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New Ramen Shop on Bloor East of Christie?

It's a new Kinton Ramen spot.

The Black Hoof: New Chef in a month!

Head Chef, Chef De Cuisine, Sous Chef, Chartcutier, Cook. That's a serious brigade listing for a restaurant running on an electric stove for 5 days a week. I guess the Chef De Partie is the Dishwasher?

2 Days/Nights in Manhattan. I think I have it right... but do I have it right?

Ah, sorry, should have clarified. We will be eating two dinners each night. Basically one dining experience spread over two places. Reservations have been confirmed for all. Have two open lunch spots and am open to changing reservations if convinced.

Jul 18, 2012
insideman in Manhattan

2 Days/Nights in Manhattan. I think I have it right... but do I have it right?

Coming into Manhattan for a little R&D with a small group of friends to both eat and be inspired. The goal was to hit a bunch of spots that share a common element: simple but well executed plates in a engaging restaurant enviroment. All of the places are well-known across the board but please advise if you think something is missing or should be replaced as we have enough lead time to switch it up.


Day One

Lunch: Open(?)

Dinner One: Casa Mono

Dinner Two: Babbo

Day Two

Lunch: ABC

Dinner One: Prune

Dinner Two: DBGB

Day Three

Lunch: Open(?)

Jul 18, 2012
insideman in Manhattan

Molecular Gastronomy in GTA

Immersion circulating and/or cooking sous-vide isn't molecular gastronomy. Also, the chef from YT didn't train at either Noma or Alinea. He staged. Big difference, but it seems to be lost on the dining population in Toronto on a whole. Just needs to be clarified.

Where to find Prague #1 Powder in Mississauga for making a ham...Superstore just had a big sale on pork leg...

if you're interested in ordering in bulk and other producst for home curing/sausage making, try here...

Where to find Prague #1 Powder in Mississauga for making a ham...Superstore just had a big sale on pork leg...

Prague Powder #1 is pink salt or sodium nitrite. Used for short terms cures and meats that will be cooked ie. Bacon, Pancetta, Ham. Not a substitute for NITRATE and should be used following correct guidlines. Most butcher shops should have it on hand. Shouldnt need more than a dozen teaspoons for that pork leg, but google anything from Brian Polcyn or Len Poli for accurate measurements

Best Roti?

Gandhi is mediocre and way overpriced.

Bacchus FTW!

Lucien: Scot Woods out, Grant Van Gameren in.

Don't recall implying any story other than the facts.

Scot Woods leaving. Which he did.

Grant and Guy heading up the kitchen. Which they are.

Thanks for coming out.

Lucien: Scot Woods out, Grant Van Gameren in.

Scot has since left Lucien(since last Thursday) and Grant Van Gameren will be heading up the kitchen along with Guy Rawlings.


Best Eats In Monterey+Surrounding?

Hey gang,

Heading to Monterey in a week w/ 3 friends who are all enthusiastic and knowledgable about food and wine. Have to plead ignorance to the Monterey food scene and from what I've researched on my own- only turned up-what looks like- a lot of run-of-the-mill, touristy "traps". Anyone here have some solid reccs on a place(s) that can deliver some solid California focused food. From contemporary to food trucks. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks in advance!

Sep 15, 2011
insideman in California


Barque is mediocre bbq at best. Pretty good for Toronto but that isn't saying a whole lot. Compared to authentic bbq joints, this place falls way short. First, I don't need a bbq joint to have a casual/fine dining atmosphere. I don't need the requisite young, attractive female hostess greeting me at the door. I don't need a creative cocktail list or micro-brews or any booze for that matter. I want a good product. Not smoke and mirrors. Which is all this place is.

Agave Y Aguacate - delicious Mexican

Went back here this past weekend and it hasn't gotten much better on any level. Having eaten some superior Mexican streetfood in Chicago, NYC and LA I can't understand what all the fuss is about here at all. First, the wait for food is just flat out ridiculous. It isn't even because of mass lineups either. This knucklehead simply cannot organize himself properly. While I waited 30+ minutes for TWO TOSTADAS!!! I watched this guy scramble like some greenhorn who was thrown into the trenches. No clue at all! Spinning around, useless steps and a staff of two who were just as confused and useless. Part of me just wanted to ask :

"What the fuck are you doing?"

