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Where to find spring ramps downtown

I have always found them at Withrow Park farmer's market, but they don't open til May 22 this year.

Big Props for Jim's Club Sandwich

I've searched the boards but haven't seen any acknowledgement of Jim's awesome club sandwich. (Jim Restaurant, 897 Queen East, Toronto)

There are club sandwich purists out there who will debate me, but this Club is 500+ calories of soul-satisfying goodness.

This has become a weekend fave for my wife and me. It's simply done, nothing fancy, but the big chunks of rotisserie chicken set it apart from the awful, pressed turkey slices that seem to be accepted today (at twice the price). Jim's club is $5-6

I've only been to Jim's for breakfast/brunch at the weekend, so I haven't tried the rest of the menu. The breakfast menu isn't special - standard diner fare.

If you're in the hood, don't forget to stop at Jim's for a Club.

Anyone else in my camp?

Reliable fish and chips...blah

I like Reliable. To rehash the joke - they are reliable. Their cod and chips is solid, my only guilt being the whole "don't eat cod" thing. The chips are tasty and never any sign of old oil being used. Nothing is greasy. I haven't had much else on the menu except the halibut. Salmon has no right to be on a Fish and Chips menu.

As an Englishman I could go on about high expectations, but I've had a lot worse on the streets of London or Manchester.

The owner is also a really nice guy and I love calling ahead on my way home from work and picking up my freshly cooked grub.

That being said, I wish they could experiment a little more with their slaw (not British, but an essential North American addition) and tartar sauce.

Thumbs up from me!

What's your favourite sandwich?

No mention of Montreal smoked meat yet? Ok, we're not in Montreal and there's no Schwarz's or Ben's or even Reuben's, but Dunn's is a pretty good spot for your MSM fix. The key is hand slicing. If it goes through a slicer it just doesn't match up.

Where does one go for a good Reuben? It's my old skool favourite!

Chinese Garlic at Loblaws [moved from Ontario board]

Am I crazy or am I right to be pissed off at the fact that Loblaws only sells garlic from China? Even the organic garlic is from China. It just seems so stupid - garlic costs 25c a head - how much margin can Loblaws squeeze out of a head of garlic?

Is Loblaws slowly introducing Chinese produce, with garlic the canary in the coalmine? Most orange and apple juice concentrate comes from China these days - so why not ship over the fresh stuff.

I did my curmugeonly best and wrote a letter to them. Maybe if others write too they may take notice.

Free Tibet is great - but I don't mind paying a little extra for my garlic.

Apr 15, 2008
piggywiggy in General Topics

Rowe Farms opening in Leslieville!

So I'm not the only person who thought that organics shop was depressing! What a wasted opportunity. I WANTED to shop there, but was so disappointed by the service and selection every time I went.

Thanks for the info about Rowe Farms. I was all excited about having a butcher in my backyard, but now less so. Still can wait to buy some tri-tips from Royal beef and start wood grilling. If you smell some magic in the air next weekend, it's probably me - teehee.

Anyone going to the anti-BigBox rally in Simpson Park Sunday 2pm?

chinatown duck meal

I live near Chinatown East. Is there a place where I can buy the hanging duck plus pancakes and sauces all in one spot?

I've had it served many times, but I'd like to try a take home version.

Apr 05, 2008
piggywiggy in Manhattan

Must Go places in SF?

Thanh Long (or the fancier Crustacean) are worth a trip for the famous roasted crab and garlic noodles. Not the most elegant meal you'll ever have, but damn is it tasty! I prefer Thanh Long as it's the original.

I just checked, you can get into at

I would also recommend Ti Couz as a great place for crepes.

Jeez I miss living in SF.

Very best Indian

I have the same feedback. Had three fantastic meals there and then two terrible ones (benefit of the doubt and all that).

Does Everybody's Pee Smell After Eating Asparagus?


