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SUMMERLICIOUS 2014

Apologies if this is a touch long but it's too good not to share...

Went for a family dinner last night at Origin North with my grandparents who live nearby and the rest of the family. Two days ago they informed us it was Summerlicious only (didn't know that when we booked).

Things got off to a bad start when we were given the menus because the Steak Frites from the website's menu had morphed into a burger and the veggie main had changed as well. They did give us the option of ordering off a condensed regular menu but told us that if one person ordered Summerlicious the whole table had to as well? Anyways, eventually we were allowed to order some extra food (deviled eggs) off the normal venue and lucky we did as it was the only enjoyable dish all night.

The entire meal took almost three hours in a restaurant barely 40% full. The apps were edible but nothing amazing. The plating on one was bizzare, a watermelon salad that barely took up 20%of one corner of the plate - i think it was meant to look like a smile but it came across as more of a middle finger!

Our mains took almost 2 hours from the time we sat down to arrive and i am pretty sure they had been sitting there for at least 20 minutes as all the burgers at the table were flat out cold, not lukewarm, cold. Things got really fun when we sent them back and the kitchen staff and servers got into a shouting match next to us (the joys of an open kitchen) about who's fault it was. When the burgers did finally come out the poor server had to chase down another food runner who grabbed them for another table.

My chicken dish, "rosemary infused chicken breast' or some such nonsense, was actually half a chicken breast (at most) cut in half sitting on a top of runny mash with two cooked baby tomatoes and a few sprigs of rosemary as a garnish. Dry as a bone and totally tasteless.

Dessert was a choice of different weird fruity concoctions inexplicably served in the bottom of a wine glass. I'm pretty sure the strawberry in my "strawberries and cream" hadn't even fully been thawed in the microwave as there is no way it came from anywhere other then a bag. No one at the table finished more then half.

The staff, for the most part were really nice and clearly were not having an easy night. I don't fault them at all, seems like a nightmare of a week. They comped us part of the meal and gave a gift certificate but overall the meal was brutal to the point of comical. I get that it is not going to be a normal restaurant experience for the price but i can't understand how anyone would let dishes like that leave their kitchen. Not being able to cook a chicken breast properly isn't exactly great promotion for your restaurant!

Where is the best Mexican in Toronto?

The Torta with the roast pork is still a total monster of a sandwhich and very worth it!!

King's Tacos & Tenoch Mexican -both on St. Clair W - both excellent

Glad to see these places getting some love on here, always wondered why they didnt get more mention.

The Pierna Adobada Torta at Tenoch is a delicious monster of a sandwich. I've also enjoyed the Tamales and Barbacoa tacos..have yet to take on the Tenoch torta, maybe one day after a big race or something.

I will say I found the Carnitas at Kings Tacos a bit bland but the Barbacoa was super flavorful and the salsas were great as well.

iso tasty low carb snacks...

My (former) gym has lots of low carb ("paleo, primal, whatever) snacks in their front cafe that work well.
jerky, meat sticks, dried sausages, shredder dried coconut ("goconut), a bunch of other things.

Academy of Lions - 64 Ossington Ave

The Auld Spot(s)

Had dinner at Hogtown Pub and Oyster (the replacement on College st)a few months ago , and was really unimpressed. Ordered some weird spin on Shepherds Pie with tater tots and beef which was awful. Weird rubbery beef and tater tots for $16 - what was i thinking!. My SOs meal was not great either. I won't be back.
Too bad - i dug the food under the old management.

The Chickery - Spadina South of Richmond (David Adjey's new casual spot)

I went in last night around 7, was told it was a 30minute wait and left.
Just didn't seem worth it.
That, coupled with the piece of undercooked chicken my co-worker got from them (opening week) and the oft putting exchange I had with Adjey the other time I walked in there and i won't be back.
Too bad because their product is right up my alley and i work in the area.

Avenue Open Kitchen

Its a tiny, cheap, old school greasy spoon/lunch counter joint.

Some of the daily specials can be decent and I enjoy a good plate of comfort now and again but I wouldn't go with super high expectations.
This isn't gourmet food and it's nothing fancy but it's good for what it is and I enjoy the atmosphere.

Fills the void left by the Stem.

You have $10 for a meal, where do you go in Toronto?

King Falafel - Have been going for 15+ years and still my fav
Come and Get It - In old Ackee tree space...really like the shortrib poutine ($7) and the Granny smith/pulled chicken Caeser ($9)
Tacos at Salsa's

best salads in Toronto- 2012

Love the salad options at Come and Get It; the "pop up" restaurant in the old ackee tree space.
My current fav is the Granny Smith Chicken Ceaser.

lunch for gluten-free, dairy-free, NO raw vegetables, meat-lover

I think URSA on Queen West would fit the bill, they specialize in "paleo" and other similar type diets that sound pretty similar to how your friend eats.

Tell me about East York

I am temporarily moving in with a friend at Coxwell and Gerrard while i sort out some housing issues.

Obviously i am near little India as well as the burger's priest but otherwise know little about the area as you go further north or east.

i will search around the board but love to hear of suggestions say within a 15-20min drive

I am into any kind of food, any price range-mostly interested in ethnic eats, solid mom/pop places, good takeaway etc..

