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City_West's Profile

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What unique Toronto Food Festivals have you marked on your 2008 calendar?

Definitely check out the Sugarbush Festival starting on March 7th and Bruce's Mill off Stouffville Road. I grew up in that area and it is a great way to see and show your kids how maple syrup is made. You can see it being boiled down and try some, from what I remember there was even a pancake breakfast. Awesome.

Buddha Dog? Thoughts? Death Watch?

I checked out Buddha Dog in the summer with some staff, and it was pretty good, def' different and pretty expensive all things considered. I'm thinking the place doesn't last out the year. I just don't see how they can sell enough hotdogs. I mean, why not sell burgers? Grilled Cheese? Mac 'n Cheese? Why not make it a really modern comfort food place, like is their hot dog that innovative or ground shaking for you to make it out to Roncesvalles to eat it. Plus the feeling of having to eat 4 hotdogs to feel full and realizing that you've just spent $10 on hot dogs. Anybody Else?

Clafouti

Or just walk ten minutes to Liberty Village and get some croissant from Marc Thuets place. I just have never got why people talk about Clafouti in such a revered way. Is it because the name "clafouti" sounds cool, and french? Also, Clafouti is on Queen West, across from Bellwoods park, not near to the Danforth, but Zane does have some good stuff. Also, make sure you have cash at Bonjour Brioche because they only accept cash (what's up with that?,

Clafouti

Why do you want an croissant from Clafouti? They are so often flat, soggy and not really impressive whatsoever. In the industry, other than places that sell Clafouti stuff, no one gets why people talk about them so much. The look like the dead, flat remains of a pastry, not appetizing whatsoever.

SCONE RECIPE WANTED: must be good [Moved from U.K./Ireland board]

Okay, I just finished baking them off and they are incredible, I had some time to kill while the dough was chilling and made some butter, it totally brings me back to Fortnum & Mason Afternoon tea, and the most expensive cup of tea and scone of my life. It cost around $48CAD for 2 pots of tea and scones for 2, still an awesome afternoon.

Mar 03, 2008
City_West in Home Cooking

Cupcake Crazy (flour girls, swirls, bake sale)

Circles & Square isn't really open like a retail store, from what I know they mostly make desserts for some restaurants around town. I think you can just call them and ask for them to make some for you, which I think is really cool. I ordered some and they were just finishing icing them as I came to pick them up.

Toronto’s Best Butter Tarts Aren’t in Toronto

I'd check out the butter tarts at Dark Horse espresso bar, I've had a friend bring me one before and I thought it was pretty good.

SCONE RECIPE WANTED: must be good [Moved from U.K./Ireland board]

Brilliant, I actually have that book, I never though to look there. I'm making them right now (the dough is just chilling). They look like what I want, I wanted that sort of egg/yolk wash instead of the more american butter or milk brush on the tops I'm hoping they turn out, I also found one which uses yeast, which I'd like to check out sometime too.

Mar 03, 2008
City_West in Home Cooking

SCONE RECIPE WANTED: must be good [Moved from U.K./Ireland board]

I'm a pastry chef from Toronto, Canada, and I just found out that I need to make a whole lot of scones for an event soon. I have a few recipes for scones, but I think the best I've had were either at Fortnum&Mason, or my great-grandmothers in Northern Ireland. I'm looking for the best recipes possible, I know they are going to be served with some organic preserves, so preferably a scone that goes well with preserves.

Thanks.

Mar 01, 2008
City_West in Home Cooking

Petit Dejeuner =

Petit Dejeuner, I just don't get you. Their special is suppose to be Belgian waffles, and it says only two orders per table. The waffles are incredible dry and hard, with nothing but air inside. Also, why in the world can you not make enough waffles for more than 2 per table, buy another waffle iron. It's like the Keg saying only 2 steaks per table. Totally underwhelming, the only breakfast place where I think you get the best value for your money and the service is great is Oliver&Bonacini, I know it's really uptown, but it's so consistant, servers are great and the average brunch main is probably $8-12-ish, but you get a lot for what you pay for. Also, really good pear ginger juice and blueberry lemonade.

Best Muffins

I wasn't totally referring to health over taste, but a burger at McDonalds can taste good, but if there was a thread on here asking for a good burger, I'm not sure I would include it. Anyone can make something taste good if you don't care about what goes into it. Why not suggest places that make their own muffins as opposed to buy them from a massive food distributor in a pail or bought from a commercial bakery that bakes their muffins from a pail.

Best Muffins

Those coffee TIme muffins are some of the worst things for you to eat, they are at least.....30 grams of fat and full of filler and oil, hopefully we as a collective can pull together more ideas than Coffee Time or Tim Hortons.

Brunch on Family Day (Feb 18th)

I'm not sure what is Higher end, like higher end Jamie Kennedy? or Higher end, something better than Golden Griddle. If it was up to me I'd do Oliver&Bonacini Cafe•Grill at Bayview Village, I read today that they are open on the 18th.

Chatto seems to like Cluck, Grunt, and Low

Smokers don't take up any more space usual in a professional kitchen, also, many of the smokers can come on a trailer and can be housed just out the back door of the restaurant, also the price per square foot is nowhere near $100/sq Foot.

BEST cookie in T.O - Le Gourmand

They are not "oily", there is no oil in them, it's just the grease from using butter in cookies. There is a ridiculous amount of butter in those cookies, I'm guessing at least 25-35 grams of fat in each.

Figgy Duff Recipe Wanted [Moved from Canada board]

Hi,
I need to get the best Figgy Duff recipe that anybody has, I'll take as many as possible with as many directions as possible, any help would be great.

