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Freshest spices in TO

I love that Iqbal strip mall... Didn't know there was a spice shop there... The spices in the grocery store, while expansive, seem to look old... Again, not that I know how to judge, but the colours don't seem very vibrant... maybe it's just the lighting. I went to the site and they only showed 8 spices. Do they sell other spices than Indian? Does anyone have any preference for purchasing... e.g. cello or plastic bottle? I would say plastic, but just curious if anyone has any views on that.

Apr 15, 2014
Moimoi in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

The Old Toronto Restaurants you make the wishes for the comeback

We used to go there when we were young... not sure if I really liked it... I think even as kids we all felt it was an A&W rip off and was therefore inferior. I really wondered as a kid too what their hamburgers were made of... don't want to know now. One of their locations in Mississauga (maybe on Dundas) is still standing and has been reincarnated a dozen times. Not even sure what it is now. That would have been in the late 60's, early 70's....

Apr 14, 2014
Moimoi in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

The Old Toronto Restaurants you make the wishes for the comeback

So weird... I still think about that place sometimes... probably when I see the name "Ginsberg". I was young when it was open and lived out the outskirts of the city so I never went there, but I can still remember their signage... I think it was sort of carnival-like... "Step right up, step right up..." Would you say that it was like that or did I unconsciously modify that memory?

Apr 14, 2014
Moimoi in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

The Old Toronto Restaurants you make the wishes for the comeback

I guess that might be considered an urban myth, but I like it.

Apr 14, 2014
Moimoi in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

The Old Toronto Restaurants you make the wishes for the comeback

I'll never forget it... I was in my 20's and didn't know much about food at the time, but it was my first lesson in sticking with the heritage of the cuisine... I ordered a pasta that was way over-cooked and I swear they used ketchup for sauce. Maybe the wife was sick that day and hubby took over the kitchen and guessed how to make it.

Apr 14, 2014
Moimoi in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

The Old Toronto Restaurants you make the wishes for the comeback

Good one.

Apr 14, 2014
Moimoi in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Erin Mills / Mississauga

My mother lives near there, so I'd also be interested. The only thing I've seen that wasn't a franchise or chain and seemed to have any character was a Caribbean joint on Erin Mills one stop light north of the QEW, turn left (west) and it's in the first strip mall with the Swiss Chalet ... Haven't been there though. There's a Thai place in the same mall but I think it's just take out and the prices seemed high. I'll be following this post in anticipation of some good suggestions too.

Apr 14, 2014
Moimoi in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Freshest spices in TO

I've been to BJ's many times. They re-package many of their dry goods like nuts, dried beans, larger quantities of spices. I don't know why, but I've personally found grain beetles in a few re-packaged dry goods I've purchased at BJ's. I'm not sure how that works, and maybe they were isolated incidents, but I hesitate when something is re-packaged. When you're referring to BJ's, are you talking about their own brands (again, re-packaged) or the products they purchase directly? I've also been to a couple of other spice shops on Gerrard, but how can I tell if the spices (not herbs) are fresh??

Apr 13, 2014
Moimoi in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Freshest spices in TO

I should have been more specific. I do grow my own herbs in the summer (basil, tarragon, chives, parsley, coriander, rosemary, thyme, sage, etc....). I was thinking more like Yongeman... the dry spices like cumin, paprika, chile, bay leaf, and even mixes like Garam Marsala... I've made my own blends in the past, but I'd rather focus my cooking energy elsewhere than custom blending spices. For my Middle Eastern spices I would go to Arz Bakery on Lawrence East... I'd prefer not to go different places for every type of cuisine... Was hoping for a one stop shop for most, and the bottles at Loblaws are not under consideration, but I figure everyone here understands that.

Apr 13, 2014
Moimoi in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Freshest spices in TO

After tiring of reading the golden rule of dry spices, I have finally taken that big step and put an alarm in my calendar to replace all of my dry spices once a year. I confess that I haven't done it as often as I should in the past, but the reason is I never know where to get the freshest spices. How do I know they're fresh, even though they're sealed? Many spices are packaged in that clear cello - I'm sure that doesn't keep the air out. I know there are several spice shops in Kensington. I just want some credible assurance which place is best and why. Thanking you in advance.

Apr 13, 2014
Moimoi in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Grilled cheese fest is a disaster!

