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What's for Dinner #361 - April Showers Edition

But regardless of the weather, it's spargel season, right?

about 8 hours ago
prima in Home Cooking
1

Rude treatment at Khao San Road

Some posters have different reasons for replying. Boredom, procrastination, a creative outlet, bumping a thread past 200 replies...

I don't think the number of replies has much to do with whether the posters or their replies are reasonable or not.

about 8 hours ago
prima in Ontario (inc. Toronto)
1

Rude treatment at Khao San Road

Sushi Island and other AYCE restaurants near U of T have set time limits for how long people can eat, otherwise they'd go out of business. Very hungry teenage and 20something clients.

KSR probably doesn't need time limits, since they serve the food quickly, and most customers in Toronto don't linger when they can see hungry people waiting in line at the door.

about 9 hours ago
prima in Ontario (inc. Toronto)
2

restaurants that don't take reservations, that will seat you before the rest of your party has arrived

Can a restaurant seat you if there are no seats? ;)

This board has been so philosophical lately!

But more importantly, do you have a hot food tip you'd like to share? I'm not sure if Drupati's on Yonge takes reservations, but they have seats, and they'll let you order, let you pay, and sit down before the rest of your party shows up. They'd even let you sit down and wait to order until your party shows up. (Of course, this is how most restaurants with hot tables and seating work). That being said, the location is not packed to the gills as of yet, so they don't have the crowds or the pressure a busy restaurant downtown might have. But I wouldn't think most casual Trini restaurants, or any other casual WI restaurant with a hot table, would ever enforce a no-sitting-down/no-ordering until everyone has arrived kind of policy. Seems a strict seating policy would be pretty much anti-Irie.

about 13 hours ago
prima in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Rude treatment at Khao San Road

I think that shows some restaurant policies are regional/cultural, and/or that some restaurant management is successful enough to be a bit cheeky to their client base. I don't think that sort of statement or wording would go over well with customers in some parts of the world, and I would think it only would work with a certain type of restaurant. Can you imagine a destination fine dining restaurant in NYC or Toyko refining the language to say the same basic thing to people who are dropping $500/person?

Although, that menu in KL is talking about encouraging customers to be understanding and waiting patiently for the food that takes time to prepare, rather than waiting patiently for a table or waiting patiently for the last member of your party to arrive before your party can be seated! KSR has an incredibly quick kitchen, so once you're seated, your order is usually taken with in minutes, and your order arrives within another 5 or 10 minutes. I'd think some customers become hangry while waiting in line for a table , and serving them ASAP usually subdues them.

Maybe making people wait until they become a little hangry is a way to increase the amount of food a party orders, when they're finally seated? Maybe that's another goal of a carefully timed and managed restaurant line-up? ;)

about 14 hours ago
prima in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

2015 Mother's Day Brunch Buffet idea around GTA

Take your Mom to the brunch buffet at Toca at the Ritz if you're able/want to to splurge and can get a reservation. http://www.ritzcarlton.com/en/Propert...

about 14 hours ago
prima in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Buckhorn area eating spots

Perhaps Treetops or Pizza Alloro?

http://www.tripadvisor.ca/Restaurants...

about 15 hours ago
prima in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

coffee shop near Danforth and Coxwell

Thanks, everyone. I'll start with Red Rocket, and work through the others eventually. ;)

about 16 hours ago
prima in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

The Ontario Restaurant Policy Discussion

I'm going to head on a tangent.
I think Toronto has restaurants that are 2014 C Class Mercedes, and 2004 Camrys, and 2012 Fiats, and so on.
I guess I'm getting to the point where I rather eat at a 2009 Volvo like Karelia, or a 1998 Jaguar like Joso's, than a restaurant that uses a Henry Ford you can have any colour car as long as it's black approach to seating.

I prefer customized customer service, rather a one size fits all restaurant policy or a no substitutions/no diet Coke policy. But the one size fits all restaurant policy makes sense for economical restaurants in a competitive business, especially in high rent neighbourhoods, or some fast food businesses.

I think it's nice Toronto has so many types of restaurants, with so many approaches to seating and ordering policies.

We should all be able to find a half dozen restaurants that work food, service and policy-wise for us. I don't feel like using my energy to discuss what hospitable restaurant management maybe ought to resemble from my perspective.

about 16 hours ago
prima in Ontario (inc. Toronto)
1

restaurants that don't take reservations, that will seat you before the rest of your party has arrived

Bat Buca.
Where else?

about 17 hours ago
prima in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Rude treatment at Khao San Road

Why not blame the tardy person who ruined the experience for everyone?

Because shit happens. Sometimes people run late.

Some restaurants and some people are also more relaxed about latecomers.

