Fwagra's Profile

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Montecito anyone?

After tiff, you won't have a problem getting a table. Until it closes, but that may be a few months in the future.

Aug 27, 2014
Fwagra in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Dosa Paradise - Great Dosa in Brampton

Just a quickie post about the awesome lunch I had in Brampton today.

I stumbled upon this place which is situated in a plaza at 7900 Hurontario (near Steeles).

Owner was super friendly and eager to discuss his menu and food.

I ordered "combo 2" which was an incredible value feast for $8.75. It included two iddly with three chutneys and one sambar, a vada, and two different dosas. The dosas were accompanied by second helpings of the chutneys and sambar. A can of pop comes with the deal.

The food was great. Fresh and cooked to order. So satisfying. Enjoy this place.

Aug 05, 2014
Fwagra in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

George on Queen. Allow me to vent.

Yeah, that lack of observation of Earth Hour is the thing I hate most in a restaurant. Brilliant.

Eat Fresh Be Healthy - Dundas and University

Folks, Eat Fresh Be Healthy is the real deal!

I work in the area. This guy worked in fancy restos and then decided to do it for the people. The food is outstanding especially for the price. And the owners are two of the nicest people you care to meet. In addition to their beautiful food they throw in some Tamil specialties In a nod to their own heritage. Great spot that deserves support and success.

Oct 28, 2013
Fwagra in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Chowfind: Pili Pili

The chicken seemed to have a different marinade.

The food was not very spicy, to my surprise.

The prices are very reasonable. $54 was our bill. Zuli initially tried to refuse a tip! (This only resulted in a bigger one).

Aug 22, 2013
Fwagra in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Chowfind: Pili Pili

My friend and I have missed Peponi Grill for years. That was the weird place in a non-descript office building near the Don Valley Parkway and Sheppard that served authentic East African (Ismaili) food. It was the only place that did it well, as far I can recall.

Well, I have found a replacement finally: Pili Pili. We started with samosas (three kinds, all great). Beautiful thin but substantial wrapper with detailed truly varied fillings. Very nice. Then, some mogo (cassava fries, dusted with speical East Afican spices). Oh yeah. That's the stuff. Think of the best thick French fries, but lighter, airier, fluffier. Served with three chutneys: tamarind, spicy, and the green refreshing one. Now we're having fun. Delicious deep-fried kebab balls are crusty on the outside and soft on the inside.

Then, the grilled meat, which features very prominently on the menu. Oh, the meat. So much meat! This is a fairly carnivorous cuisine, far as I can tell. Beef mishkaki is chunks of grilled beef that has been marinating for days. Beef shortribs (Korean cut) are really nice, too, marinated similarly to the mishkaki. Then, barbecued chicken breast is surprisingly moist. It's grilled with the bone and skin on, which delivers flavour and succulence.

This was a wonderful but almost vegetableless meal. Remember, their main business now is catering and take-out (grill-it-yourself-at-home). But, I think they might expand their menu as time goes on. They really just set up a month or two ago.

Our host, Zilu, the owner, is one of the nicest fellows you could meet. Truly passionate about delivering good, quality, simple, honest food. He will happily and pleasantly guide the uninitiated through his ancestral cuisine, and he is also a really friendly and knowledgable guy in general.

I will be interested in other Chowhounders' opinions on this wonderful place. It's at 1960 Lawrence Avenue East.

Hakkasan at the MGM - Any thoughts?

We were a group of six. We ordered most of the dishes on the menu. Almost all were really bad. It was consistent.

Jul 29, 2013
Fwagra in Las Vegas

Hakkasan at the MGM - Any thoughts?

Hakkasan is, in a word, horrific.

Imagine ordering up some food at Man Chu Wok or Panda Express, and then paying 300x the regular food court price. And, imagine further that the food you get at this pretentious doucheblight of a restaurant is not even as good as what you've come to expect from your local food court Chinese joint.

So, what do you do? Wolf down the laughable red-glowing sweet and sour pork? Complain? We complained. Gosh, we tried not to, but we had to. Their response: "the managers are really busy right now."

Nice.

Seriously, I cannot recall a worse restaurant experience in my life.