I posted earlier on the event. Not a prize-winning review but provided a bit of info... Oh... was only able to taste the Construction Site's mac & cheese grilled cheese (soo good) because I offered to help the production guy. Line ups everywhere were just too long. Too many people, not enough support, poor planning. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/967266

Mar 01, 2014
Moimoi in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Grilled Cheese Fest 2014

Was given tickets to this event at Roy Thomson Hall at the last minute. Arrived about an hour before close and the event was still buzzing. It was evident within minutes that the event was a planning DISASTER. Brutal line ups for quarter portions of grilled cheese sandwiches and beer, but I give those young lads (I'm recalling a strawberry blonde one with glasses - very nice young man) at the brewery tables credit for making the long lines less painful with their chipper personalities.... Anyway, I'm sure there are other attendees that could better describe the failures of this event. It clearly has potential and the attendance seemed good... I'm tired, so I look forward to hearing better feedback on this event... p.s. The Construction Site Grilled Cheese's Mac and Cheese Grilled Cheese.... OMG!!!!!!!!!! I can't repeat what I said after I tasted it. Soooooo goood!!!!!

Feb 28, 2014
Moimoi in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

The Old Toronto Restaurants you make the wishes for the comeback

Fun post. All I can think about at this moment is a place called Sian San that was on College beside the police headquarters. Food was reliable, fresh, quality, the place was always clean and busy. One item comes to mind... A steamed wonton in a chili oil... I recall something about a satay peanut sauce as well... Whatever it was, I can still feel the burn. No idea why they closed. Also just heard that Pastis closed. Not sure if it's true, but if so, I'll miss that.

Feb 19, 2014
Moimoi in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Within walking distance from the Art Gallery of Ontario?

Thank you, Atahualpa. I'm glad someone said it. I also can't stand John's Italian or Margarita's. Terrible food.

It's three years since this post but I'm going to the AGO tomorrow with a friend and having dinner after. Don't want to go to Frank, any of the awful places across the street, Baldwin, or McCaul. Maybe walk to Note Bene and eat at the bar, but also fine with something more casual... just not one of those quiet little bistros... Something a bit lively.

Feb 13, 2014
Moimoi in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

What is the Best Condiment You Ever Had?

This is actually a clever post, so I'm adding to my Chimichurri (had it at, believe it or not, an Argentinian joint I found on the outskirts of Vegas) post from a while ago... Thank you fourunder for your contributions... I second the • Horseradish Mayo, • Ginger & Scallion Oil, • Chili Oil, and I add...

• Korean BBQ sauce (the dark, soy coloured marinade)
• Aunties and Uncles homemade ketchup (not sure if they do it anymore)
• The Easy Breakfast's side of ancho chile jam with their burrito
• Tamarind dipping sauce (multi purpose)
• aioli combos (lemon, garlic)

That's all for now.

Feb 08, 2014
Moimoi in General Topics

HELP! Troubleshooting Gnocchi...

As per my last post, threw out my goopy mess and started over. Boiled russets with skin on, riced while hot, and worked my way through several test batches. Initially used just salt and flour and worked through consistencies. I'm on final round, this time added some egg whites for adhesion... so far working much better in creating a more dense gnocchi... inside is nice and light with good texture, but outside is still coming out a bit goopy. Will add some extra flour to last ball to test. IMO, I highly recommend anyone doing this for the first time to do a test batch on another day, as it's somewhat laborious. p.s. I did use an ice bath after boiling.

Feb 02, 2014
Moimoi in Home Cooking

HELP! Troubleshooting Gnocchi...

Okay, so basically I think I blew it. I got sidetracked and let the potatoes sit in water (did not read this before) for a while, then added a TON of flour (again, before I read this) and the dough is still a sticky lump. I have yet to get said blob of sticky dough out of the bowl. Is there any way I can repair/save these?

Feb 01, 2014
Moimoi in Home Cooking

Looking for kielbasa in Pittsburgh area

Thanks ML Pavact! You're 100% correct. I was obsessed about finding out the answer and found out that it was Primanti Brothers. Would you agree that is an accurate statement? Are their kielbasa and cheese sandwiches the best???

Dec 28, 2013
Moimoi in Pennsylvania

Looking for kielbasa in Pittsburgh area

I know this is an old posting, but I was just watching the movie, "Runner Runner". In an early scene, Ben Affleck mentions how he can't get "(blank's) kielbasa and cheese" from some joint and says "can you imagine how that hurts a Steelers' fan". I missed the name of the place he was referring to... I never thought about having kielbasa with cheese... I'm assuming they mean on a bun or something... maybe with onions... Does anyone know the name of the place he was referring to? Thanks.

Dec 23, 2013
Moimoi in Pennsylvania

You're doing it all wrong...

Chocolate chip cookie video won't play - skips to Mimosa every time. Dying for some cookies right now. grrrr... http://www.chow.com/videos/show/youre...

Dec 02, 2013
Moimoi in Site Talk

Easy Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

I followed the recipe except for adding 1 tsp of smoked paprika. I really liked the simplicity and flavours (garlic, onions, chicken stock vs. a complex rub like I've used in previous recipes) of this recipe vs. some others where it felt like I was preparing the pork for a religious ceremony vs. the oven.... It's in the oven now (9pm) at 200 degrees, but I'm not waking up at 6 am to check it so it will be in there at least 11 hours... Fingers crossed.

