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Recommend a "casual" (or at least "casual-ish") steakhouse?

saw a guy wearing blue jeans at JR.

I think you'll be ok anywhere...

May 10, 2015
kwfoodiewannabe in Las Vegas

Go-Tos and Wish List

Ate at Le Cirque Wednesday last week and everything was lovely. Lobster and Avocado salad was the only "wow" for me. On the other hand, Thursday at L'Atelier blew me away. Every dish we tried was terrific. Joe's on Friday was great as usual, Tuesday night at Gordon Ramsay Steak was disappointing. A busy week mixing business and pleasure, I also got to squeeze in Breakfast at Bouchon and burgers at Ramsay's BURGR (good) and HOLSTEIN's (better, IMO) plus a Sunday night Italian dinner off strip at Ferraro's.

Will try to post a trip report with some pics in the next little while...

TWIST and Joel Robuchon next year...

Apr 22, 2015
kwfoodiewannabe in Las Vegas

Rude treatment at Khao San Road

I didn't see any suggestion to eat at Jack Astor's in KSR's response. I believe it was a comparison of the price of a particular dish and the relative amount of space in the 2 establishments.

Chow-worthy lunch in and around Kitchener / Waterloo

I was very impressed by Q BBQ's meats. The sides were not as good as Hogtails or Lanc. But the brisket and chicken were top notch. It will be interesting to see if they can maintain the consistency next visit.

Not a huge Pork hock fan, but I suspect the Olde Heidelberg Haus north of Waterloo would be your best bet.

If you want schnitzel or pierogies, Two Goblets is very good in a converted old house on Weber St. Of course, the Concordia Club (famous for it's HUGE Oktoberfest beer tent in Oct) has a restaurant (The Schenke) that serves many German specialties.

2015 Restaurant OPENINGS in Toronto, to June 30...

Re: Levetto, I was at Levetto in Baden last night (I know, Baden?) and was not as pleased with the food as on previous visits. There appear to have been some changes in the last couple of months. the "12 hour" Bolognese that they were making in -house is now being brought in from a central kitchen that services the local (Waterloo, Baden and ?) locations. It was tastier before. Carbonara is still the go to pasta there having tried 5 different ones now... Funghi Pizza is their best, IMO. TIP: Eat the Pizza quickly. Delicious when fresh out of the oven, but gets cold fast and the taste suffers.

Chow-worthy lunch in and around Kitchener / Waterloo

Charles,

Nice to hear you had another good BBQ meal in KW. As mentioned, I was a bit disappointed with our food (brisket) at Hogtails Friday night (but NOT that amazing chicken!) Perhaps I am just getting spoiled by the great BBQ places here?

London Hounds - Has anyone tried Veloce Italian Kitchen?

They are open in Waterloo, soon in Mississauga.

Any reviews?

Cambridge/Waterloo/St. George

Charles,

I was at Hogtails on Friday and was not impressed. Unfortunately, I found the meat was not as good on my last 2 trips. Friday night the brisket was a bit chewy (though tasty) and dry Cajun wings were overspiced, IMO. Chicken was up to it's usual (very good) standards (it is my favorite meat at Hogtails and still very good) Jalapeno mac n' cheese was also very good. You might consider Q BBQ (just opened in the old Smokin' Tony's location on Northfield Dr. in Waterloo) have not been to that location, but an initial visit to their Cambridge location was really good, excellent brisket, and maybe the juiciest BBQ/smoked half chicken I have ever tasted... Of course, it's only one visit (another location) and their sides were just okay.

BTW... I understand Hogtails has a good Sunday brunch. Have not tried it yet...

Cambridge/Waterloo/St. George

Certainly NOT in a nice area of town (quite the opposite, actually) but if your looking for a chow worthy food stop, check out Little Louie's Burger Joint and Soupery next time you are in Cambridge. Amazing Char grilled Beef Burgers (or Turkey or Veg burger or Chicken breast), toppings (smoked gouda? Bacon? Fried egg?), fresh cut fries and onion straws, 5 interesting soups everyday. A great side salad with their homemade carrot mustard dressing. A cool sandwich of the day and a (sometimes pretty crazy) Burger of the Week.

Just 2 potential problems: NO weekends (M-F 11-8pm) and since appearing on Y.G.E.H on the Food Network the line is definitely getting longer.

