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Scarborough Gems

It's really the wrong time of year to be posting this but we love Made in China China Hot Pot for a nice winter pick me up - 3280 Midland Ave E (Midland and Finch). The place is always packed.

Jun 28, 2012
kmacd in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Carisma - the new Il Mulino

Took the family there for Mother's Day. Great service, great food, great wine list. Shame about the decor. Pure black is just not a good way to go. t casts too much of a pall over dinner and brings the experience down a notch rather than complimenting it. Seems like a mistake that could be corrected by painting an opposing wall in a light color.

May 12, 2011
kmacd in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Suggestions for Dinner Restaurant (Veg-Friendly)

George - $75-100 with wine????? Not in this lifetime. I'd up that by at least half.

May 11, 2011
kmacd in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Allen's on Danforth - will never go back

It's pretty simple - because she doesn't agree with you. And presumably has had a different experience. Like I say (along with Splendid Wine Snob below) been going there for years, expect good, not exquisite and it has satisfied every time. You don't like it, don't go. It's not like they're begging for business, and if you want to beleive that all those people filling the place don't know what they're doing, well no one can do much about that.

May 11, 2011
kmacd in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Allen's on Danforth - will never go back

Don't know what your problems are with Allen's. I've lived in the neighborhood for over twenty years and it's a great place for an evening out. I've always had good service. I know it's popular so I don;t go if I don't have a reservation. I see it as pub food. I don;t go there for a great meal. I go there for a good meal and the standards are always good. The burgers are good, the fish and chips are good, the stew is good, the bean soup is good. You know what you;re ordering and you know what you;re going to get. You want to a great meal go to a place that bills itself as serving a great meal. And as to reservations - I've never had a problem reserving a place on the patio. You don't like it, don't go back. Obviously lots of other people disagree with you. And as for the rules, you knew what they were. I was at Charisma for an early meal on Saturday night. I knew they needed my table by 8:30 when I booked. No sweat. I made a point of being gone by 8:15. It's called courtesy - not to the restaurant - to the people who are coming in behind you.

May 10, 2011
kmacd in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

well known brands that just arent as good as in the past

Liberte - their yogurt used to be great then they changed their production process, got bought out by Yoplait (licensed in Canada to Ultima, owned by Agropur) and things seem to have gone downhill - Liberte pro-biotic no fat yogurt - opened the yogurt to find it moldy before expiry date 5 times in the last 8 months. When it's good it's good but this is too much. I'm done with Liberte. Finally complained to the Canadian food Inspection Agency when it happened again today.

Apr 16, 2011
kmacd in General Topics

Which brands are you loyal to?

Used to be Liberte but no more - Liberte pro-biotic no fat yogurt - opened the yogurt to find it moldy before expiry date 5 times in the last 8 months. When it's good it's good but this is too much. I'm done with Liberte. Finally complained to the Canadian food Inspection Agency when it happened again today.

Apr 16, 2011
kmacd in General Topics

Cheesemongers in TO . . . any hidden gems?

Who doesn't claim to be an affineur these days? 'Caves' and 'affinage' seem to be the words of the day all over the city.

Feb 11, 2011
kmacd in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

About Cheese, Church Street

Thanks. I wondered what happened to him. I followed him to the Beach and then he got married and disappeared. Terry took over and does a great job. I didn't realize the Danforth store was franchised. That explains a lot.

Jan 28, 2011
kmacd in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Cheesemongers in TO . . . any hidden gems?

(used to go there every week, but then started to wonder why, after 6 - 8 months of going once per week and dropping $100+ per visit they still didn't seem to know that I was a regular?????)

That's a good definition of bad service. Not taking the time to getting to know a customer. As is rushing through customers. As is presuming to know more about a product than you actually know. Once at Cheese Boutique when I asked if they had Testun di Pecora, I was told by three people that there was only one variety of Testun - Testun al Barolo. I knew that wasn't true because I'd had three different versions in the past (capra, pecora and barolo) and I'd bought them directly form Beppino Ocelli, the maker, in Italy. It's all in the attitude. Take the time to get to know your customer and you'll likely have them for life. Give them attitude and they likely won't be back. My experience in Toronto is that few of the people working in cheese shops actually know much about the product they're selling. They buy from distributors with import quota like Les Dependances and repeat the stories they're given by the distributor and their subdistrbution networks.

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Cheese Boutique
45 Ripley Ave, Toronto, ON M6S, CA

Jan 28, 2011
kmacd in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Cheesemongers in TO . . . any hidden gems?

That's my experience as well. Bayview shop has reasonably good service. I'm not sure what explains the Danforth shop but it seems to be a common experience from comments on the web.

Jan 28, 2011
kmacd in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

About Cheese, Church Street

They're downright rude at Danforth Alex location. I was in there today - against my better judgement but it was on the way home. I almost walked out there was so much attitude. I usually go to the Queen E. location. The manager and staff there are very friendly. The crew on the Danforth, NEVER again. I've been in three times in the last year (since we moved away from the Danforth) and it's been attitude every time. Such a switch from 6 or 7 years ago when Tom worked there. I drop at least $200 on cheese every month and the Danforth Alex location is not getting another penny of it.

Jan 28, 2011
kmacd in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Cheesemongers in TO . . . any hidden gems?

Sometimes a little cold???? You've got to be joking me. They're downright rude. I was in there today - against my better judgement but it was on the way home. I almost walked out there was so much attitude. I usually got o the Queen E. location. The manager and staff there are very friendly. The crew on the Danforth, NEVER again. Such a switch from 6 or 7 years ago when Tom worked there. I drop at least $200 on cheese every month and the Danforth Alex location is not getting another penny of it.