Jul 28, 2013
Fwagra in Las Vegas

King Palace

I love it. Absolutely love it.

May 29, 2012
Fwagra in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Bistro 990 closing: an end of an era?

The end of a mediocre restaurant. Foodies don`t care.

Feb 11, 2012
Fwagra in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Mideastro location in Yorkville

I have been twice, and really enjoyed both visits.

I really like the lamb pizza, and other appetizers with their pickled-in-house vegetables. Falafel shrimp are tasty.

I had the lamb kefta main. It's served in a metal pan, with a roof of baked bread. There are three very large kefta under the bread, simmering in a delicious mixture of eggplant, tomato, onions, and Moroccan spices. Really tasty. And it's unique. They are doing something that no one else in town does: fancy, creative, Middle-Eastern inspired cuisine.

The service could not be friendlier.

Feb 09, 2012
Fwagra in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Barque - Review

My mother-in-law's brisket is better than Barque's. And, she's no culinary genius. But, she knows that brisket and other less expensive cuts of meat become delicious only with patience.

The place is always packed. So, it's good then right? I guess the Pickle Barrel is Toronto's greatest restaurant?!?

Anyhow, I don't want to be overly argumentative (is it too late?). You like it and I don't. To each his own.

Oct 09, 2011
Fwagra in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Barque - Review

We were three at Barque last night. None of us will return.

We wanted to like this place. We understood that one of the owner/cooks had actually spent half a year studying and learning barbecue in the southern United States. This sounded promising.

The problem, it seems, is that Barque is already cutting corners. They are trying to speed up production. They are not doing things "low" or "slow" enough. Surely, they are deviating from what they must have learned stateside. Ironically, none of the food had the trademark "bark" that we were rightly expecting.

Baby back ribs, had clumps of rub falling off it. Now, mind you, the rub itself was delicious. But most people don't want to eat it in mounds. Rather, it should be applied early and allowed to meld into the meat. The ribs we had were not penetrated by the rub. The rub just fell off. Their rub, I think, is very good and would have worked well if given the chance. Smoke penetration was there, but not as deep as I prefer. It was almost superficial. But it was there, and there was some resultant deliciousness. But, for the most part, the ribs were a big let down.

Their smoked chicken wings were the highlight. Very delicious. Properly smoked. (It takes less time properly smoke a chicken wing, due to its smaller size). It's too bad they don't have the patience to smoke bigger pieces of food.

Breaded chicken tenders were dry. And, they were not all tenders, per se, but strips of breast meat, as noted by my dining companion who worked in the chicken business.

Brisket and beef rib were mediocre. Again, they would have been better if the kitchen didn't rush to prepare them. These are very fatty pieces of meat, that require low and slow cooking, in part to render off some of the solid fat. But, they apparently didn't do that. So, both of these items had large globules of solid white fat throughout.

On the positive side, they start you out with complimentary carbonated water. A nice touch, I thought.

Barque is still better than 95% of the ribs in this town. So, I think a lot of people will like it. The place was busy. But, they are not living up to their name.

I hear Buster Rhino's is coming to Toronto. I am looking forward to trying their stuff.

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Buster Rhino's
2001 Thickson Rd S, Whitby, ON L1N, CA

Oct 07, 2011
Fwagra in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Giancarlo on Clinton

I am a little late on this one, but we had a very bad experience at Giancarlo last night.

Staff and service were very confused. First, they forgot my friend`s cocktail order. No big deal. Then, I ask about wines by the glass. He says he doesn`t know what they have but he will check. Then, he shows up with a glass of vaguely described crap and charges $15 per glass. Before he brought the glasses of wine, I told him that I wasn`t sure if I even wanted a glass of wine as it depended on what they could offer by the glass. This was after we finished off the first bottle that we ordered.

Food was mediocre to terrible. Ossobuco was like eating shoe leather. Couldn`t finish it. And, they serve it without the prized marrow bone (because they sell it to other customers separately as an appetizer!). He takes away my uneaten dinner without a word.

Funniest part: when I finally did complain (I spoke to the server privately away from the table), about half way through my complaint, he tells me that he doesn`t have time to listen further and he will take the wines off the bill!