If you, as a customer, are not used to being made to wait to be seated because one person is running late, I think you're going to be more likely to be critical of the restaurant policy than the family member who is running late. This type of seat-the-whole-party policy is common in Toronto and other big cities, but it is not common in smaller cities or rural Canada. I wouldn't expect a 55+ year old visitor to Toronto to be studied up on current seating policies at popular restaurants, even if the policies are well known by Toronto and other Big City Chowhounds and posted on the restaurant's website.

A restaurant's approach to latecomers may be partly cultural, in addition to part of the business policy. Some cultures put less emphasis on timeliness than other. The latecoming customer is greeted regardless of whether his lateness might stall the restaurant's cash flow due to the paying customers lack of time management or traffic destiny. Some restaurant owners (and hosts) are more focused on the being hospitable part of the restaurant business, but I think this is becoming almost old school, and many of the keep-the-customers-happy-and-feeling-welcome-style restaurant owners are closing their restaurants so they can retire.

Most Chowhounds who know me in person know I have a natural tendency to run late, but I tip well and I'm a generally a fairly friendly and polite customer. I've become more timely after becoming friends with some Chowhounds who are always early or on time- now I'm usually on time and rarely more than 5 minutes late. Before I knew these other Chowhounds, I didn't know how offended some people can get when another friend might be running late. It's not a big deal for me if a friend is running 15 minutes or 30 minutes behind and lets me know, but other people see a latecomer as someone who is inconsiderate and selfish and wasting other people's time. I guess YMMV applies to restaurants and latecomers.

Some restaurants choose a less rigid policy, perhaps to create a more welcoming environment, even for latecomers, focusing on the hospitality part of their business. Some focus more on a seating policy that runs like clockwork by treating everyine the same, massive portions of food and turning tables quickly.

After turning 40, I decided I don't do lineups. I visit places with lineups and strict all-the-party-must-be-present-before-being-seated restos before or after the dinner rush.

about 17 hours ago
prima in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Pearl at Bayview Village

Nope, there's no Chinese restaurant better than Pearl that's close to Yonge and the 401. Even the best Chinese restaurants in Richmond Hill have mixed reviews on this Board.

Kwan is probably the best Chinese restaurant on Yonge between St Clair and the 401, if that's an option.

For cheap and cheerful, Congee Queen at Centrepoint Mall at Yonge and Steeles is fairly convenient to Yonge and the 401, but Pearl is more upscale, and probably uses better quality ingredients.

Which dishes do you want to order? That might help other Chowhounds give you more suggestions.

Pearl at Bayview Village

Thanks for the correction, T Long.That's actually the only casa I have visited- forgot that it was Casa Imperial. :)

Pearl at Bayview Village

Pearl is fine. Mall dining doesn't get much better than that. Edo (newly opened at BV http://edorestaurants.com/ ), Origin North or O&B Cafe are other decent options at BV.

If you want better Chinese food, Casa Victoria on Steeles isn't too far away.

What's for Dinner #361 - April Showers Edition

April snowfall brings May ______? Stewed offal? What else rhymes with snowfall?

I've been eating out way too much. Roasting a chicken and some potatoes tonight, will serve with collards and sauteed asparagus. Obviously not local asparagus. I'm thankful to live within a 4000km drive of Sacramento, and I'm thankful for refrigerated trucks and the drivers who drive them.

coffee shop near Danforth and Coxwell

The old thread is 7 years old.

Are there any coffee shops you'd recommend near Danforth and Coxwell?

David Lee-new Nota Bene?

Yep. Nice production of The Barber of Seville. ;)

Apr 22, 2015
prima in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

David Lee-new Nota Bene?

I've been a few times since David took over. There are fewer mains offered on the menu than before (2 pastas, 2 fish mains , 3 meat mains), and they no longer offer daily specials, but the seasonal dishes have been interesting to me. They currently have some BC prawns as an appetizer, which I haven't tried yet. I'll be back during Ontario asparagus season in a few weeks,since NB always seems to source the good stuff. It's my go-to continental resto downtown.

Apr 22, 2015
prima in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

David Lee-new Nota Bene?

I was there last night, too. ;) I had the pre-theatre prix fixe, with smoked BC salmon and beet salad, sweet pea and ricotta ravioli, clementine sorbet, as well an order of their seasonal side dish of fiddleheads. I loved their sweet pea and ricotta ravioli. Delicious food and gracious service.

Apr 22, 2015
prima in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

best breakfast waffles?

Noticed Sunny Morning at Yonge & St Clair has waffles weekdays.
http://www.sunnymorning.ca/yonge-st-c...

Apr 21, 2015
prima in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Marben: One of the Best brunches in Toronto?

I hear ya, esp considering the credit card machines are always calculating tip post tax, so 20% post tax would be closer to 22% pre tax. (I'm not getting into a philosophical debate about calculating tip pre or post tax). I think options of 15,18 & 20 % is fairly standard in Toronto, but I've seen at least one machine with 18, 20 and 22%. But I liked the food and service at Fat Pasha, so I'm not going to let the default suggested tip amount on a credit card machine irk me.

