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Whitby/Durham restaurants that don't suck

Buster Rhino's has consistently great food. I am a huge fan of their brisket poutine and onion rings. But, really, I can't say that I have had a bad thing there. Baldwin Street Burger is also great (french onion burger is fantastic). Both are wonderful for casual meals, although BR's has some wicked amazing craft beers on tap. Can't comment on the busy spending cash at BR's!

Whitby/Durham restaurants that don't suck

Took the family to Maraschino once we recovered from the horror that was Pie. Very nice pizza, gorgeous pastries. Looked like some beautiful specialty coffees. Hubs said the sauce was a little bland, but I think he isn't quite used to genuine Italian tomato sauce. Very lovely place. Support our local restaurants! This one is a keeper.

Whitby/Durham restaurants that don't suck

Baldwin Street is fantastic. Absolutely worth it. The onion rings are great, too. However, be prepared for a wait because it's popular. And sometimes, just sometimes, they come close to selling out of their patties. That's a sign of fresh food, friends. My only complaint is that I wish they have a nicer selection of soft drinks. Gee, can you tell I'm reaching?!

Whitby/Durham restaurants that don't suck

Tried PIE in Pickering...a wood-fired pizza place that just opened about 3 weeks ago. It is apparently part of a small chain that originated in Barrie. Well, I hope that it was just opening jitters because our entire experience was horrible. The waiter was earnest, but couldn't deal with more than one table at a time. The pizza was burned and took forever to arrive. The fries were a soggy mess. The calamari was good, but overpriced. And they couldn't manage a simple caesar salad (which was also ridiculously priced). I was so disappointed because I was looking for decent thin-crust pizza in the area. This is not least based on one trip. We might give it another shot later, after the buzz has worn off and the staff have figured things out. Very sad. I guess I'll stick with Pizza Pino's for my pizza fix, and Buster Rhino's for my casual go-to restaurant.

Whitby/Durham restaurants that don't suck

Couldn't agree more about Teddy's. I don't see the attraction.

Whitby/Durham restaurants that don't suck

Have you tried Buckingham's Meat (in Brooklin and Oshawa). If they don't carry organic meat, they might be able to get it. I know they carry heritage pork.

Whitby/Durham restaurants that don't suck

I am convinced that most people in Durham accept and embrace mediocrity. There is no other reason why so many ho-hum places exist and thrive. This is why my husband and I would rather eat at Buster Rhino's--a casual place--than most any other restaurant, even when we are going for our fancy date night! I don't want pre-packaged garbage. I want to enjoy the work of a chef, not a teenager who is really good at boiling and microwaving! That being said, I do still like Nice Bistro. The family really cares about food. The new kb was OK, at least it was different.

Apparently we are left with only a very small selection of family or chef-run restaurants that care about quality and originality. Boo to that, I say. With so much great local produce around, Durham could far better. Keep your formulaic food. Give me something that challenges or inspires.

Whitby/Durham restaurants that don't suck

As I said above, Stanley's has changed ownership and is no longer the place it once was. Oh well. Back to Jasper's in Pickering for us!

Whitby/Durham restaurants that don't suck

Sorry to say, but Stanley's has changed owners/management recently (it is 29 June 2012) and the service and food is NOT the same. The fries were horrible, there were only two ladies working the entire place (this includes the kitchen) and, therefore, service was painfully slow. I saw at least one table walk out. Once the food arrived, it was OK, but definitely not the same. I think they are trying to use the same recipes, but it isn't working. We won't go back. I wonder if the Whitby location has suffered the same fate.

Chinese food in Whitby/Oshawa?

Darryl, you know good food. I trust your judgement enough to give it a shot. For some reason, I can't get the hang of chinese food at home...and I consider myself a damned fine cook! I guess I will have to stick with my southern faves at home and hit the streets for some good kung po!

Thanks, man!

Tofu Shirataki noodles

Did you find the noodles? I am looking for them, too! Have you tried T&T?

Rotel Tomatoes in Toronto?

Sorry! I am from STL and love Rotel tomatoes. I have never seen them in Canada. Perhaps we should start importing them!

Whitby/Durham restaurants that don't suck

Arthur's is now closed for regular dining and will only be available for events. I now that some of you were not impressed, but my husband and I will miss the place. The food choices in Durham are very sad.

