The 2018 season is now over a week old, and it’s fair to say the Jays have managed to put on hold the doomsday prophecies that were circulating during the offseason – not that we believed any of that stuff. Of course, these are early, early baseball days, but we can at least be thankful that we haven’t seen a sequel to the modern-day horror classic that was April 2017. But there’s been one story that has resonated more than all the rest: the awesomeness of Yangervis Solarte.
The home runs have been great, and the dancing even better. But what I’ve found really touching is the story of a single dad, who lost his wife to cancer a few years back, raising 3 ridiculously adorable daughters - seriously go check his Instagram page now. Through profound tragedy, Solarte has been a shining beacon of positivity, dedicating everything that he does to his 3 babies, as he lovingly refers to his outrageously cute niñas.
Apparently, Yanliett, Yuliett and Yulianna haven’t joined him in Toronto yet, but I think that, as fans, we owe it to Solarte to come up with a list of great Toronto spots for him to take his daughters to, so let’s get to everything Latin in this city…
Food And Eating And Eating And Food…
Solarte is Venezuelan, and Venezuelans love eating - I have first-hand experience in this matter. So if Yangervis and the little ones are craving arepas, empanadas and cachapas, their first stop should be Gordo Ex Cafe. This cozy little spot on Bathurst serves up monstrous arepas, stuffed with beef, chicken, avocado and just about anything else you can imagine. The atmosphere is Venezuelan in every way, so he can expect loud, boisterous conversations, somewhat slow yet amiable service, and copious amounts of fawning from patrons and staff alike over his cute little teammates.
Now, of course, going out to eat is great, but knowing Solarte like I think I do (which is actually not at all, but anyway…) I’m betting that he loves nothing more than hanging at home with the Y-Team, pumping some reggaeton and dancing the evening away while collectively cheffing up a feast. So for this, he should head to Perola’s supermarket in Kensington. Here, he’ll find harina pan (to make the arepas,) and frozen tequeños - if you haven’t tried tequeños - stop reading now, go to Gordo Ex and order some.
(Ed. Seriously, I have eaten at Gordo Ex Cafe and I have had their tequeños and they are-you-kidding-me awesome. Anyway, continue Jeremy…)
Finally, team Solarte is going to need their daily bread and coffee fix, and for this, there is no better place than Our Farm Bakery on Jane. Great bread, coffee and a cute little kiddie-colouring corner can all be found at this delightful little spot.
You Can Dance If You Want To…
The whole world now knows that Solarte loves dancing, so it’s hardly a stretch to imagine that his daughters enjoy getting their groove on as well. Honestly you’d struggle to find someone less versed in the ways of rhythm (let alone Latin ones) than myself, but my Latino friends tell me that Lula Lounge on Dundas West is the place to go. Any other suggestions here?
(Ed. I’ve got nothing, dance clubs just aren’t my thing.)
Out And About…
When the weather gets better (by which point Solarte and his daughters will hopefully be reunited,) Yangervis will probably want to get his little bundles of energy out of the house and take in one of the city’s wonderful green spaces. There are many to choose from, but I’d go for Scarborough Bluffs. Walking down that long path toward the beach, you can almost forget you’re in a big city. Granted it isn’t Morrocoy or Los Roques, but it’s still pretty beautiful.
Here’s hoping that team Solarte is together soon, and that the dancing continues, both at Dome and home.