Anyhow, not a lot of time now to elaborate but it was all-round awful. F you right back, Giancarlo!

Jul 17, 2011
Fwagra in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

L'atelier, Fiamma, Bouchon - good mix? Rethink? Pls weigh in...

I went to Fiamma once and was very disappointed. I wouldn't go back.

The food was slapped together with very little attention, and wasn't very good. I recall a pasta dish that was gloopy, like Elmer's glue. The place was terrifically loud. The service was mediocre.

Just my two cents.

Jun 21, 2011
Fwagra in Las Vegas

Jaleo-Keep your Shoes off the Furniture

I think most or all of you have it right. This place is just silly.

I went there a couple of weeks ago; we were a party of six. We were greeted by a very rude hostess, for one thing. When I announced our presence, she immediately barked at me and said that she was very busy and would get to us when she pleased. (I am paraphrasing). The rest of the service was comically amateurish, especially for a restaurant with such pretensions to excellence.

The food was nothing special to be sure. Some of it was not very good. Oysters were shrivelled and didn't look fresh. A crayfish or langoustine of some type smelled fishy and had very little edible meat, and was covered in some type of foam. Molecular gastronomy, I suppose. But the foam served no other purpose than conveying the notion that one was engaged in molecular gastronomy. It had no particular flavour value. Croquettes of two kinds were boring. Jamon Iberico is great, but I can buy that too. Heirloom tomato panzanella was really good.

The croquettes served in a shoe. I doesn't work for me. It's a blatant, even desperate attempt to be singular. But, what is the message? What is the esthetic? What's the joke? Nada. Just food in a shoe! More stupid than clever to me.

Will definitely not return to this pretentious place.

Jun 21, 2011
Fwagra in Las Vegas

Sukhothai - A Gem of a Chowfind!

Thanks for the clarification.

Jan 31, 2011
Fwagra in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Sukhothai - A Gem of a Chowfind!

Ok then. Sorry.

Jan 27, 2011
Fwagra in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Sukhothai - A Gem of a Chowfind!

Ok, well, whatever. My mistake. They're a really nice Asian family. Better?

Jan 27, 2011
Fwagra in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Sukhothai - A Gem of a Chowfind!

We were two at Sukhothai tonight. What an amazing place! The place is run by a family of supernice Thai people. They were very warm, hospitable, and welcoming.

The food is incredibly good. We started with spring rolls and garlic chicken: deep fried little chicken fingers, Thai style, with a sweet garlicky dipping sauce. Delicious. Every piece a winner. Then, we move onto Beef Khao Soi. Unbelievably good: perfect (fatless, gristleless) pieces of brisket beef simmered in a yellow curry with egg noodles. Wow, a Thai restaurant with beef that's not scary!

Then, we had their Sukhothai Pad Thai. Very nice. Perfectly al dente rice noodles! Another first. The best Pad Thai I've had. No red ketchupy slimy mess here, folks. This was light and fresh, with a few shrimps.

Our third dish was Gaeng Panang: a savoury peanuty chicken curry with steamed white rice. Again, the chicken pieces were picture perfect each one. Not a trace of fat, gristle, bone, or anything unpleasant. Just well-trimmed boneless white chicken meat, simmered in another sublime and rich Thai sauce.

Delicious cassava cakes for dessert, and a Fanta cream soda to boot.

Thanks to those that have touted this place on CH. I can never eat at Salad King or Young Thailand again. Ever.

Run, don't walk, to Sukhothai.

Jan 26, 2011
Fwagra in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Konner Chinese Restaurant (Finch & Midland)

Wow. Wow. Based on your review, we went to Konner on Friday night. Did I say Wow? This is some scarily authentic stuff here. No General Tsao’s Chicken tonight!

Very interesting food, this Hunan stuff. Would I be out of line to say that it reminded me a bit of my Szechuan experience at Hot Spicy Spicy at Leslie and Finch? Food that was redolent of far-away spices, exotic peppercorns, and very hearty. Very foreign flavours to my tongue, to say the least.

