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Condo dwellers in TO - Eat In - beyond the dross?

We eat in, especially when we are really busy during the weeknights. There are times when you are hungry, but don't want to be bothered with speaking to people (i.e. like staff who fill up your water, etc.) or being around crowds of people. We also love food. We have ordered from orderit.ca, and I have picked up food on my way home from work. I live downtown, so places like Burger's Priest, Khao San Road, Yuzu, the One that Got Away, Banh Mi Boys are all along the way.

Nov 29, 2014
ukers in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Affordable Lobster in Toronto

Buster's Sea Cove at St. Lawrence Market does a lobster roll. All their stuff is fresh and very good. I don't know if they are open on Sunday though.

I would skip Rodney's. It's tasty and tiny (for the amount you pay).

Rock Lobster is fun and has a pretty decent lobster roll.

Mar 25, 2014
ukers in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

2014 Restaurant and Food Store OPENINGS!!

It's both eat in and take out. The staff are incredibly friendly. You can do customized salad bowls, sandwiches and fresh baked pizza. They have gluten-free bread and all the dressings are gluten-free. I've only had the club sandwich. It's pretty good if you are looking for something fresh and home-make like. It's not a taste explosion from what I can tell, but a nice option if you want something healthy in the area. Sandwiches are about $10 (you get a little coleslaw on the side). Decent espresso.

Mar 19, 2014
ukers in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Restaurant cancelling a reservation

Hi all,

Thanks for your replies. I guess I was just wanting to vent. Good to hear some gut responses from others and some other perspectives. I wasn't angry or expecting some compensation, just very disappointed as I said. Their message on the phone indicated to me that it was a business decision, not one related to safety of their staff going to work (their reason being because many other customers cancelled and they expected no business, they actually said that). There was snow, but other people were going to work, if that puts the situation in context.

Mar 13, 2014
ukers in Not About Food

Restaurant cancelling a reservation

I recently had an upscale restaurant cancel my reservation because of heavy snow and the fact that many of the other customers cancelled their reservations, so they decided to close shop for the evening. It was a special occasion dinner for us, and we made the reservation in advance and fully intended to go (after confirming 2 times with them). I did not receive their message until close to the time of our reservation, I had to scramble to find another similarly upscale place for our event. That was utterly disappointing and I called and left a message with them to say this was disappointing for us because it was a special event, and that we hope they can call us back since we still would like to attend in the future. Sigh. Does this happen? I suppose for their bottom line it makes sense, but still, so disappointing.

Mar 13, 2014
ukers in Not About Food

Me Va Me opening downtown

totally not. it doesn't seem like there is much work being done in there. i could be wrong. but not much has changed.

Mar 13, 2014
ukers in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Bakeries that bake birthday cake from scratch

Wagamama Pastries on King W. makes a beautifully light and tasty cake. They make from scratch, but I would not be that surprised if they have a few cakes frozen for later decorating, etc. I think as long as good ingredients are used, the recipe works with some short term freezing (e.g. not more than 1 day) and defrosting is done properly then it shouldn't taste that different to something freshly made and frosted that day.

Mar 11, 2014
ukers in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Lee Restaurant (601 king) Current Status?

I was walking by this week - looks like the lounge section is papered and the Lee section is still operating.

Mar 06, 2014
ukers in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

"Valdez" by Steve Gonzalez opening.. in a month?

We've been to Valdez a few times now, because we are in the hood. I LOVE the duck confit rice. It's heavy, but it has such interesting flavours and textures. I don't know Latin American food, so I don't know if it's "authentic" but if it's a tasty concoction, I don't care. The ceviches are also very good, in particular the tuna with passion fruit. We sit at the bar and watch them prepare it. They seem to really care about details and our servers have always been helpful with recommendations and information. The space near the back of the main level seems to be a decent place for a semi-private event. Looking forward to summer so we can hang out on the rooftop! (well, OK, maybe just looking forward to summer at this stage!)

Mar 03, 2014
ukers in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Chowfind of the Millennium: Noodle Face - Authentic Beijing Flavours!

When I saw the place and the concept I really wanted it to succeed! It's communist industrial and pretty cold feeling. But the concept is kind of cool with the propaganda art (they could do more art to warm it up though). I was hoping it would be sort of like the Bahn Mi Boys of Northern Chinese food. As other posters have mentioned, there are not many places downtown that serve Chinese food other than Cantonese and North Americanized Cantonese. For me the service was fine. Nothing remarkable either way. I had the pork belly rice and again, nothing remarkable except for the proportions of meat/veg to rice. The menu said "salad of the day" and it was 3 slices of pickled turnip and one leaf of Shanghai bok choy. The pork belly tasted very homemade (in a good wholesome way) but slightly bland. Compared to the amount of rice, I could have done with more meat and veg. As far as student meals go, I could find more food, tastier food, for less money (paid $11 including tip). In that hood, for a rice bowl, I would probably go to Seoul Food for bibimbap, although it's clearly not Northern Chinese.