I don't want to hear the excuse of him not wanting to "compromise the integrity of freshness". Ok? Sounds like an excuse to be stupid. He's using tomatoes in winter/spring and the rest of the components are likely coming from China and South America. Which is fine. Don't get me wrong, I'm not hung up on that. Just give it to us! It's a fucking Tostada! I could be halfway through a tasting menu at Canoe in the time it takes to get a deep fried tortilla with some cooked chicken on it.

Secondly, this food just isn't that good at all. His guac is pretty good, I'll give him that but the rest is mediocre at best. There is no way the food stacks up close to anything by Rick Bayless at all. Someone mentioned the similarities between this place and the excellent XOCO. No way! Not even close. Roy Choi also does cirlces around this guy with a superior product(by that I mean Mexican streetfood). Food that is designed to be fresh, quick and excellent. This place just continually falls flat on a level where his American counterparts thrive.

Not to hate on homie here but the fanfare for this food is just not justifiable. He needs to get his act together on many levels. There is no reason for a wait more than 10 minutes. No reason to not have menu items at all. No reason for the owner/operator not to engage his customers. No reason to be spinning around like a shit house rat!

This place is not the real deal!

Agave Y Aguacate - delicious Mexican

The food was good here. Good, not great. The meatball sandwich was tasty but needed much more zip to claim it as a "Mexican Meatball". Tostadas were tasty and the soup was decent. It was mega-slow!!! I know some of you are fawing over his passion and attention to detail but alot of the slow down would be avoided if he tackled some proper mise-en-place before he opens shop. There is no justifiable reason to hold things up while you julienne tortillas, sorry. If a major portion of this work was done before service he'd have more time to lift his head up, charm customers and most importantly serve customers and turn over customers. I'd mos def hit him up again but if there is a line 10 people deep I'd most likely not wait it out. Which is unfortunate because the food doesn't equate to a wait like that. Good food, quickly.

Burger and shake places downtown?

FYI. Stockyards Smokehouse & Larder is doing flat top burgers as well. Also, "griddled" and "squashed" burgers aren't an exclusively New York thing. They are really a diner/drive in thing. Fact, the original McDonalds burger is the template for this style of burger and most of the big chain fast food joints all started in the same manner ie. Burger King, Wendy's et al. You can find burgers like these in most places throughout North America. In & Out Burger has easily been the most visable place serving burgers in this style and they are based in California. Just for clarification.

Brunch with a vegan option

I'd give Mitzi's a go. Def. not vegan but would probably be able to work-some of their dishes to be vegan friendly. Plus, they have bacon!!!

Top 10 Food Experiences in Toronto

Hmm, I am going to argue and say that 360, indeed, sucks! Also, with mains that start around $35 a pop you are most definitely paying for that ride up the tower and at that price point it better be more than 'not bad', sorry.

Kerr Farms Bankrupt?

100% bankruptcy.

Recs: Bahn mi across the city.

BA LE 2, is always on the mark for me and at a mere $2.75 it doesn't leave much room for complaints

Chicago Watering Holes

Thanks for the heads up!

Jun 08, 2010
insideman in Chicago Area

Chicago Watering Holes

The Violet Hour looks perfect! Many thanks in adavnce!

Violet Hour
1247 N Damen Ave, Chicago, IL 60622

Jun 08, 2010
insideman in Chicago Area

Chicago Watering Holes

Hey gang,

Headed to your city this Thur.-Sun. for eats and a good time. I just realized the past few months have been so devoted to planning the food portion of our journey that I completely neglected the booze portion-WTF?

Any who. To get to the point what are the best watering holes in town? Looking for a place that may be a post-dinner destination with a good selection of spirits, wine and beer and hopefully a quality mixologist. What are some of the best spots to tip a few, have a convo and slink into the other half of the night?

Thanks in advance!

Jun 07, 2010
insideman in Chicago Area

Any restaurants opened 24 hours in GTA

LOL! I'm sure it will be an amazing "diner".

Chuck & Co (Liberty Village)

Yay! Another boutique burger joint! How original...blech!

Is it too soon to ask? Who's the best in outdoor dining? George, Loire, Opus, Origin?

Origin? Have they even had a body on the patio to serve yet?