We had the cold peppers; it seemed more like a condiment than an actual dish, and I think we would have been happy to have a bit less of it. And, ours was a bit more cloudy with preserved egg (compared with your photo). But, it was really good. We couldn’t find the bamboo dish! And, I tried to describe it, but to no avail. We did have some delicious stir-fried beef with cumin and scallions. It was very good and had an almost… Mexican flavour! Not really, but the cumin was surprising for us. We had squid stew which was okay, but lacking in some flavour. And, chicken cooked in bamboo was actually not so good.

Lastly, the owner was very friendly and seemed to enjoy practicing her English with us, as we were the only white people there. She was lovely!

All in all, this was a very eye-opening (my friend said “humbling”) experience to taste Chinese food that is so different from the stuff we are accustomed to.

Thanks for this very interesting recommendation.

Nov 06, 2010
Fwagra in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

National Restaurant and Banquet Hall

Disgusting. Disgusting. Really, really, disgusting. And that was just the entertainment.

No, I'm kidding. The food is as bad as the live music. But, both were plentiful. Which is not good when both are so gosh darn awful.

I have been twice now for birthday parties. I hate the place. It is somewhat comical, I suppose, because everything there is in such poor taste.

You're thinking: "what a snob!" But, no, seriously, try the place and tell me I'm wrong!

Sep 12, 2010
Fwagra in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

How do you search this board??

Long time poster... Maybe I am blind or stupid or both, but I can't see the search function on the new funky designed CH.

Help!?!

Aug 24, 2010
Fwagra in Site Talk

259 Host - Review

We were four at 259 Host last night.

Bottom line: adequate food but outrageously expensive.

Butter chicken for $17 should contain more than four pieces of chicken! And what's with the ubiquitous but out-of-place cherry tomato garnish on everything? Is that what allows them to charge triple? (No, it's morons like me who eat there, I know). Or maybe it's the ridiculously large serving dishes, which only serve to accentuate the niggardliness of the portions. Whatever it is, it doesn't work at 259 Host.

We ordered the seabass, which seemed to be covered in a floury country-gravy. Yucky. That whole dish was flavourless and bland; something Indian food usually is not. Butter chicken was tasty. Chana Bindi was good, but nothing special. I always love me some channa; it doesn't need to be fancy (or garnished). Every dish was very small, and gone in 60 seconds. Tasty enough. But, more than $80/person!

Service was good, by the way.

The place was dead empty. Deservedly so, I'm afraid.

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259 Host
259 Wellington St W, Toronto, ON M5V, CA

Jul 29, 2010
Fwagra in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Suggestions Wanted: Downtown Dinner for 18

Thanks so much for the suggestions. I think we will go with Ame. But, both good suggestions which I appreciate.

Jun 08, 2010
Fwagra in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Suggestions Wanted: Downtown Dinner for 18

Hi hounds.

I am planning a dinner for 18. We don't mind spending some money. Criteria:

1. Downtown central
2. Good drinks and food (duh)
3. Private dining room a plus

Previous dinners were at Colborne Lane and Nota Bene. We preferred Nota Bene, although both were good. We ate at the little semi-private room in Nota Bene; it was great. Anything similar would be wonderful.

I thank you in advance for your suggestions.

JBS

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Colborne Lane
45 Colborne Street, Toronto, ON M5E 1P8, CA

Nota Bene
180 Queen Street West, Toronto, ON M5V 2A1, CA

Jun 07, 2010
Fwagra in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Glow: Fresh Grill & Wine Bar at Don Mills

When I was there, she was also. Not doing much, mind you, just sitting around with her perma-sneer.

Her restaurant stinks.

May 15, 2010
Fwagra in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

High Tea in Toronto?

Yep. Sorry for being cryptic/bitchy about it.

May 04, 2010
Fwagra in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

High Tea in Toronto?

They don't do high tea at the Windsor Arms.

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Windsor Arms
18 St Thomas St, Toronto, ON M5S, CA

May 03, 2010
Fwagra in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

ISO Indian Candy

I had it at Rodney's By Bay last Friday. Dang, that stuff is delish.

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Rodney's By Bay
56 Temperance Street, Toronto, ON M5H 3V5, CA

Apr 29, 2010
Fwagra in Ontario (inc. Toronto)