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Rendez-vous Restaurant - food recommendations pls.

Agreed. He might also like kitfo if he likes a little heat: sort of an Ethiopian steak tartare, spicy and flavourful. It is not always on the meat combo platter. Most restaurants ask you if you want kitfo cooked - in case he is squeamish about raw / extra rare. The food is so inexpensive, you can afford to get lots and take home leftovers for the next day.
Ethiopian cuisine is one of my favourites, and almost everyone I introduce to it enjoys it. I hope you do too.

HELP! - Imminent visit - Ethiopian spices, curry leaves, interesting spices downtown

Thanks everyone! She found everything I wanted, and more, thanks to your direction. I can't wait to get my hands on it.
With respect to the live curry leaf plants, Snarf and Rasam got me trolling the internet for Canadian suppliers of murraya koenigii and I found a company out of Quebec called flora exotica. Thanks for the idea - the fresher the curry leaf the better!

HELP! - Imminent visit - Ethiopian spices, curry leaves, interesting spices downtown

Thanks for the help! She is staying very close to University and Queen, so these suggestions for Ethiopian are great.
I was hoping to find curry leaves closer to downtown, because I don't think she'll be heading to Gerrard street with such limited time. But as my priority is very much Ethiopian spices, I am very happy with these suggestions!

HELP! - Imminent visit - Ethiopian spices, curry leaves, interesting spices downtown

This is unusual because I don't even know precisely what I'm looking for. I would usually do some research and list specifically what I wanted.
Suffice to say I have moved from Toronto and miss the food terribly. I am a two day drive from Toronto. Ethiopian food is unavailable. There are limited interesting spices available here. I can get many Indian food spices but I cannot get curry leaves.
I miss Ethiopian food the most of all, and I will not get to Toronto again until the summer, but I am having a MAJOR craving. I need to try to cook it myself.
My friend will be in Toronto for two days (starting tomorrow Tuesday February 23) and has offered to pick up some spices. I do not want to send her too far out of her way (okay - as much as she likes me she won't go too far), and am wondering if there are places close to downtown where she can get Ethiopian spices and ingredients (the priority), as well as places she can get curry leaves.
Off the top of my head I would be looking for Berberé and Mitmita (I can get Teff here at health food stores), but would love suggestions about other ingredients she could source for me.
Help me Chowhounds!

ISO: Haggis

Don't know any downtown places, but if you can catch a ride, try But 'n Ben's in Scarborough at Ellesmere/McCowan, which is great. I've also heard great things about Allen’s Butcher on Weston, north of Lawrence West. I have found Haggis at Meat on the Beach on Queen East, which is pretty accessible by streetcar from downtown, but I'd call first. The Scottish Company on Leslie just south of the 401 also stocks a few in their freezer, but again, you'd need a ride.
Good luck!

Fresh oysters - retail, not resto

... and definitely worth any extra effort.

Diners, drive-ins and dives

Alas, I think it is goodbye to Norma Jean's. There has been a "closed for renovations" sign in the window for well over 2 months now - and there is no work going on.

Grace's "Jerk Spice"

You must have used the paste. I find it seriously hot. I have only used it a couple of times. I am like PearlD - I generally follow the instructions the first time and then adjust to my own taste.
So the first time I used the paste, I followed the instructions, and then I looked at the meat and I thought `no WAY this small amount of paste will get things as flavourful and spicy as I like.. this recipe is for wimps...` and added another teaspoon or so of the stuff. It was too hot for me, and I really enjoy heat. The meat was similarly inedible for my partner, who has the weirdest palate in the world. He can detect and name very subtle flavours in food, but truly enjoys getting his taste buds burned off by a fiery hot dish.
Second time I used the paste, I followed the directions carefully. My partner was barbecuing (yes, charcoal) that evening and looked at the meat. Noting there seemed to be very little spice on it, he assumed that I had gone far too light with the paste in reaction to our last attempt - and then he surreptitiously added much more. The results were even more inedible than the last time.
We haven`t given up, as the smell is wonderful and we have used other Grace products, especially the dried jerk spice mix, with great success. But next time, we will follow the instructions exactly - or maybe even add less paste than suggested - and then adjust any subsequent attempts.

