Tex-Mex with a touch of China


Somerset Street will be reconstructed from Preston up to Booth next year (city budget permitting). After the underground utilities are replaced, the street gets repaved and new sidewalks, ped lights, trees, benches, garbage cans, the whole shebang gets set up for the next decades. Many of those streetscaping decisions are being made right now, and it is fun being on the committee debating the colour palette of the paving blocks, the crosswalk designs, selecting the benches, etc.  So … what Chinatown should look like is much on my mind.

It is rather ironic therefore that the Southern Cross restaurant, which serves tex-mex food from its premises under the Radisson Hotel at Bay and Queen, has an attractive side patio decorated with Chinese lanterns. Tex-mex goes Asian.

Unfortunately, the City only permits approved light fixtures permanently attached to its new ped light poles, so it’s “ciao and addio” to rope lights in the shape of Italy (shown below in Little Italy, Toronto), or Chinese lanterns strung between the posts in Chinatown. It’s a real shame, since nothing says “fun” in Mandarin so well as gaily lit paper lanterns (interpreted into plastic, of course). Maybe we will be able to work them into some other display, or find a work-around the city rules.


BTW, the lanterns at the Southern Cross have been put away for the summer.