Jan 28, 2011
kmacd in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

cheap and cheerful around Main and Danforth

Another good place - Hakka Chopsticks, between Dawes and Vic Park on Danforth. Loving the Bombay Chicken and Hakka House Fish.

Jan 22, 2011
kmacd in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

cheap and cheerful around Main and Danforth

The place is like that. Run a bit like a roadside India restaurant. Whatever they're cookin' that day, they're cookin' that day. They do have a menu but the specials board rules the roost. Not for everyone but if you trust the cook, you trust the cook. ONe of hte best meals I've had in my life was at a little grotto like place in Cadaques (Costa Brava). Walked in,m sat down and the owner/chef said "Welcome, you'll have this , this and this; the lady will have this, this and this." I was amazing.
Sometimes you've just gotta go with it.

Jan 22, 2011
kmacd in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

cheap and cheerful around Main and Danforth

You're joking right?

There are a whole host of places that, while nothing to look at, largely because the operators are feeding a new immigrant clientele, dish up some good food. The New Kabab house is great, particularly the Chili Chicken Kabab. Excellent and inexpensive. Anondo dishes out good, basic Bangledeshi. The paratha's alone are worth going for. And Agni does reasonably good Hakka. Again, a good inexpensive meal.

A bunch of small Bangladeshi places have sprung up recently but I haven't tried them.

Jul 24, 2010
kmacd in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Looking for good Indian delivery (and other delivery as well!) near Vic Park/ Danforth in East York

Just note that Bona charges for delivery east of Main

Jul 05, 2010
kmacd in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Cheesemongers in TO . . . any hidden gems?

Vacherin Mont D'or has a limited season with not much of it available for export. Histroically the main supply has been imported in time for Christmas. This has created a 'tradition' of sorts that people use it as a "Christmas cheese", which creates a kind of cycle - e.g., demand is highest around Xmas so that's when it's brought in. This past year the shipment was stopped at customs for testing and contamination was found in some rounds so the entire lot was prohibited from entering the country. That's why you didn't find any on your rounds. I'm surprised that no one told you this when you were asking for it. It was fairly common knowledge in cheese circles.

May 06, 2010
kmacd in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Sakawaya's Changing Hands

He said he's going to spend some time in Hong Kong and then perhaps China.

Mar 24, 2008
kmacd in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Pape/Danforth

No. He told me he's going to spend some time in Hong Kong and then perhaps China.

Mar 24, 2008
kmacd in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Sakawaya's Changing Hands

Sad days - Koki has sold Sakawaya and is leaving the area. The change over is happening at the end of the month, so if you know Koki, or have enjoyed Sakawaya, drop in and say goodbye. I know I'll miss my regular dose on Thursday nights, and none of the other Japanese spots on the Danforth could match Sakawaya

Mar 21, 2008
kmacd in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Chinatown - Let's seperate the winners from the losers

I'll second the Sichuan garden suggestion. Was there with a crew from a conference I organized a couple of weeks ago and all were thoroughly impressed. The owner was very helpful in helping to make selections and adjusting dishes to feed a large group of people.

Mar 21, 2008
kmacd in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Pape/Danforth

Sad days - Koki has sold Sakawaya and is leaving the area. The change over is happening at the end of the month, so if you know Koki, or have enjoyed Sakawaya, drop in and say goodbye. I know I'll miss my regular dose on Thursday nights, and none of the other Japanese spots on the Danforth could match Sakawaya

Mar 21, 2008
kmacd in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Best Indian in Toronto - where is it?

In the Gerrard S. area I'd say Siddhartha. I was there again just a couple of weeks ago with a few colleagues who were in town for a conference I had organized. The food was fantastic (off the menu) and the service was great. It was a horribly snowy blustery night and there were no cabs to be seen when the time came to leave. The owner overheard us talking about walking up to the Coxwell subway station and told us to wait for a few minutes. She got her husband to bring his car around and he ferried people up to the subway station. People from out of town - especially New York and London - couldn't believe it. That's what I call service above and beyond. Despite the weather, we had a great night and I'll gladly take another crowd of guests in the future.

Mar 21, 2008
kmacd in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Cheese Shop Recommendation Needed

I can't believe that no one has mentioned About Cheese yet.

http://www.provincialfinefoods.com/

A bit out of the way at 3467 Yonge but well worth the trip. Excellent service, good knowledge and generous samples. After shopping at a variety of Alex Farms locations over the years, I've noticed in the last few months that samples have been getting quite meager - almost to the point where it's difficult to truly taste the cheese, and that service has been on the decline. Tom at the Beach store used to be great, but haven't seen him in a while. Have also had a couple of bad experiences at the Avenue Road shop with rude and impatient staff - nothing worse than staff with an attitude. My wife and I spend about $50 a week on cheese and recent service at Alex has been enough to make us look for a new shop. About Cheese has been a pleasant surprise. Knowledgeable, enthusiastic and generous. Not much more to ask for in a cheese shop. Cheese Boutique is alright but depends who you get. Only one experience at Leslieville Cheese market, but not inspiring enough to make me go back in a hurry.

Dec 21, 2007
kmacd in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Sushi -- East End

I realize that this is an old post but had to weigh in. A couple of years ago, while my wife was doing a stint of a few months in PNG, I started a 'tradition' of 'Sushi Thursdays'. I worked my way up and down the Danforth and tried every Sushi place at least twice. The winner hands down for quality, taste and preparation is Sakawaya Japanese Bistro (corner of Danforth and Jones). The others don't even come close.

Aug 08, 2007
kmacd in Ontario (inc. Toronto)