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Chowfind of 2014 (anywhere in Ontario)

I discovered Royal Boonsik earlier this year when I meant to go to White Brick Kitchen but it was closed. I continued walking west and noticed this place for the first time even though it's only a few doors down. I think they must have renovated or changed their sign or something in the last year or so.

I don't know a lot about Korean food beyond the popular stuff like bibimbap, bulgogi, etc. So was really pleased to learn about kimbab, Royal Boonsik's specialty. For anyone else who doesn't know, it's a Korean version of maki. But they're huge (around 8 inches long) and they have ones filled with meat, like bulgogi. Their mandu are also great.

Downtown lunch suggestions?

For a serene lunch, I like Gallery Grill at UofT's Hart House:

Schnitzel Queen ???

Karon Liu just tweeted that Schnitzel Queen needs to move due to condo development. And a link to a Kickstarter campaign to help them relocate:

Food Events - 2014 (Toronto area and rest of Ontario)

Remember the "3 Game Changers"? The place on Queen West that had the constantly changing food concepts which turned out to be one big gag by the owner of Khao San Road? Well they're doing a popup this Saturday, Oct 18 they're calling Bro Appetit.

They've invited other restos to come in and riff on one of the various food concepts they originally joked about. For example, Barque will be doing "Smoke n Mirrors" and Come and Get It will do "Sammy's Sammies". And, of course, Khao San Road will be doing "Thai Tanium".

Other than this popup, I wonder if the place will finally open.....

2014 Restaurant and Food Store OPENINGS!!

According to this Instagram post they will be opening this Wednesday (Sept 24). Looks like in addition to the retail butcher side, there will also be takeaway prepared food like the rotisserie chicken in this image:

2014 Restaurant and Food Store CHANGES and CLOSINGS

Lucky Red has closed temporarily to change up the concept to be more of a full-service sit down restaurant:

I think they didn't differentiate it enough from their Banh Mi Boys concept. When they first opened they had things like lo mein and desserts. Then very shortly they brought in the whole BMB menu. I wonder if they simply started off as another BMB it would have done any better? Or maybe a casual sit down resto is better suited to Chinatown? Hope they find the right approach.

Cotton Candy Grapes?

Queen and Portland last weekend. Maybe it was 3.99/lb not a bag.

Cotton Candy Grapes?

Bought them at Loblaws for 3.99 a bag. That is, after I sneaked a taste before. Didn't know anything about them before seeing them. I was so skeptical. But they really do taste and even smell like cotton candy.

2014 Restaurant and Food Store OPENINGS!!

Just noticed Butter Avenue is open on Queen St W right next door to Urban Outfitters. Very starkly modern looking patisserie in the vein of Nadege. Didn't go in but saw they mostly specialize in macarons. They also had small selection of cakes and tarts. Googling them now I see that they have a location on Yonge near Lawrence.

What happened to El Gaucho Sausages?

You're thinking of Sausage King in the main south market.

2014 Restaurant and Food Store OPENINGS!!

Noticed right in between Rose City Kitchen and Kinton on Queen West a coming soon sign for a seafood sandwich place called Fresh Off The Boat.

2014 Restaurant and Food Store OPENINGS!!

A new place is finally taking over the former Chocolate Addict space on Baldwin in Kensington Market. I think it's called "Mare Italian". The lettering painted on the outside listed stuff like pizza slices and meatball sandwiches.

weekday lunch options near adelaide and brant?

There's the new food truck spot behind Zoe's. You can check out how veggie friendly the truck options are each day here:

And there's L'Eat on Adelaide west of Spadina. Salads, sandwiches and daily specials. The price/value proposition isn't the best, but the quality/freshness of ingredients is high.

2014 Restaurant and Food Store OPENINGS!!

Just noticed a sign for "Nam Sandwiches". It's where Parkette used to be on Queen just west of Trinity Bellwoods Park. I guess it'll be a banh mi place. Interesting to see if they can get close to Banh Mi Boys' price to quality ratio.

2014 Restaurant and Food Store OPENINGS!!

Just spotted this tweet from Kanga saying they will be opening this Friday (i.e. Pieday, May 23):

The Bacon Nation

Just noticed the signage as well. It's definitely in the old Come and Get It / Ackee Tree location. Also noticed that Adam Vaughn's Liberal campaign office will be next door in the condo showroom / old Blockbuster space. I guess they won't be tearing these down just yet.

Also saw that their food truck is parked in the alley just north.

Best Fries ?

Thick cut style has to go to Clubhouse Sandwich Shop. They triple fry their fries so the outside is very crispy, yet the inside is nice and "fluffy" like a baked potato.

Patties Express Jamaican patties

After stuffing myself with Chinese buns at Lucullus on Elm Street, I noticed this new place right near Yonge Street. It's tiny and they only serve Jamaican patties and coco bread. Speaking with the person behind the counter it turns out this is from the same people behind Tastee Bakery up in North York. I only had one spicy beef patty but it was very good. If I had room I would have had the patty with a coco bun. Great place to grab a snack to sneak into a movie at YD Square.

Saturday breakfast around queen/Bathurst?