Still worth a trip if you are in Cambridge. Would also recommend Q BBQ on Dundas St. (Great chicken and brisket)

Authentic southern BBQ spots in TO?

lister, pourboi, magic... thanks for the heads up! I'll have to give them a try...

+1 for Paula's!

Authentic southern BBQ spots in TO?

Have not had BBQ in Buffalo. Generally do Charlie the Butcher for B on W. Or Ted's. or DiBella's. Or somewhere nicer. Any BBQ recs?

Re: T.O. BBQ places, admittedly my recent experience is limited ('cause there's plenty of good BBQ here!) Also, my T.O trips are generally for things that I can't get here (KIVAs bagels, California Veal, Centre Street MSM, Stockyard's fried chicken, etc.) Last BBQ in T.O. was Big Bone in Maple and it was ok. Stack is on my radar and (sigh) someday I will make it all the way out to Buster's I suppose.

Authentic southern BBQ spots in TO?

tough call. Depends on your financial situation I suppose. How important is that $20? I know plenty of folks from T.O. that would make the drive to Camp 31 in Paris. Unless you go way back, that drive hasn't been "worth it" for years...

I say wait for a nice day and take a drive to KW. If you're a BBQ lover, it will probably be worth it.

Authentic southern BBQ spots in TO?

agreed... but since Charles brought it up...

EDIT: BTW... IMO, the best Fried Chicken in KW is at Taco Farm. Not traditional (Honey, tequila, black pepper marinade) but DELICIOUS! (don't bother with the tacos - interesting, but small and expensive)

Authentic southern BBQ spots in TO?

Charles, I tried Q BBQ in Cambridge (now open in Waterloo as well) last week and their BBQ was very tasty! Brisket was as good (maybe better?) than Hogtails/Lancaster and their BBQ chicken was the among best I have ever tasted, though sides were not as good.

And while I agree that KW has better BBQ than T.O, IMO Stockyards Fried Chicken is still better than anything here locally.

Bayview Village

My brain is about to explode...

I wanna say something like -

Sweetwater?

Chow-worthy lunch in and around Kitchener / Waterloo

Charles,

Great to hear your feedback and nice to hear that you enjoyed your meal. Also encouraging that the BBQ is still up to standard in our little hamlet :) (haven't eaten much BBQ lately)

Agree re: Lancaster's smokey sauce, it's very good. Brisket is a little fatty for me (I prefer leaner meats generally) but I must agree that the flavour is as good as any I have tasted in ON. Re: fried chicken, Lanc's is ok, but for me it's Stockyards all the way.

I have tried the collards but am not a huge fan. My experience is similar to your takeout (too salty)

Recs for a casual dinner? Vero Beach?

janniecooks, thank you for your great suggestions!

Osceola would be my choice as well... Citrus looks nice too. Was not all that impressed with Tides. My only problem is we are probably doing this on... a Sunday.

Since both Osceola and Citrus are closed, any where else you would recommend?

Jan 20, 2015
kwfoodiewannabe in Florida

Chow-worthy lunch in and around Kitchener / Waterloo

Two Goblets is great for Schnitzel, perogies, etc., but I have changed my eating habits over the last year or so and fried "dinner plate sized" portions of perfectly cooked golden schnitzel are generally not something I indulge in anymore. (I save my calories for other stuff...) It's probably about 2 years since my last visit, but I don't imagine much has changed. In a half dozen prior visits, they were VERY consistent.

Great Schnitzels (stuffed, cheeses, plain, etc.) as mentioned, along with some traditional sides (purple cabbage, perogies) in a very "living room" (converted old house) type setting. I believe most everything is homemade (salad dressing, desserts, etc.) Owners are a Romanian husband and wife team. He handles the tables, she is in the kitchen.

If you like this type of European cuisine, Two Goblets would be a very good choice.

Chow-worthy lunch in and around Kitchener / Waterloo

Charles,

The owner of Hogtails sold the place a few years ago and opened the Lancaster Smokehouse in the old Lancaster Tavern (dumpy) location. Recipes and menus are quite similar, except the new owner of Hogtails has added a few things. Standouts are the BBQ chicken thighs and pulled pork. I am not a huge fan of the ribs at either (though I prefer a baby back steakhouse type rib like the Steak Pit on Avenue rd. in T.O.) Most folks would probably give the edge to the "Lanc" for food (both are very close in terms quality/taste) but I have found that at very busy times (eg: weekends) they were so busy that the kitchen was overwhelmed (or at least the food quality suffered, IMO) ultimately, both are good choices for BBQ. A lot of people also like SOS BBQ on Highland Rd.

