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gypsy_queen's Profile

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What are Buffalo's "must-try" restaurants?

I tried Kentucky Greg's last week and I have to say I was mostly underwhelmed. The ribs were good, and the deep fried okra was fantastic, but everything else I had was so-so. That includes the pulled pork (which might have been good but had cold BBQ sauce dumped on top of it), the bbq chicken (nothing special), fries (soggy, uninspired) and collard greens (very salty, soupy mess).

Service was friendly but cleanliness was lacking and I just kind of overall felt like somebody in the kitchen doesn't like their job.

Best Middle Eastern Food in Toronto

Agreed. But beware that that the shawarma can be dry if it has been sitting around. Best to ask for it to be freshly cut from the spit if you happen to be there during a quiet moment.

I, too, have been going there since the 80's... I recall when it was just a little sandwich joint where the Adult Video store is now. Great to see them make it!

Best Thai Restos in Toronto...

I think the $5 martinis help a lot, too. Though frankly, they are so sweet they are barely drinkable anyway!

Best Dim Sum in downtown Toronto

I second Crown Princess. Lovely dumplings that melt in your mouth. Great service. And surreal surroundings that just add to the delight.

Crown Princess
1033 Bay Street, Toronto, ON M5S 3A5, CA

Non-Chain Recommendations in Champaign-Urbana, IL

Oh... forgot to mention that I ate at the Bread Cafe yesterday, too. Everybody says it is wonderful.., I was pretty seriously underwhelmed. I had a tasteless bowl of soup full of soggy noodles, and a ham sandwich. The indifference with which the sandwich was made was palpable. Ice-cold lettuce and tomato slapped onto a very tough baguette (I had to take it apart to be able to chew it).

My advice: skip it.

Nov 04, 2010
gypsy_queen in Great Lakes

Non-Chain Recommendations in Champaign-Urbana, IL

I am in Urbana now and got a great tip from a local gourmand that took me to Black Dog Smoke and Ale House on Broadway. Casual place with a long wooden bar and a bustling open kitchen.

The service is charming... friendly and indulgent. My server was very helpful in guiding me through menu highlights. They were out of brisket ends (apparently the best the thing on the menu, and often sold old), so I ended up with ribs as a starter and chicken as a main.

The ribs were outstanding... dry-rubbed, cooked achingly slowly, with the end result meaty and juicy without being fatty. I almost cried.

The chicken was ok.. a little dry for my liking, but the sides were good. Order the twice-baked potato casserole... cheesy and delicious.

Added bonus: great micro brews and a very nice whiskey/bourbon list.

I had dinner at 4:30 (yes, really) and by 5:00 there were no free tables. No reservations... so I would aim for early or late dining here. Open for lunch.

Ale House
1600 Avenue A, Springfield, MI 49037

Nov 04, 2010
gypsy_queen in Great Lakes

Good lebanese sit-down restaurant in the GTA?

Agreed. I've been going there for years. The shawarma is excellent, but only if you get them to cut it fresh off the block for you; otherwise it can be dry and tough from sitting around. They do a very nice plate of foule, too, and the falafel is nice and light. And I love to wash it all down with mint tea (order double mint).

Be forewarned that the kitchen is open concept, which means you will likely smell of cooking when you leave. I like to sit by the window to minimize that effect.

If you are there anyway, you should pop into the little Middle Eastern supermarket a few doors down and buy some spicy lahmajoun, a thin crust meat "pizza." Freezes beautifully, and is delicious heated up and eaten with either some yogurt and dried mint, or some sliced pickles and a squirt of lemon.

Best Lebanese in Toronto?

I just tried Tabule last week. Ambiance isn't great (very loud, pretty chaotic) but the food was solid. I had the fried cauliflower (excellent), the fattouche salad (pretty standard) and the kefte banadoura -- spicy meatballs in tomato sauce. The quality of the meat is good and it was well-prepared. Given the relatively slim pickings in this category in Toronto, I'd say it is certainly among the better places.

I'd go back, but might avoid Friday or Saturday night in the hope of having a quieter, more leisurely experience.

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