Monday - Saturday 5:30 PM - 12:00 AM
Location: 774 Liverpool Road, Pickering, Ontario L1W 1R9
Yucatan Restaurant “Chúuk” (Pronounced CHOOK).
This brand new establishment was opened by brothers Chris & Vangel Argiro. They wanted to bring a new modern vibe to Durham Region and they have certainly succeeded.
Chúuk is aesthetically pleasing to the eyes because it has a bright, clean and rustic image. There are so many nice bright green plants and original flooring throughout. The patio is under construction but once it opens it will be a really great patio for the warmer months.
Before I get into the feast that I was able to devour, let me give you the run down on how awesome this place is for being Gluten Free.
I would consider this Celiac Safe — there is one single dessert on the menu (a cupcake) which is NOT Gluten Free. Chris advised that the cupcake is made in the Bakery, which is in a completely separate space from the Kitchen where all the food is prepared. Also one of this dishes has Organic Pumpkin Seeds; typically seeds have a high risk for Cross Contamination. Chris reached out to the supplier and the seeds are completely safe. While the seeds are made in a shared facility the manufacturing line they are produced on does not ever have a risk. So thats a really great feeling! Further to that the Ontario Vodka they use is a potato vodka, so there is absolutely no risk with the alcoholic beverages either.
Now for the food
I started by ordering a really amazing drink called the Maya Mule - It has Ontario Vodka, Cantaloupe, Ginger, Mint, Lime and Soda. Super refreshing and full of fresh summer flavour. Not many places actually have a decent Mule so this is definitely a summer favourite I will be drinking time and time again. I mean really, you can’t have Mexican Cuisine without some sort of fruity drink!
Guacamole of course! Who doesn’t love Guac? This was certainly the best Guac I have ever had, large chunks of Avocado, and it is oh so creamy. Plus the chips are homemade and super crunchy.
We shared an Empanada which I actually have not ever had since pre-diagnosis. It had Gouda & Tomatillo Habanero Salsa which hit the spot.
Next up was Charred Beets with a great Avocado Crema sauce - I love beets so having two of my most favourite things combined was super innovative and nourishing.
And last but not least for the first time ever I tried the Aguachile. It is almost like a cold soup, but it is packed with lots of flavour and the habanero really warms your mouth. Having the large Avocado chunks in it is great to cool it down if you’re not big on spicy like me. I enjoy certain heats, but not all. This was fantastic.
There are four tacos on the menu and we were able to try them all. My favourite was the Toksel Hummus Taco - which has royal corona beans, pumpkin seeds, avocado, greens. It was light, refreshing, and really what I look for in a taco.
The other three tacos were: Fried Squid Tacos (humboldt squid, tomato arbol salsa, mayo, sprouts), Tsi’ik Taco (chilled beef salad, radish, cabbage, avocado, citrus), Cochinita Pibil Taco (Berkshire pork shoulder, achiote, pickled red onion).
There is a taco for everyone! Vegans, Gluten Free, Dairy Free, everyone can enjoy a meal here which is also a rare dining experience.
The final course was a mouthwatering, fall apart Braised Beef Shoulder. It is suggested to order some fresh tortillas on the side as the dish is a Braised Beef Shoulder with a rich chile sauce and some grilled red onions. Having the meat to put in the fresh taco is what completes the meal. They make all their tortillas fresh, and they are so authentic and delicious.
To finish off we had a very yummy Cassava Cake topped with Coconut ice cream (Dairy free!!) & a Dulce de leche sauce.
Are you hungry yet?
Overall these guys really have it down. Chris was very interested in educating himself on the difference between Celiac Disease & Gluten Intolerance. I made a few suggestions- carry a Gluten Free Beer as that is something that is very often overlooked that many of us would like to enjoy a nice cold beer with our meals. Also I suggested perhaps eliminating the cupcake that does contain gluten or even looking at making it a gluten free cupcake. Chris was very open to all of these ideas.
I will absolutely go back to this spot, and eat here super frequently especially during the summer months.
**Disclaimer— Please note I am always asking all the proper questions to ensure validity of Gluten Free Menu items. My reviews are only my personal experience, it is always up to you to ask, and advise servers of your dietary requirements. While I provide the review, it is always up to you to determine if you feel safe enough to eat there or not. **