If you want a greasy spoon, bacon 'n' eggs kind of breakfast, there's UFO on Niagara and Adelaide. I usually get their homeburger deluxe that they'll make even at 9am. If you don't mind the idea of eating inside a convenience store, then this is a modest, hidden gem.

2014 Restaurant and Food Store OPENINGS!!

Sigh. Noticed another sign change. Only posting this for completeness sake.

New concept is called "The Masters". Menu will be full of dishes from the world's best chefs.

More interesting is that for the first time I saw workers actually going in and out with equipment/tools.

2014 Restaurant and Food Store OPENINGS!!

They've changed the sign again. The new one is something like "Keep on Truckin". It's a food truck theme this time. Hardy har har.

Something is definitely up. The frequency of the changing has been picking up. And the concepts are now more obviously a shot at various food trends.

The end game/punchline better be good given how long this has been dragging out.

Toronto Trip Report

The jerk place a few doors down from Seven Lives is Rasta Pasta. If you come when it's not wintery, they usually setup a charcoal bbq to finish off the jerk meat to order. This, along with Seven Lives are a few of the great eats within Kensington Market. Other nearby places you definitely need to check out next time is Sanagan's Meat Locker, Millie's Creperie, Fika, Segovia's ....

2014 Restaurant and Food Store OPENINGS!!

Finally spotted where Kinton 3 will be actually opening. Just walked by a papered up storefront that's just a few doors down from Banh Mi Boys on Queen. There's a liquor application sign with "Kinton 3" as the applicant. I live right by Queen and Spadina so this is very happy news. Soon won't need to travel "all the way" to Baldwin for a good ramen fix.

House of Gourmet - what to order?

That was me who posted about the lamb brisket hot pot. Just note that the dish really hinges on liking or not liking fermented tofu. It's a very pungent taste. It's served on the side so you can control the amount. But without it the dish would be ordinary.

So if there's any risk that your dining companions may not be into such a strong taste, then any of the other hot pot items are very good too. Someone else mentioned the oyster one is good, and I agree. The roast pork with seafood or the beef brisket are classic.

2014 Restaurant and Food Store OPENINGS!!

Just passed by the place tonight and guess what? Yet another concept: doughnuts and cupcakes! I walked by quickly so thought maybe I was mistaken. But then I checked out their blog:

This has got to be a publicity stunt. There's no other explanation I can think of. Why is it that every concept is something that is available within the immediate area? I'm guessing by next week they'll change to a modern Greek place.

Best things you ate this month: Feb 2014

House of Gourmet is like most Chinese restaurants in that they have a large expansive menu. I wouldn't say they are specifically a seafood restaurant. They have bbq meats, noodle dishes, and they have "set menu" a la carte dishes.

There is a hot pot section in their menu. Note that by "hot pot" this isn't the cook your own raw food in a broth thing. This is a braised dish that is served in a cast iron pot. I usually get the more usual ones like oysters with eggplant, roast pork with garoupa fish, or beef brisket with tendon .

The lamb brisket is with yuba bean curd skin, water chestnuts, mushrooms, white radish and fermented tofu paste. Like beef brisket, there's a lot of connected tissue and fat that makes it very flavourful. But there are some bones.

If you have never had this sort of Chinese hot pot dish, then you should definitely try. It's perfect for the super cold weather we've been having.

Best things you ate this month: Feb 2014

These were all recent revelations at places I go to quite often. It proves there are still gems hidden in plain sight sometimes:

'Nduja sausage spread in between mini grilled cheese sandwich like things. Served as part of the charcuterie board at Terroni. They should add this as a regular item but at a bigger size at Sud Forno next door.

Goma zukushi at guu sakabar. Love the contrast between the warm sesame balls and the smooth sesame ice cream.

Lamb brisket hot pot at House of Gourmet. It's served with fermented tofu paste on the side which adds so much depth to the stew.

Forget the Mayan hot chocolate at Soma. Just tried the bicerin for the first time. It's so decadent with espresso and heavy cream.

2014 Restaurant and Food Store OPENINGS!!

TL finally corrected the story:

So, it seems Kinton is only looking for a 3rd location on Queen and their plans were accidentally outed.

It's odd how TL gives short shrift to Kenzo. They don't mention them at all as the ones actually opening in the former Murray's space.

2014 Restaurant and Food Store OPENINGS!!

I came on here to post the same. I walked by last night specifically looking for a Kinton sign. So was surprised to see a sign for Kenzo.

And then when I came here I saw the link to the Toronto Life article and they seem to have confirmed with Kinton a "3rd location on Queen".

Not sure what's going on.

The Old Toronto Restaurants you make the wishes for the comeback

Chubby Subby: grilled pepperoni needs to make a come back.

Peter Street Deli: Miss the mix of classic diner fare with Chinese rice and noodle dishes. There used to be a regular who ordered BBQ pork but instead of on rice would get it with mashed potatoes.

Massimo's (the original on College): Great classic Toronto style pizza topped generously and crust that wasn't too thick and not too thin.

Chicago Diner: Their nachos still can't be beat.