin and san Antonio, Texas last summer. I had a fair share of authentic Mexican food. At Ahora, their food brought back many good memories. I'm fond of thier horchata. The Mexican version is made of rice infused with cinnamon, sometimes with a hint of vanilla. It's cold, sweet, the taste of rice and cinnamon is noticeable, almost like drinking a rice pudding.
Ahora serves a wide variety of classic dishes that are associated to Mexican cuisine - enchiladas, tacos, burritos. Many of the main dishes come with two choices of sides - rice, refried beans, green salad. We had the Burrito Grande, a massive burrito stuffed with steak, rice, cheese, and guacamole, topped with a dollop of sour cream. The steak has nice char yet juicy and flavourful. The refried beans as a side is highly recommended - soft beans with punches of cumin. If you are type of person who wants to try a bit of everything, the Enchilada Mixta is your best bet. It's a mixed platter of one chicken, one beef and one vegetarian enchiladas wrapped in corn tortillas.
Ahora is as authentic as one can get for a dose of Mexico. This place is always packed during peak hours, the portions are generous at an affordable cost. If you are in the Byward market, this is the place to go.
|Lemonade and Horchata|
|Burrito Grande - Steak, Cheese, Refried Black Beans, Guacamole|
|Enchilada Mixta - Corn Tortillas filled with Chicken, Steak and Vegetarian, Sour Cream and Salsa|
307 Dalhousie St.