Sep 01, 2013
Moimoi in Recipes

Solo Diner in Yorkville area September

Thanks... I needed that. I was falling hard and hadn't even been there yet. Le Paradis? :) Still let us know what you do.... p.s. While Mortons isn't really imaginative, it's got a cozy little bar - used to serve complimentary sliders as bar snacks (doubt they do anymore), and some friends who live right in the heart of Yorkville, are diehards.

Aug 14, 2013
Moimoi in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

ISO Downtown's best dim sum

that's funny... :)

Aug 14, 2013
Moimoi in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Solo Diner in Yorkville area September

People! She asked for something with "counter seating" and “within walking distance” (my criteria for walking is no more than five minutes unfortunately) from Yorkville.

That said, I agree that Le Paradis is perfect, with the best bar for dining and chatting with more mature patrons and staff; however, IMO, I think it would be a pain to walk there – depending of course if you're like me, or which end of Yorkville you are staying... You can always map it and decide…

Never been to Caren's but just checked it out – wow, looks ideal… as a mater of fact, I think I'll go there this Sunday for the wine and cheese sampler. Also looks like it would be a great, more intimate social scene. Opus is great for all the things you're looking for - it's like Paradis, but more expensive. Coffee Mill... a classic, but kind of dull and lighting is more cafeteria than dining. Actually, I've been to every place on this list, except Museum Tavern and Caren's (I didn’t like the vibe I picked up on Museum from the site), so this has actually been a good exercise in narrowing down criteria, because while I’ve always loved Yorkville, finding the “right” spot for the mood has always been a challenge....

Ultimately, if I had to choose, even though I've never been to Caren's, after seeing the site, I can tell already that Caren's would be a great, warm, social space, with a great bar for eating, and it seems – a suitable clientele… Like I said, I'll be checking it out too! Let us know where you go.

Aug 14, 2013
Moimoi in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Calling all Trinidadians! Why did my doubles go RED??

Yes, I added tumeric (as called for in the recipe). I also attached the link of the recipe I used. I'm an expert at eating doubles but not at making them. It tasted "okay"... not terrible, but I noticed bursts of baking soda so I realize that I should have blended the dry ingredients more. There must be some science to this because even the guy I got from the recipe from seems confused.

Aug 10, 2013
Moimoi in Home Cooking

Homemade Pizza at super-hi heat: it works

Is anybody out there???? I know this is an ancient post, but here I am. I have the pizza stone, I have the recipes.... I get it all, but but my stove sucks and every time I blast my oven to 500+ my oven emits fumes and the whole experience takes away from the joy of the pizza (which is always delish, by the way). My oven is clean, but I worried enough once to clean it even more, and then cycled through it a couple of times before making pizza again, but still... it just doesn't react well to high temperatures. So, I cautiously ask.... Until I replace my stove, can I not have a similar effect with a lower temperature? If so, how low can I go??? Thanks.

Aug 09, 2013
Moimoi in Home Cooking

ISO Downtown's best dim sum

I just realized that my comment about a category of dim sum that is "gluten-y" would be inaccurate.. well, inaccurate if in fact the wrapper was in fact gluten free, but with the exception to the high-end joints where they are more selective about ingredients, I wouldn't actually be surprised if the wrappers in the less reputable establishments used wheat flour as a filler, thus my gluten-y comment being okay... Not that I'm getting all radical about dim sum specifics... Just sayin'

Aug 06, 2013
Moimoi in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

911 for TONIGHT. Mexican, nice patio, near subway...

Thanks for the quick reply. It's perfect, but my friend is TTC-ing it so it's not going to be convenient. Not sure why those knuckleheads at the Distillery don't offer a shuttle service from/to Union. They're doing their tenants a disservice by not getting with it. I'd go much more than I do if they had that. Not sure where we'll go now, but thanks again.

Aug 06, 2013
Moimoi in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Calling all Trinidadians! Why did my doubles go RED??

Got Caribana fever and decided to give doubles a try. MISTAKE! I think I'm going to leave such challenges to the experts henceforth, but would still like to know what the heck happened to my dough. I followed this recipe. http://www.simplytrinicooking.com/200... Please see the results below... Original dough + resulting, fried thing. NO LAUGHING! They look like red velvet apple fritters. They tasted okay, but I trashed my creation... Don't say that colour doesn't have an impact on appetite.

Aug 06, 2013
Moimoi in Home Cooking

911 for TONIGHT. Mexican, nice patio, near subway...

Going crazy trying to find something to take advantage of one of the very few gorgeous days/nights "so far" (fingers crossed) this summer. So yes, good Mexican food near a subway and with a nice patio. I saw El Sol on Danforth but the patio looks not nice.... Only one hour left before I have to meet my friend.

Aug 06, 2013
Moimoi in Ontario (inc. Toronto)