Pain Perdu Yonge and Lawrence closed???

The Rolling Pin's donuts are good. Wasn't impressed with their cookies.They also have squares and pies, but no bread. They also sell coffee. ;)
Bobette& Belle, Patisserie S├ębastien and Butter Avenue are also nearby, selling sweets and croissants. Can't remember if S├ębastien sells baguettes.

Apr 21, 2015
prima in Ontario (inc. Toronto)
1

Pain Perdu Yonge and Lawrence closed???

Danielz Bread. http://www.danielzbread.com/ Danielz also sells bubble tea. I haven't tried any of their baked goods or bubble tea.

If you're looking for a good bakery for breads between Lawrence and York Mills, head to Pino Bakery on Avenue Rd. Pino's kokash, available on Fri and Sat, is a Hungarian chocolate sweet bread that's similar to a babka, and it's delicious.

Apr 21, 2015
prima in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Pain Perdu Yonge and Lawrence closed???

The 2 bistros that had been on the same site as Pain Perdu (Steak Frites and another), as well as Sequel and Herbs.Yonge and Lawrence is ok with spending $9 on a cheeseburger, but does not like to spend more than $25 on a main, hence lots of Italian restos selling $18 plates of pasta, and lots of bistros that go out of business.

Apr 20, 2015
prima in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

What's for dinner #360: Time to shake off the dross and get busy. [through April 22, 2015]

No offence taken ;) I'm not familiar with porcupine meatballs, but I grew up with most stuffed veg/cabbage/grapeleaves being filled with a ground meat/rice filling that is similar to the meatballs in the ciorba.

I'd probably consider the Romanian ciorba more rustic than sophisticated, but it's delicious. It's tasted a bit like a hybrid between goulash and stuffed cabbage soup. Stuffed cabbage soup with meatballs is another ground meat meal I like.

There's also a Greek dish called yiouvarlakia, which is meat/rice balls in an egg lemon sauce.

Apr 20, 2015
prima in Home Cooking
1

Healthy Food Downtown

Analysis of Urban Herbivore salad bowl http://m.thestar.com/#/article/life/h...

Analysis of Urban Herbivore muffie
http://m.thestar.com/#/article/life/h...

Analysis of Kupfert & Kim Oaxaca lunch bowl
http://m.thestar.com/#/article/life/h...

I find Me Va Me so salty.

I'd been getting the vegetarian sandwich at Aroma (eggplant, tomato, tahini, hard boiled egg, pickle), which seemed fairly virtuous, and more virtuous saltwise than their turkey club, but even half a veg sandwich has over 600 mg sodium, according to Aroma's nutrition chart, so a whole 650 calorie sandwich, which is how much I'd want to eat if I was hungry, provides over 1200 mg of sodium, when most people are supposed to keep their sodium between 1500 and 2300 mg/day.

Does anyone have recs for healthy food downtown that isn't salt-heavy?

Further uptown, I like Tabule, especially their fried eggplant (which is not greasy), cauliflower with tahini, mejadra, chicken shish, but I still find their food on the saltier side (but not nearly as salty as Me Va Me, where I end up waking up to guzzle water in the middle of the night) , judging by the way my ring feels tighter the next morning.

Apr 20, 2015
prima in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

What's for dinner #360: Time to shake off the dross and get busy. [through April 22, 2015]

I really liked this Romanian meatball soup, Ciorba di Perisoare, if you're looking for a change. I increased the amount of paprika to a couple tbsp of sweet Hungarian paprika, and added a little hot paprika, as well. The Saveur recipe I used as inspiration calls for ground pork, but other Ciorba di Perisoare recipes call for whatever mince you prefer. http://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes...

Apr 20, 2015
prima in Home Cooking
1

Hidden gem brunch

Around noon on a Sat,I've seen Karelia packed, in which case, I've gotten brunch to go. Good coffee, too.

Apr 20, 2015
prima in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Hidden gem brunch

It's not a hidden gem, but I appreciate that Fat Pasha takes reservations through OpenTable for brunch. I like their shakshuka with the optional upgrade of lamb meatballs. Haven't tried other brunch dishes yet. So many brunch places are heavy on the bacon, ham, pork cheeks, etc lately, so it's nice to have a brunch place that's interesting and pork-free.

When I want brunch near Yonge and Bloor, I've always been able to get a table as a walk-in at Lola's Kitchen.

I've also walked in for brunch at The Abbot on Yonge north of Lawrence. Probably not worth a detour if you're not in walking distance, but there are no annoying waits.

Apr 20, 2015
prima in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Marben: One of the Best brunches in Toronto?

Fat Pasha's tip default on the credit card/debit card machine is 20%, with the option to press other. Yummy shakshuka with optional delicious lamb meatballs, which I liked a lot better than my only brunch at Marben 4 years ago.

Apr 20, 2015
prima in Ontario (inc. Toronto)