New food market starting Sunday - 99 Sudbury (licensed for booze too)

Chowhound post of the year!

Protein Heavy Resto for No Carb Guest

doh, of course-Barque works quite quite well

Another idea would be Beast

Protein Heavy Resto for No Carb Guest

Also The One that Got Away for fish (lots of non - deep fried options) on King at Portland could work.

Protein Heavy Resto for No Carb Guest

How about Tabule on young for middle eastern? They have lots of no carb/grain options.
The Brazilian all you can eat meat place on Eglinton could work (Copacabana) although can be a little crazy on weekends.

Kabob places tent to work well for these kinds of meals-Banu on Queen, Sheherzade (above Pomegranate Resto on College) are good options.
Lots of Portuguese places can work well for these diets as well.

Also for snacks, etc...there is a little cafe in the front of the gym i go too (Academy of Lions Crossfit on Dundas just west of Ossington) that serves 100% grain/dairy/sugar free treats.

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Tabule
2009 Yonge Street, Toronto, ON M4S 1Z8, CA

Best Thing You Ever Ate - Toronto

Same, first time i ever ate a roti was at Gandhi maybe 10 years ago, i believe it was spinach and potato. I would still put their roti at the top of my list, even if i only eat it once a year.

Muscle Masala High Protein Cookies are AWESOME!!

James-I have seen them at the Dark Horse at Queen/Spadina

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Dark Horse
2401 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON M6S, CA

Cheapest Steaks and Ground Beef in TO

I find the Portuguese butchers pretty cheap.

Nasso Talho on Dundas at Dovercourt, http://www.nossotalho.com/home.php (check out the special on Steak)

Caplanskys Delivery and Food Truck

keep in mind its bike delivery...

Anyone know a Good whisky restaurant

second the Calidonian!!!!

Quick lunch at King and Spadina?

a bit north but (just north of Richmond), Fusaro's is an Italian lunch counter sort of thing-salads, pastas, panini...all pretty good and in the right range for you.

I really enjoy the food at the Persian place (i forget the name, it's changed) on the south east corner of Richmond/Spadina.

Ravisoups is also a great option as mentioned.

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Fusaro's
147 Spadina Ave, Toronto, ON M5V2L7, CA

Ravisoups
322 Adelaide St W, Toronto, ON M5V, CA

Mexican/Latin in Toronto?

I love La Bella Managua on Bloor just east of Ossington.

Confessions of a Toronto Lasagne seeker!

I enjoyed the lasagna at One of A Kind Pasta on Queen St

I, too, am a lasgana fiend and am excited about this thread

Need good restaurant rec downtown/Queen W for special diet.

As someone who has (and mostly still does) eat in a similar way the best recommendation on queen west i can give is Banu, the persian vodka bar at Queen and Manning.

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Banu
777 Queen St West, Toronto, ON M6J 1G1, CA

Places to buy dried strawberries?

I found them at the Nuthouse on Bloor near Lansdowne...its my fav bulk food store in the city. Have never gotten anything bad there, have lots of organic options and prices are way more reasonable then Whole Foods...highly recommend it!

hot tables....

The little grocery store at Dundas and Dovercourt on the south side has a hot table buffet on Saturdays....

I have only tried once and some things were good, some not to my taste but i struggle a bit with some Portuguese food.

it's always a total madhouse in their on weekends with a local clientele so they must be doing something right.

Dinner before Movie Bloor Cinema

Paupers is awful

We always enjoy our food at The Victory Cafe on Markham just south of Bloor

[Daily Deal for Fri, Feb. 11] $50 for $150 towards The Butchers (again!)

I don't know about that, i have bought organic chicken breasts from the Healthy Butcher and been shocked at the price (came out to like $22 for two, insane)...so 3 big ones, 3 sausages+tax, yeah $55 is high but not impressible given the type of product

I had never been there before, had the coupon obviously in my hand, and for my $35 for $100 worth of meat got a lot of stuff (2 large racks of ribs, 1 pound of ground chicken, 1.5 pound stew meat, 1 pork tenderloin, 2 pounds bacon) for my money that is solid value for $35 and thats really all i care about

Everything had a sticker with the cost on it

Not saying i am certain that this isnt true, it may well be, but i am still not really convinced that this is some massive scam

and you know, there is always the option of just not buying coupons if you arent convinced the value is there, may be easier then going into a butcher shop with a scale in hand, just saying...

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

Deal: $50 for $150 of Organic Meats at The Butchers

I had a good experience as well, i think it is a bit much to be labeling them a "shady business"

[Daily Deal for Fri, Feb. 11] $50 for $150 towards The Butchers (again!)

When i was there last weekend prices were posted on most things but i wasnt paying attention.

Looking back on it $18 for a 1lb pork tenderloin seems a bit much.

All things considered though for $40 I got 2 pounds of bacon, 1 pound of ground chicken, 2 racks of ribs, 2 pounds of stew meat and 1 pork tenderloin.

I have enjoyed everything I have had from there so far and dont feel ripped off...even if the price did change I got solid value for what I paid.