Whitby/Durham restaurants that don't suck

Yes, it is KRISPY'S FISH AND CHIPS that have changed their format. I am looking forward to your review, munk!

Arthur's on the 4th - Oshawa, Finally Something Delicious in the GTA East!

jjmellon--I guess that you had a different experience from those which we have had each time we go. Fair enough. I don't think that they have raised prices, rather I was in error with my first post. My apologies. I still stand by my review. We will have to agree to disagree.

Whitby/Durham restaurants that don't suck

Went to Arthur's on the 4th, Oshawa, this evening. Amazing meal. Best we have had in Durham in at least 4 years. It is on the 4th floor of the McLoughlin Gallery in downtown Oshawa. Parking is free and is top notch. Menu changes every couple of weeks, local and Canadian sourced-food, beautiful plates, friendly staff, friendly and knowledgeable chef. My husband and I had three courses, a bottle of wine, and two cups of tea for under $120. My meal included scallops and bacon jam, a prosciutto-wrapped chicken, and a sticky toffee pudding. My husband had a mushroom consomme (best mushroom soup he ever had), Lake Erie pickerel, and a lemon curd shortbread thingie. I cannot recommend this place enough. It is only open for dinner Thur-Sat nights. It also serves lunch. We checked out the lunch looks too amazing for the 'shwa.

Get out there, take your sweetie, and have a bargain gourmet meal. Get there before word gets out and you can no longer get a table.

Arthur's on the 4th - Oshawa, Finally Something Delicious in the GTA East!

I can't agree more. My husband and I went there for dinner tonight and had the best meal we have had in the Durham region in at least four years. We were the only people in the place. What a shame because the meal was divine. For $30, we got three courses. I had the following:
5 pepper seared scallops with bacon jam crostini
Prosciutto-wrapped chicken with asparagus
granny smith sticky toffee pudding
My husband had mushroom consommé, Lake Erie pickerel, and a lemon curd shortbread.
We had a bottle of wine as well as two cups of tea for under $120. Unbelievable.

We had a lengthy discussion with the young chef. What a fantastic man! He told us that nearly everything (even the ketchup!) is house made, with the exception of TWO things. He also tries to buy local, and when that is impossible, buy Canadian.

Run, don't walk, to Arthur's. If we lose this place, Durham will go back to being a culinary near-wasteland. It is open for dinner Thurs-Sat, and open for lunch Mon-Sat...and their lunch menu looks amazing, by the way.

Buster Rhino's Authentic Southern BBQ - Whitby

Buster Rhino's new shop has opened in north Oshawa (on Taunton Road [north side] just east of Simcoe in a little strip plaza). I don't know if their hours are any different than the main facility in south Whitby, though. I haven't been in but, since I have to drive past there every day at dinner time, I have a feeling that time is coming soon.

Chinese food in Whitby/Oshawa?

We moved here in July 2009 and have yet to find a decent Chinese delivery. When I say "decent," I do understand that we are likely going to get Chino-Canadian food (chicken balls, fried rice, etc). I am fine with that. If we want the real deal, we haul our buns to TO or the Pacific Mall area. I just would like something with good flavour and variety...not just the same soggy fried chicken covered with a myriad of artificial-tasting sauces. We would love some authetic-ish Szechuan, but realize that is asking a great deal.

We have tried the Silver Star (?). I didn't meet expectations. We refuse to hit buffets like Mandarin or order anything from Ho Lee Chow. We enjoyed Blossom Garden in Ajax, but they don't deliver to Whitby....and besides, by the time it arrived here...well, you know.

Any suggestions???

Patty melt in Durham region?

I agree. I tried the patty melt at the Chicago Pizza Kitchen and it was not what I had in mind.

Good points:
Thick burger, fresh, hot, no obvious fillers

"Other" points:
Burger was over-seasoned. All I could taste was salt.
There was ketchup on the burger. KETCHUP! Ugh.
The cheese was horrible...clearly a processed slice
The rye bread was thin and I doubt that it had met the grill. It seemed like it had been toasted in a toaster.
Onions were over-grilled and too few.