Diners, drive-ins and dives

Way off the beaten track there's a place up in Thunder Bay called Norma Jean's. When you walk in, there are booths on one side, and on the other old fashioned chrome stools, bolted into the floor, run along a low counter. There are tables at the back. The entire place is plastered with photos and posters of Marilyn Monroe (hence the moniker), Elvis Presley, and classic cars. It has not been renovated, as far as I can tell, in years. If you go to the bathroom, you will usually find a flower in a vase in there.
The nice older lady that serves you wears a poodle skirt. Almost everything is "home made" - fresh cut fries, turkey, gravy, etc. The burgers and perogies are very good. There is an old, but functional milkshake maker. Slices of lemon meringue pie sit in a glass shelving unit by the counter in case the huge portions have not done the trick. Although there may be nothing spectacular, it is standard fare done well in a setting that has character.
And as an added bonus, legend has it that it was the place Bambi Bembenek (remember her? US fugitive captured in Thunder Bay in the 90's?) used to work, or live (in the apartments above), or was arrested (depending on the version you hear). There is, in fact, a "Bambi burger" on the menu (alas, it is not venison...)

Best LCBO scotch under $60

Highland Park is an excellent suggestion - one of my favourites and consistently highly rated. Nice, peaty, really, really nice.

Awesome Beaches/East York Take Out or Delivery?

Ethiopian. There are several great places on the Danforth. I have purchased take out from Rendez-Vous before, and am sure other places will do take out as well. Enjoy!

Chinatown East (Gerrard) Recommendations?

I had a similar salty experience at Batifole recently. Took a group out, and everyone was disappointed with the food because of the salt. The veggie side was so bad, we actually sent it back - which I never do, but the food was actually inedible. The server handled the complaint well, and the dish was comped, so no complaints about service, but I wonder what's up - I'm used to better from Batifole.

Dukem (Ethiopian resto review)

have you tried RendezVous Ethiopian on the Danforth between Greenwood and Coxwell? I've had some really good, flavourful food there. Nice sour injera, yummy veggie plates, and the tibs are usually very good.

Why are there such disparate reviews of Tomi Kro?

Just looking for an update on this place. According to the old comments, Tomi Kro skews young, the service is hipster, the place is loud, and the service is variable - but it serves great food. Is this still the case? And if so, is it too cool a place to take a couple of admittedly unhip 60 year olds?

A tall order - even for Chowhounds!

Yes, that’s a challenge!
I fear I ask the impossible. We need recommendations for a memorable mid-week celebratory dinner. The guest of honour is celebrating a graduation, of sorts, and a major milestone professionally. There will be 5-8 attendees, and they range in age from late 30’s to early 60’s. There are a couple foodies in the group, but no one is especially demanding. Presentation is important, though, as we want it to be “special”, and I find even the non-foodies rave when the food looks beautiful or different. This group is adventurous food-wise.

We are looking for the following:
- Preferably east of the DVP (pretty important, logistically)
- Memorable presentation
- Good food
- Preferably something out of the ordinary, that people from out of town can’t usually get
- No Italian (one of the guests grew up with the real deal and simply refuses to eat Italian in a restaurant)
- Not the Citizen
- Up to 60 dollars pp before alcohol (could be a lot less, could be a little more)
- Alcohol licence
- Nice but unpretentious atmosphere with comfortable seating
- A place that offers a prix-fixe or chef’s menu

Just to let you know, we are willing to trade off one factor for a really high score on another. For example, Ethiopian is very high on the “out of the ordinary for out of town guests” scale and we were seriously thinking about it, then we realized that we didn’t want to watch one particular guest eat with their hands (hehe). We are also considering Batifole, but it wouldn't be really memorable.

So, any takers?

Where to purchase Irish moss in Toronto?

Saw it today at St. Lawrence market in Lively Life Fine Foods (downstairs, north end of the south market). I'm sorry I failed to note the price.

