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omar kasi's Profile

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Wine clubs to TO?

I belong to a wine club called Sideroad Twenty (http://sr20.ca/wine-club). They are based in Toronto. The wine has been really good. I would recommend them.

Porchetta + Co

In any case, they still have the truffle oil. Consider trying that instead of the rapini.

Porchetta + Co

A shame you didn't try the Po Boy, though. Quite delicious.

Fresh green peppercorn

Excellent. Thanks.

Fresh green peppercorn

Has anyone ever seen this for sale? I can't find it in Chinatown.
...I have some Thai recipes that call for it as an ingredient.

Thanks.

Porchetta + Co

To chime in with some support for an establishment that is really getting it right, let me just say that this restaurant is insanely good. The sandwich with truffle oil, hot sauce and mustard is perfection. I've also tried the beans and the soups. Their mushroom soup was as good as I've had anywhere - I like mushroom soup and order it when I see it listed on menus at restaurants with good kitchens.

Anyhow, here is a shop that focuses on a few things and gets them bang on. If you like food and you like sandwiches, do yourself a favor and add this place to your rotation of take-out options.

Where to find Wild Boar Bacon?

The Healthy Butcher makes it on occasion, whenever they get fresh wild boar. Call them to see if they it. A guy who works there was raving about how good it is. I've tried grilled boar loin chop. Incredible.

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The Healthy Butcher
565 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M5V, CA

New poutine spot - Poutini

Poutini's: Round 2. Was back at Poutini's last week for another try. This was after a disappointing first visit during their first week (at which time they had burned the beef gravy - I had the veggie instead). So, the beef gravy, to my taste, is way way better than the veggie. Much more flavour. As well, they now seem to be putting more gravy on an order. The experience this time was much better. They still go a little light on the gravy, but overall their was more of a mashing of ingredients - the cheese curds, fries and gravy are doing a much better tango. On a side note, the curds were not squeaky this time round, but personally, I don't really care about that. Up the gravy serving by another 20%, dial up the flavour quotient by 10% and they will be there.

The Best Ribs in Toronto

This is just crazy to me that Baton Rouge gets well-reviewed while Phil's is slagged. I have tried BR and they are in the same league.

*confused*

The Best Ribs in Toronto

I'm consistently surprised by the harsh reviews that Phil's receives on this board. I think that their ribs are first class. Definitely the best that I've had in Toronto. I was at Ribfest yesterday and tried a rack from Camp 31. In my opinion, Camp 31 doesn't hold a candle to Phil's. The two sauces that are used at Phil's are ribilicious, the beans proper and most importantly, the ribs are meaty and well-smoked. The meat falls apart. Occasionally the ribs can be on the dry side, but when the meat is as thoroughly smoked and as tender as it is, this isn't a deal breaker. I supposes that there is no accounting for taste.

New poutine spot - Poutini

So, I just had a Poutini's Poutine and I'll hold off on saying anything definitive, but here are some initial thoughts:

- Nice people running it, they are trying hard, they are keeping it simple to start - they only serve poutine, baked potatoes and poutine baked potatoes (a brilliant idea)
- They are more Queen West than Quebecois, what with biodegradable forks and veggie poutine
- While I was there they burned the beef gravy and so I had a veggie poutine and was given this for free. Very nice of them.

Now, on to the poutine.

- It was good but...was I expecting too much?
- This version of poutine is more about the fries than anything else. This was a plate of fries with some gravy and cheese curds, rather than an unholy mix of gravy, cheese and potato in perfect balance. Why so little gravy? It was like having a dish of spaghetti bolognese with a little bolognese sauce on top of a lot of pasta noodles. This leaves you wanting more - certainly a philosophical cry from the gluttony that is good poutine. Speaking of which, there is only one size. I was still very hungry after eating it...but maybe it was the veggie gravy that threw me off.

- There has been a lot of talk on this site about the squeakiness of good cheese curds. Poutini curds really do squeak. And, they are really tasty. I've gotta say, though, that to me the squeakiness of curds has never been a significant aspect of poutine. Or, in any case, I enjoy poutine that has enough hot gravy poured over it that after a short while the curds have melted into the gravy to the point of looking more like melted cheese than distinct curds. It's all about the synergy. And yet, the fries should still have enough crispness to be able to hold their own (and Poutini fries do).
- Poutini's is using beef gravy rather than chicken gravy. Interesting. Isn't most Quebec poutine gravy made from chicken?

In summary, they need to add more gravy, and add a larger size to the menu.

I can't wait to try the beef gravy instead of the veggie gravy to get the proper experience, but so far I think that this is good poutine, though not as good as the poutine that you can get just about anywhere in Montreal. Much better than Smoke's (which in my opinion really screwed things up), good enough that I will be back this week, but not devastating in its goodness. Why is it so hard to make good poutine in Toronto?

delux on ossington

Trouble is, there's no spin.

Sushi Kaji -- Review

Great review. To chime in: this is probably my favourite restaurant in Toronto. Dining here sheds light on unexpected relationships between ingredients. As a result, you understand the ingredients in new ways. Mostly it just tastes great.Theater is a good comparison. Dining at Kaji is fun and exciting and it is a casual and friendly atmosphere. I really love this place.

delux on ossington

Fair enough and a good bit of perspective. I suppose that I had just expected more. Pizza is just pizza, but when I go to Liberetto's I'm surprised by how good it is and think to myself "yeah this tastes good and these ingredients really go well together". Sure the chicken was tender but other than that, there was nothing to it. Mashed potatoes are just mashed potatoes, but to paraphrase Billy Bob Thornton, "I like a little gravy". Anyways, the meal wasn't awful or anything and there are obviously several people on this board that enjoy the place.

delux on ossington

Well what do you know, people do read and discuss. Let me explain then. No sides: the menu stated that the chicken was to be served with chick pea fries and a sauce derived from some kind of Moroccan spice, the name of which I currently forget. The kitchen forgot the spicy sauce and as such I was left with the following:

- chicken
- about five or six "fries" that had been made form crushed chickpeas (they were not flavorful as the spice/sauce was absent)
- a small amount of bok choi

So this was not a complete disaster and it was not a terrible meal, but it was not a very good meal either. I wouldn't rush to go back.

As for my comment about wine prices, my point was that at 12-15 per glass, I expect to have a decent wine. Again, the Niagara Region Pinot Noir was not terrible, it was actually good, but it wasn't very god or even great.

delux on ossington

Was there last weekend and was extremely unimpressed. I had roast chicken - no flavour, no spice, no sides. I could have made this dinner by throwing a chicken breast into a frying pan.

Desserts were great. Warm chocolate chip cookie with milk.

Wine? I think it is great to offer Canadian wines but not when you charge $12 - $15 for wines that are unarguably of lesser quality. Also, the waiter was of no help and knew nothing about the wine menu. Generally, the service was not great.

Overall, really underwhelmed with this new new thing.