My current fave locally is Red House (had a nice meal on Sat. night - bone marrow app and shortrib) run by the former Charcoal steakhouse head chef who has branched out on his own. Also, had a recent good lunch meal (lobster cobb salad, Korean fried chicken) at the new GILT in downtown Kitchener, but other dishes have been hit or miss... probably need more time as the menu keeps changing... I love the fried chicken at Taco Farm (Honey, tequila, lime and black pepper) it's not like anything I have tasted anywhere else, but I don't love their tacos. Also had a nice brunch at The Belmont, which used to be a crepe place but have now changed their focus. Hard to find their menu online, but I think they have a Facebook page you can check out.

If you want wood fired pizza, Breadheads on Duke St. downtown (also known as the "DFB" or DUKE food block) is as close to VPN as we get here in KW. I have trouble getting there due to hours, but their pizza is exceptional and lunchtime will be no problem.

Let me know where you end up!

Wanting to eat good without breaking the bank

A couple of burgers, split some fries and water to drink... it could be done for around $40...

Of course, you could just order one of those GR PUDDING milkshakes and that would basically make a meal!

Jan 16, 2015
kwfoodiewannabe in Las Vegas

Recs for a casual dinner? Vero Beach?

Driving up from Wellington to meet friends coming down from New Smyrna. Looking for a good, casual dinner spot halfway in between. Any suggestions? Pref. American cuisine as I have no idea re: food preferences.

Jan 16, 2015
kwfoodiewannabe in Florida

Is Carman's steakhouse really back?

I seem to recall the name "Carman's Club" many years back (was it a private club at one time?) Most just referred to it as "Carman's"

trambusto

Was curious and checked out the Waterloo location on Sat. Pizza (Sicilian style) Pasta and salad all very good. Very reasonable prices. Most of the food seemed to be made on premises from scratch (pizza dough, pasta)

Not a big fan of chains (though I do like Panera), but this is one of the best I have visited in Canada. Product is very much as advertised, IMO. Based on my initial visit, I will definitely return. The food is inexpensive, fresh and tasty. Probably worth checking out if you are close to one of their locations.

trambusto

Looks like they have rebranded as Levetto?

They have a location in Waterloo and... Baden?

Same owners? Has anybody been lately?

Chowfind of 2014 (anywhere in Ontario)

Nice thread, Food Tourist!

Naturally (?) my chowfind is in KW. The Bread Baron is in Kitchener's downtown market, owned by 2 Stratford cooking school grads, who have spent time at some T.O. restos (Colbourne Lane, Lucien) prior to setiing up in KW. They do a great small menu of sandwiches, a grass fed beef burger, soups and sides from locally sourced stuff. Most of the ingredients are made in-house (side bacon, brisket, peameal, condiments like pickled pepper mayo, aiolis, etc.) and prices are very reasonable. Only drawback is the hours... only til 3pm Tues- Sat.

Authentic southern BBQ spots in TO?

Stockyards fresh cut fries are $2.50 extra with the sandwich. And yes, I am not the person who requires 2 sides, unless of course we are talking a small (6oz.?) sandwich.

So $11.00 for Stockyards PP sammich and fries. Works for me.

YMMV.

Authentic southern BBQ spots in TO?

Wow... never been to Hogtown, but eighteen bucks for 6 oz...?

I had a HUGE pulled pork sandwich at the Stockyards Sat. night. I couldn't believe how stuffed full it was.

$8.50. An absolute bargain.

$7.90 for cup of takeout soup!

Check out the prices at Zoup by comparison. A Panera wannabe (not even close, IMO, but with 12 soup choices daily) Soups are pretty good, some just meh, but they range from $6.35 to $7.95 for 12 ounces. Granted $7.95 is for the "premium soups" (lobster bisque, crab & corn chowder) You probably a premium for anything in a bakery/café on Bayview compared to a chain, but those prices are not far off, I suppose.

The Old Toronto Restaurants you make the wishes for the comeback

+1 for the Fireplace and their amazing hot/sweet Fireplace Chicken! Plus a very cool "Victorian" vibe!

Huevos Rancheros 2014

Prima,

Tasted a pretty good version last weekend at The Belmont, (in Belmont Village) in Kitchener.