Why does my urine smell funny after consuming asparagus?
Most authorities feel that the compound that causes the odor in urine after consumption of asparagus is methylmercaptan, which is a sulfur-containing derivative of the amino acid, methionine. This is disputed by a few individuals who claim that the odiferous compound is asparagine-amino-succinic-acid monoamide, which is derived from the amino acid, asparagine. In either case, the product is formed as a derivative during the digestion and subsequent breakdown of beneficial amino acids that occur naturally in asparagus.
Ref: Merck Index, 862; Food Chemistry, Belitz and Grosch, pg. 271

And while Mission's comment about other bodily fluids is rather gross, it's not inaccurate.

Oct 05, 2007
piggywiggy in Features

Basel to Brienz, Switzerland - suggestions?

I'm often in Basel on business and it's always a mixed bag. Very expensive for what you get. Bruderholz is quite spectacular though - six courses for around E150.

I try to scale it down now and go for plates of cured meat, fresh salads and bread, washed down with a few beers - very satisfying. Walk around the Barfussplatz, you'll find Kunsthalle and a few other local places.

Oh, Aqua is also pretty cool. 5 mins walk from the train station.

And don't forget a stop in Sprungli for chocolates to take home. Their plain dark chocolate is divine.

Have fun!

Artisanal Charcuterie in Toronto?

Looking at all the responses, I get the impression we're a little short on great charcuterie in Toronto. I just visited the Salumi website (Mario Batali's dad's place in Seattle) and my mouth was watering. With some of the great pork we have in these parts, it's sad that no one's having a go.

Grilling Sardines

Depends how big your sardines are. In France we had very small ones that you could eat whole - head, bones and all. For bigger ones (5"+) just ''filet' them on your plate. It's pretty easy once they're cooked. But keep the skin on - it's great.

Aug 25, 2007
piggywiggy in Home Cooking

Avli Review (Long-ish and Not So Good)

Although when I go to Mr Greek, the waiter shouting 'Opa!' is Chinese.

Now THAT'S theatre.

Grilling Sardines

I like the sprig of thyme in the cavity and grilled gently over wood. Squeeze of lemon and a little sea salt. Word of advice: Grilling sardines can let off some serious stink - make sure the windows are shut if your grill is close to the house!!

Aug 17, 2007
piggywiggy in Home Cooking

Lil' Baci - Leslieville

I went this evening and throughly enjoyed it. A genuinely solid attempt at the "neighbourhood Italian" with (as mentioned above) very good and fresh ingredients in great combinations. Highlights were the daily antipasti (eg, roasted brussels sprouts w/horseradish, beluga lentils). I also spotted the Berkel slicer in the kitchen, so I had to try the charcuterie: all very good.

My pasta dish was delightful w/coppa, dandelion greens, and pine nuts. Very simply prepared but beautifully cooked. My wife's pizza was tasty, with a thin crispy crust and fresh toppings. I especially liked the fresh pepperoncini in oil offered to pep up the pie.

We passed on dessert and only I had a couple glasses of Nero. Bill came to $69. I was particularly impressed by the chef (owner?) who came out to talk to the patrons, asking us if we'd enjoyed our meals and thanking us for our business. Servers were also very pleasant - always ready to offer a suggestion, but never in the way. And all in an unpretentious setting. The ploy seems to be working as the last table was taken right as we left.

Great to have such an addition to the hood. We'll definitely be back!

Edward Levesque's

Jumping onto this post a little late here, but I'm a relatively new CHer. I live in the hood and I've been to ELK thrice (2 brunch, 1 dinner) and been underwhelmed each time. Service and food were average at best and I won't go again. To me it's about value and I don't see it there.

One posting confirmed my feeling in general about many TO diners: "personally, I love the who shabby chic feel to the restaurant...the old terrazo floors, mismatched tablecloths etc. are part of the appeal..."

Unfortunately too many diners are wowed by the decor and forget about the food. As a result, restaurateurs cater to this trend and open really cool restaruants with the kitchen a mere afterthought. As a result, the wrong restaurants stay in business. In NYC or San Francisco, you stay open when the food is good (and consistent, E.L.!). If this city is to compete on that level, the diners of the city have to hold restaurants to the same standard.