Feb 28, 2014
ukers in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Update on Broadview and Gerrard

I will be working in the 'hood for the next couple of weeks. I am not familiar with this area and have been having trouble finding lunch! I have been searching other Chowhound postings and as one writer said, the area is a ghost town. So far I have tried Hanoi 3 Seasons and Dumpling House. Hanoi had passable pho, not much depth to the soup (I understand it's chicken and not beef based). I had a pretty tasty Xinjiang chicken dish at Dumpling House - the serving was astronomical (i.e. I only made a small dent in the plate) and the handmade noodles had a lovely texture. My only complaint was the peculiar piece of ice-cold chicken. All the other chicken pieces were hot. Everything was fully cooked, but I guess when they reheated, one piece didn't heat up?

Anyhow, I would like to try a few more places, but more than half the shop fronts are closed/for rent. It's a pretty sad state of affairs there. Any recommendations? Thanks!

Feb 08, 2014
ukers in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Gluten-free dim sum in Toronto? Does this exist?

My friend who is also celiac fills her dim sum cravings with rice rolls with filling, all made at home. You can get the rice rolls at Chinese supermarkets. Chinese restaurants typically are difficult in terms of food allergies - either they don't know what you are talking about and say it's not in it, or they minimize it (as if a little won't hurt). Most dishes will have hidden wheat in the form of prepared sauces. If anyone hears about a real celiac-friendly Chinese resto, I would also love to hear about it!

Feb 06, 2014
ukers in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Suggestions for a restaurant wedding

Yes, it's totally up to the restaurant as estufarian says. Some Chinese restaurants have no corkage fee at all (you just have to check/negotiate with them) and I've heard of corkage for up to $50 or maybe more. We thought under $20 was reasonable, considering the selection of wine under $50 was limited and we had champagne that would have cost considerably more if we bought off their list. I also think that their reason for not being able to negotiate the price for wine bottles is unreal.

Feb 05, 2014
ukers in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Loblaws "aged" New York strip - disappointing

Yes, totally agree. Sometimes one particular piece of meat is just not as good as a previous purchase. We alternate between the Loblaws at Queen and Portland and Healthy Butcher. Sometimes Loblaws just has a great steak - Marbled, juicy and tender.

Jan 13, 2014
ukers in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

" Dragon Boat Fusion Chinese " - May be the BEST of the new bunch?!!

That suckling pig does look yummy! I may have to make a trip out. Curious though, that the restaurant is called fusion? Apart from the marshmallow (not even sure if I can do that to nice roasted duck skin!) it seems pretty traditional Chinese.

Dec 30, 2013
ukers in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Toronto and fine SUSHI, is there such a thing or am I lost in translation....?

Just bringing up this discussion again...and wondering what your sushi standouts are?

I think you are absolutely right - there is a lot of confusion in Japanese cuisine in Toronto. Arguably, some people think it's a good thing, depending on the type of food one likes. There are few, if any, purist sushi places in the GTA. Places like Zen and Kaji tend to have a stronger focus on tradition and fish quality. While I have enjoyed my meals there, for me there is too much activation energy required to get myself there (living downtown) and they do not offer a complete dining experience. Not that I need to have beautiful decor or impeccable service to enjoy my meal, but you go there for the food alone and so you have to be in the frame of mind.

As for the cooking confusion, it would be fantastic to have more purist Japanese restaurants in Toronto so that we have that option to chose from. It seems innovation is the trend and everyone likes the variety of options they have. Many restaurants cook for the masses or trend chasers, so the nuanced flavours of a particularly good catch or perfect shari is completely lost. For many, it might just be a piece of raw fish on a mound of rice, and where's the sauce? Hence the proliferation of so many Japanese restaurants that serve all sorts of "special rolls". Admittedly, some are truly and objectively tasty, if you can get past the idea of what Japanese food is supposed to be like. Downtown, I've had some great meals at Yuzu, JaBistro, Guu and Kingyo (perhaps call them "Japanese-style food")

Dec 15, 2013
ukers in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Parts and Labour Burger - Queen/Spadina area

We tried P&L last week and thought it was pretty good. It's quite a different beast to Burger's Priest. I have to say that I like Burger's Priest's overall taste a bit better, my rationale being that if I'm going to have a burger I want it to taste like junk food even though it may not be. The patty in the P&L burger tastes beefy, extremely fresh (pink in the middle) and grilled nicely (slight bit of char for a bit of crunchiness). It's missing the juice and ooze that a fatty burger from Burger's Priest has. The fat also imparts another level of yummy aroma that meat lovers will appreciate.