Looking for Filipino Restaurants Downtown Toronto

This is an older post, but it may help:

Good luck and let us know if you find anything good!

Restaurants near Woodbine/Danforth?

Ethiopian friends swear by Rendezvous. I really can't compare it to the other places on the Danforth as I have never tried them, but the food has always been wonderful at Rendezvous - and an incredible value.

Lahore Tikka House on Gerrard E. - awful!

My SO and I can agree on two places on that strip: Moti Mahal and Mahar. I also like the dosa's at Udupi Palace, but my SO disagrees.

Memorable Grad Lunch near Ryerson

The dining room at Osgoode Hall might fit the bill. Great space, good food, and something a bit different for a special occasion. The grounds are great for family photos, too.
Because it is a working courthouse as well, you will have to go through a metal detector when you walk in - this means leave the mini pocket knife / screwdriver keychains behind.

Snug Harbour

Mac n cheeze, I think you are right. I don't think it's the way you cook it, or that you are imagining it. I'm from the north as well, and I don't eat the pickerel in the stores here in the south - it's not that it's bad, it's just different and less flavourful and I am invariably disappointed.

On the walleye / pickerel front - I call it pickerel whereas my younger brother calls it walleye - but that could just be because he was a sport fishing guide for awhile and worked for a lot of Americans. Sauger, however, is a different fish - closely related, but different.

Shalimar Sweets on Greenwood

Thanks for the info - I have been meaning to check this place out, but won't bother now.

I recommend Mahar for your sweet fix - right across the street from where Surati was. Good stuff, and a great selection, and I have never had anything stale.

Surati's sweets were excellent, but I must admit the thing I miss most about Surati is their great big samosas - a guilty pleasure...


There was some talk on another thread that it may have closed. The message on their machine has said that they are closed for a few weeks "for renovations" for about a month and a half now. I fear I may have missed my chance to try their food...

Variety of oysters

I love Diana's - but note their selection does vary with the season - in October / November ("Oyster season") there is a really great selection. At this time of year, there is usually a bit less variety, but still some great oysters. I was there a couple weeks ago getting something else and I think they had Galway Oysters from Ireland.

Where to find a haggis?

I think you may be able to get both at Meat on the Beach. I've bought haggis there before, and I think I've even seen black pudding there on one occasion.

Mrs. Whyte's pickles?

I agree that Mrs. Whytes are widely available - I have no problem finding them and I think I bought the jar currently in my fridge at either the lakeshore loblaws or Royal Beef on the Danforth. My partner and I have a hard time agreeing on Kosher dills. I go for taste, and he is very much for crunch. I love Moishe's and Mrs. Whytes, and Strubs. He likes a commercial crunchy half sour (apparently I refuse to store the brand name in my memory as I cannot recall the name but know they are everywhere). We can agree on Bubbie's - a brand I have seen only at Royal Beef on the Danforth. Anyone else tried them?

Birthday dinner (under 50/person) suggestions in TO?

I stand corrected regarding Batifole. But I can confirm Vorpal's observations re: a la carte - our group of 4 had dinner (a la carte) for four, including wine, and apps for about 200, before tip (but no desserts - we didn't need or want them...) That was such a good meal, and the people I took were wowed. Always nice to introduce someone to a great place.
And oh, goodness, am I craving the tartare now that I think of it. . .

Birthday dinner (under 50/person) suggestions in TO?

If you are willing to go off the beaten path, Batifole is consistently excellent at a very reasonable price point - I think they usually have a table d'hote menu for around 35 dollars. It is not in a "nice" neighbourhood, being just east of Chinatown East on Gerrard, but it's excellent food, good service, and the place itself is nice, although not "fancy". Check the reviews on this board and you will find them consistently glowing. Although if you are looking for a place with linen tablecloths and fine china, Batifole isn't it, unfortunately.

East End Eats Out

Thanks for the info and link - I am now thinking of visiting a couple as well.

Restaurant Recommendation near Kooza

Batifole - Gerrard St East just west of Logan. Great food, consistently good reviews on this board and elsewhere.