Now, I have to give them credit. Although I ate the entire thing, they took it off my bill very graciously (and without my request) and the server was interested in what I didn't like about it. And, as have been previously mentioned, the place is all about pizza and...THEIR PIZZA, SERVICE and HOSPITALITY is EXCEPTIONAL. I will definitely be back....but just for the superb pie.

Buster Rhino's Authentic Southern BBQ - Whitby

I am from St. Louis, MO and I can tell you that this is the best authentic BBQ that Ontario has to offer. Although as the owner will tell you, BBQ has definite regional variations in the US (my style bbq is wet with a molasses-based sauce), this South Carolina variety works for me! Also, if you get a chance, sign up for their tasting/sampling day. Man, what a treat! Their baked beans are just like a trip back home, fries are awesome, and the hush puppies will make your belly sit up and say "HOWDY!"

We also bought a huge order of packaged stuff for a house-warming party last summer. Everything was vac-packed and super-easy to prepare. Came out tasting fresh and extremely moist. Darryl was a great help and even loaned us his turkey fryer to use so that we could boil a large amount of water at one time. The ribs were the hit of the party!

If you are ever at the shop and they are in stock, please try some jalapeno bites (wrapped in bacon and smoked). They are wonderful.

Patty melt in Durham region?

Just saw that the Chicago Pizza Kitchen in Maple has patty melts!!! I was already planning a trip there for, what I heard to be, wicked awesome Chicago pizza. Now, how am I going to make room for both pizza AND a patty melt. Oh well. Sometimes we have to make these sacrifices.

Anyone tried SOUTH Latin Restaurant in Ajax yet?

Just saw that TO celeb chef David Adjey is part of a new restaurant project in a strip mall in Ajax. He seems a bit of a sell-out to me (commercials on TV and all), but I have high hopes for some interesting cuisine options in the culinary wasteland that is Durham Region. Has anyone tried this place? It is a new incarnation of the old Havana Nights Restaurant just west of Salem on Hwy 2.

I suppose if it isn't good, the McDonalds is nearby...(hee, hee).


Cupcakes and Bakery Items in Durham Region

I can't seem to find a decent bakery with cupcakes in Durham region. I don't want to have to place an order, and I don't want to have to buy 12. I would also like a place to purchase home-made cakes, pies and canned filling or prepared icing. Great bread...especially baguettes...would be a plus! We used to freguent La Decadence Gourmande, but that is gone.

Suggestions welcomed!


Patty melt in Durham region?

And, as I recall, they have deep-fried pickles. I thought you could only get those back home!!!

Best Hot and Sour Soup????

I used to hit a restaurant just south of College on the east side of Spadina...I think it was called The Shanghai Restaurant. The hot and sour soup there was unmatched! I also believe they were voted the best in the city in a Star reader's poll. They disappeared a few years back and I have yet to find any H/S soup that can hold a candle to this one. Again, as with most things I have posted here lately, I am pregnant and the baby REQUIRES a HUGE bowl of this soup. It was hot and sour, yes, but it also had a small hint of sweetness that I have yet to find anywhere else. I even emailed the food columnist at the Star, but she couldn't help.

So, I leave it in your capable hands. Please find me the BEST hot and sour soup....or one that is close to the Shanghia Restaurant. Does anyone else remember this place?

Patty melt in Durham region?

Thanks, friends. I guess I am going to have to hit The Pilot. I have tried Massey's (I used to live in Pickering) and was very disappointed (although I didn't ask for a patty melt). Star Burger, as is Johnny's North End (basically across the street), but I don't want to have to bring my own bread and then teach them to make the sandwich. I will call Teddy's. I have read both good and bad things about them, but it's worth a shot.

Oh, to have a local Steak and Shake outlet...(so sad, but I love that place).

If The Pilot doesn't work out, I might have to make my own. They won't be the same without the greasy, seasoned griddle, though!

Patty melt in Durham region?

I am pregnant and the baby REQUIRES (now, this is serious) a patty melt. I am from the States and could get them anywhere back home. I live in Whitby now and have only found one place that has them--Fifth Wheel Truckstop in Bowmanville. The melt at the Fifth is not so good...the burger has too much filler to be considered "beefy" in the least.

The baby requests a beefy burger, perfect grilled onions, lots of cheese...grilled on rye bread. Delicious fries to compliment the burger would be great, but are not required!

Thanks, hounds!