The bun was more substantial than the Burger's Priest bun, and again, there are junk food moments when you just want the bun to soak up all that juice and melt in your hands while you sloppily mop away the drool from your mouth! I do like that the Burger's Priest has a gluten-free bun option.

I was disappointed when I got my gluten-free option burger from P&L that it was 2 pieces of dry kale. There was no upcharge for the option, but I would have gladly paid additional for a bun. I suppose I should have asked what the option was rather than assuming the option would be a substitute bun.

Dec 15, 2013
ukers in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Recommendations for a great Lemon Cake?

LOVE the Lemon Parfait cake from Dufflet. Exactly as you say!

Dec 10, 2013
ukers in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Suggestions for a restaurant wedding

Thanks for the update! Apologies, I read your post wrong, I didn't realize you were buying out the restaurant for the event. I suppose they would need to account for the various customer numbers and seatings for that timeframe and include that in the equation for a buy out. Pretty hefty amount though.

Nov 23, 2013
ukers in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Suggestions for a restaurant wedding

I think the room rental fee is only $400, but there is a minimum expenditure which can easily surpass $4000 for that many people.

Nov 21, 2013
ukers in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Suggestions for a restaurant wedding

We did the very casual wedding dinner that you describe at Le Select. Ours was fewer than 30 people even. We didn't say that it was for a wedding. (Just a celebration dinner. Had the ceremony at city hall!) We picked one of the set menus (there were lots of options within each, and the food has always been consistently good for us) and picked some of the hors d'oeuvres before dinner. We didn't do wedding cake as their desserts are great. I'm not sure what the cost is now, but we opted for the corkage option at $18/bottle (bringing our own champagne, red and white wines) and guests were able to order whatever other drinks they wanted from the menu. You have to pay more for servers for the event and they were totally spot on with service - gracious, never over bearing, and the timing of everything was absolutely perfect. Absolutely a professional crew. Everyone told us that the food was great, the atmosphere was fun and relaxed. The space was great for mixing before dinner with drinks and finger foods. After dinner, people sat and chatted into the night. Congrats in advance!

Nov 21, 2013
ukers in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

President's Choice Black Label

It was the 500mL tub. I saw the bars on sale too, but opted for the tub.

Nov 13, 2013
ukers in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

What would you LOVE as a midnight snack @ a wedding? [Do you even want one?]

I've been to a few weddings with a midnight snack. For me personally, it's too much food! By the time the cocktails are done, you sit for a multicourse meal with wine, once dessert is done, I can't touch the wedding cake! I'm just too stuffed. After some dancing and more drinks, food is the last thing I can think about! But that's just me. I've seen many party guests cue up to have midnight snacks!

Nov 12, 2013
ukers in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

President's Choice Black Label

I was at Loblaws (Queen and Portland) and their Black Label ice cream was on sale ($3.99). Ingredients look very clean (i.e. cream, sugar, egg yolk...) and I got the toasted coconut and salted caramel. Both had great texture and mouthfeel. Not super sweet either (which is my only complaint with Hagen Daz). The two flavours aren't totally on though for some reason - the toasted coconut was fairly 1-dimensional and the salted caramel was a little too salty. Considering the options at supermarkets these days (yes, I saw the thread on disgusting ice creams) I would buy it again.

Nov 12, 2013
ukers in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Delysees: New French Bakery on King St

Thank you Delysees!!!

I have tried your macarons and they are fantastic! Perfect texture and great intense flavours. I look forward to trying some of your other gluten-free items. And honestly, if I could have a beautiful wheat flour and buttery croissant, I absolutely would! But sadly, I discovered that wheat and various other things make me sick so I take what I can get. I appreciate very much that more and more places are having a broader range of food for us food lovers who have dietary issues.

Oct 18, 2013
ukers in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Forno Cultura - new bakery - 609 King Street West

I can't remember if they still have it, since I've only been making a B-line for the bread, but do they still have the olive oil chocolate cake? That was crazy good.

Oct 02, 2013
ukers in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

A-ok foods (ramen by yours truly)

I agree. Never had bad service there, and really enjoyed the food. It was fun and at a good price point.

Oct 02, 2013
ukers in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Delysees: New French Bakery on King St

Does anyone know if they have gluten-free options?

Oct 02, 2013
ukers in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Week night take out

What are your recommendations for take out dinner (delivery or pick up) on a busy week night? We live downtown and would like range of choices. Healthy and tasty would be ideal. Thanks!

Sep 30, 2013
ukers in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

ISO a fresh, home-made muffin (i..e. not scooped out of a bucket and baked)

Cafe Plenty on Dundas near University. They bake fresh daily, and their baked items are totally to die for. I thought they were overpriced initially, but then I tried a selection of their products and were blown away!

Sep 30, 2013
ukers in Ontario (inc. Toronto)