Chicago Food Trip-Do I Have It Right?

Thanks gang.

I don't necessarily have a problem paying upwards of $30 for a main, it's just if I do I want it to be worth it and memorable instead of just good.

I have been told of a late-night take-out spot in the city where the staff berate customers with foul language while they order and where it is encouraged that customers do the same. Can't remember the name of the place though. What's the deal? Worth checking out post-bar for a laugh and bite?

Again, thanks. You guys are really helping me in making this trip memorable. Since the food hinges on my decisions I really appreciate all your input.

Mar 09, 2010
insideman in Chicago Area

Chicago Food Trip-Do I Have It Right?

^^^ Thanks for the tips nsxtasy.

Had a peek at North Pond. Menu looks good but are these price points common in Chicago? It seems like most of the price points for mid to top tier restaurants are really high. Are there any outstanding places whose mains aren't riding in the 30-37 dollar range?

Mar 09, 2010
insideman in Chicago Area

Chicago Food Trip-Do I Have It Right?

Wow. Thanks for the feedback gang. I knew that the search for the best pizza would draw some fire from you lot :)

I am not married to the idea of Burt's but Bourdain's knod to it is definitely a reason I would make the trip but it's not a deal-breaker by any means. If this place, Pequod's is at the level of Burt's and is relatively in the core of downtown I may decide on that. We don't plan on renting a car and certainly don't want to burn upwards of 1.5 hours on travel time to eat some pizza if we can get a product just as good closer to where we will be staying.

As for Bayless, I think Frontera might be the best bet all in all. I really appreciate mexican cuisine but I think some of the price points at Topolo might be hard to swallow.

As for Avec. Well, from what I have read about Kahan and his cooking philosophies it seems like he has a lot of similar ideals that are in line with many chefs and restaurateurs here in Toronto. I just really want to see how it translates and hopefully draw inspiration and ideas from a chef who shares a very similar style to my own. after seeing pictures of the restaurant I can see ho it may be uncomfortable. What about his other places Publican and Blackbird?
Are there other chefs in Chicago that are doing similar contemporary cooking styles? I am not looking for specific cuisines but more a more encompassing representation of honest cooking that draws inspiration from a melting pot metropolis such as yours.

As for Hot Doug's, well I would like to make the trip just to say I've been. Again, it's most likely a trip me and my mate would make while he gals are shopping so the travel time is not important. What is important is that it's worth it.

What other little gems hide in your city? What little hole in the walls that are serving up destination bites? Places that we could pop in while we stroll around. Where is a great place to grab a cold one and people watch during the day?

I am uber-excited for this trip and all of your suggestions are truly appreciated so, please keep them coming. Many thanks in advance!

Mar 08, 2010
insideman in Chicago Area

Chicago Food Trip-Do I Have It Right?

Hey Gang,

A crew of us are going to be in Chicago for a long weekend in early June. Now, I have been trying to plan the trip food-wise to the best of my ability while seeking out certain spots that I think will resonate with myself (a chef) and my food compadres. Just looking for some advice from the locals if my plan will be met with success or failure.

Here are the deets...

For deep dish I have decided on Burt's. Good choice? Just looking for the best possible. This will most likely be a drop in, smash some pizza and few beers and be out but leave satisfied and content that we got the best your city has to offer.

I love mexican food so obviously Rick Bayless was no question. I have decided on Frontera over Topolo. Right move? Topolo's price points seem pretty steep for authentic mex, no? Maybe i'm wrong or is there something I don't know about Frontera. It just seems like better value and options. What's the vibe like between the two? Does the vibe at Topolo warrant seats. If so, I'll book it.

For the more culinary experience I am opting for Avec. Just want this to be the right choice for a fun, long dinner with great food, wine and ambience. I am a fan of boisterous and bustling restaurants with chatter, laughter and easy attitudes. Good choice?

Also during the day I plan on hitting Hot Doug's. How far away from the core is it? I don't mind trekking out with my boy while the gals are out shopping at all. Just want to know from ya'll if its worth the drive to Acton( Toronto expression ;).

So? Many thanks in advance.

Mar 06, 2010
insideman in Chicago Area

Amuse Bouche Restaurant: Definitely not amused

It is indeed up for sale.