Thanks.

Feb 03, 2008
City_West in Home Cooking

ISO: Smash cakes

That's funny I've always seen that sign too and wondered what they were.

Souffles in Toronto

Try to avoid the souffles at Mortons, the lemon souffle doesn't have a strong enough lemon flavour, and I think that the chocolate souffle is made with a lindt or similar milk chocolate, and it doesn't have that richness that you might be looking for in a chocolate souffle.

Did my convection oven kill my custards?

I'm a pastry chef, so when I make creme brulee I make around 80 at a time. The only oven I use is a convection oven, and they turn out fine. The only drawback is that the tops can show a little bit of motion from the fans, but when you torch sugar on top you can't tell at all. Depending on the oven, you should be cooking them at around 280°F for around 30-35 mins, keep in mind I use a shallow brulee dish and it will be longer if you are using those chef's hat ramekins that a a little deeper. Also, because it is a convection and can run a little drier, you have to use a lot of water for your bain marie, a lot.

Jan 12, 2008
City_West in Home Cooking

Cluck Grunt and Low Review

I know that the smoker has been gone from the back of Marc's place for a few days now. Also, they are opening a new location of CG&L on Bayview ave, in Leaside. Great...........

Fig Newtons. Does anybody else still eat these, or just me? [moved from Ontario board]

HAROLD!!!!! You got it so right. That's the whole reason I started this thread. I was in Boston a month or so ago and bought a package of fig newtons and spit the only I ate out and threw the pack in the garbage and told my wife how happy I was that the ones in Canada were so much better. Then I came back home and bought a new pack and they tasted the same as in the states, plus I noticed that the last pack was made in Canada and the new ones said the entire "New and Improved Taste" thing. They also have less fat (not necessarily bad) but MORE CALORIES Per serving. I talked to Kraft too and they are supposed to be sending me out a full refund. I think the reason that they are now from the USA is because of the dollar difference. It must be a lot cheaper to bring them in, but they taste terrible.

I hope they switch back, I just wonder why they put "NEW & IMPROVED"? Was it because they new there was a big taste difference and wanted to make us think that they had made it better?

Nov 14, 2007
City_West in General Topics

High Quality Baking Chocolate

Please don't buy any chocolate from Bulk barn, that's a totally different class of chocolate and will not taste good at all. Callebaut has different classes, just don't buy chocolate from Bulk Barn.

Who's Been To The Sultan's Tent / Cafe Maroc?

Just don't go to this place, it's soo bad. The first and only time I've been was with a group of friends. It was a bad night, I think the low point was our waiter talking about how it was a "great job serving there because it's prix fixe, kind of expensive, and not even fine dining". Just don't go, please for me.

Craft Burger - opening soon @ King + Portland

I just came back from having lunch there and here are my thoughts:

- Very pricey, Total cost was $12.59 for a Chicken Burger w/ Fries and Boylans Root Beer.

- It tasted great, but the chicken only covers 60% of the bun, I'm not sure if that is just the deal if you want a real chicken breast instead of something ground.

- Really bad laid out space. You have to walk through everyone who has already ordered to place your order. I'm not sure why they placed everything on the side wall of a narrow building.

- Again, it tasted great, but that's just crazy expensive for a quick lunch. The problem is that due to the space layout they can probably only serve a set amount of people per lunch and dinner time service.

Fig Newtons. Does anybody else still eat these, or just me? [moved from Ontario board]

The problem is that in Canada ours tasted a lot better, the ones I've got from the U.S. were always a little browner than the ones in Canada. And the new ones are zero fat, but aren't labeled as being a low-fat alternative, they are the just labeled new and improved, but I disagree.

Nov 05, 2007
City_West in General Topics

Fig Newtons. Does anybody else still eat these, or just me? [moved from Ontario board]

I just bought a package of Fig Newtons and they tasted terrible.

I think that they are now importing them from the states, where they have always tasted terrible.

Does anybody have any thoughts, has anybody else tried the new Fig Newtons or am I the only one still eating them?

Nov 04, 2007
City_West in General Topics

Lunch near Summerhill

Caffe Doria is a great place to grab a nice lunch, very inexpensive, very good. Easily the best bang for your dollar. Plus I once ate there and Galen Weston sat down a few tables down from me. That should count for at least something.

KiWe? Anyone been there?

I'm always driving by this place, but I've never been in. Can someone let me know what kind of food and experience this place can offer? Thanks.

Boston Globe Mag. article re: prices in Boston

I think that that percentage based system may work in places like Montreal, where the food can be great there mostly because montrealers demand it and have great expectations, plus the fact that to succeed there you have to do well or you won't stay in business, but it doesn't work as well in Toronto or lets say New York, just due to the amount of restaurants. I bet that the GFP (good food percentage) in Toronto or New York would be the same as in Boston, no matter how many great restaurants you have, there will always be an army of crappy places littering the streets. So I get the point, but I think maybe a slightly different way of looking at it might be better, like using creating a ratio of good restaurants to the areas population. And who knows, maybe Boston might fare better in that sort of calculation.

Oct 25, 2007
City_West in Food Media & News

Boston Globe Mag. article re: prices in Boston

I think everyone has a few things that are those mass-made people pleasing foods, whether it's thoes grocery store cakes, or whatever. I never want to be one of those people who dislikes something because of how sucessful/popular it is, or the purity of it. Again, every food/restaurant has it's place, except poorly run ones.

Oct 25, 2007
City_West in Food Media & News