I'm sure fellow CHers really do appreciate good food, but this is a foodie message board. Talk to the average Torontonian and you'll get a different picture. Just my rant for the day.

Harlem is Hot

Sounds great. My friend lives just around the corner so a visit is on the cards. Thanks for the heads-up.


Actually there are quite a few names for a tri-tip which is a lot more popular on the West Coast where the awesome Santa Maria barbecue makes it sing! The fact that you'll only get two per cow means you don't often see it on display and, in the NE, you may have to pre-order.

Other names include: triangular/traingle roast, bottom sirloin butt, corner cut, culotte steak and, I think, knuckle cap.

Jun 10, 2007
piggywiggy in General Topics

Two gals hitting the town tonight

Or something in Kensington: Torito perhaps for some sangria and tapas.

What is your favorite CHEAP CHEAP CHEAP kitchen gadget

Can't cook without my trusty wooden spatula. Stolen form my mother but probably available for under $1. I believe the burn marks and the crack in the handle make the food taste better.

Jun 09, 2007
piggywiggy in Cookware

i left ZERO tip. (long story- but get this!!!)

That sucks. As a Brit who has lived in N America for years, I can confidently say that many Brits are bad tippers. It's not convention to tip in a bar in England and, for food, a tip is often considered to be a little extra if your service was really good. Although in the past decade, tipping for meals in UK has become a little more Americanized.

A friend who waited tables in Florida (Orlando, Disney, etc) said that they actually put a little note about tipping convention on the receipts! They felt they had to because they were getting 0 tips from the Brits and they couldn't keep their staff.

Although I can't speak for your customer. He just sounds like a jerk.

Jun 08, 2007
piggywiggy in Not About Food

i left ZERO tip. (long story- but get this!!!)

A successful restaurateur once told me that he gets the best from his service staff when he explains to them that they are like commissioned sales people. The better you present the product, the more the customer buys, the bigger the tip. The better the service and overall experience, the bigger the tip. It's as simple as that.

I always find that a good waiter can sell me on dessert - not so much for the food itself, but for the fact that I want to stick around and enjoy the moment. That's a bigger tab and a bigger tip for him/her.

In EMM's case, the "rep" did nothing to deserve a commission, so he got nothing.

Jun 08, 2007
piggywiggy in Not About Food

Whole Foods Launches in Britain

...and WF's website lists no fewer than 7 UK locations and 3 in Canada (Van, TO, Oakville).

Ombudsman! I demand to see the ombudsman!

Jun 08, 2007
piggywiggy in Features

Ghali Kitchen Open!!

Ordered dinner there last night. Jerk chicken dinner and half a jerk pork pizza, $9+13=22. Both jerk chicken and pork options seem to be tasty stew concoctions as opposed to grilled pieces of meat. The pizza is basically the stew scooped onto some flatbread and fired up. Delicious!

I was trying out a couple of dishes, but I figure that half a pizza for my wife and me for $13 is a good deal with leftovers. And George is a cool guy. And why did I see three hot chicks there in the space of 10 mins? Is there something I don't know?

Cabbagetown Patio?

I intend to make the pilgrimage from Leslieville to Cabbagetown on Sunday for some lunch and adult refreshments. Any outdoor options/patios? Dying to visit HoP but do they have outdoors?

(PS, Our gentrified yuppie neighbourhood kicks your gentrified yuppie neighbourhood's A$$!)

Ghali Kitchen Open!!

I drove by yesterday as well and saw it was closed.

This from Now online: Open Monday to Friday noon to 9 pm, Saturday 5 to 10 pm. Closed Sunday

Kosher in Toronto

Jun 04, 2007
piggywiggy in Kosher

What Happens if You Eat One of Those Silica Gel Packets?

"No company would include anything poisonous in food..."

Have you been a McDonalds lately?

Jun 04, 2007
piggywiggy in Features

Argentine in TO?

YY: Did you have the fried egg on your steak in AR? That's one of my fondest memories: steak with a fried egg on top, fresh cut fries and a cold beer. It was 1988, I was 15 and I can still taste it! I think it cost about 2 bucks.