I have discovered a source of extraordinary olive oil on the Danforth:
They claim the gemlike black olives are grown without pesticides or chemicals. The oil not a heavy and cloudy; instead, it is fresh, herbaceous, and delicious. Not cheap, but not prohibitively expensive. A gallon costs about $70. (They sell smaller quantities.)
They also sell sumptuous olives, fresh tapenade, olive oil soap, Turkish jams, Turkish honey, and spices. In the winter months, I buy dried figs from the recent harvest.
I vividly remember the place on Ashdale across from the library. I believe it was called the Madras Express. It was run by a couple (the man with salt-and-pepper hair, and a woman I can no longer visualize). Yes, they burnished the stainless steel grills with potato half!
The menu was limited; a few types of dosas, a few drinks (mango shakes, lassis, soft drinks), and little else. But the paucity of offerings did not matter: I craved the dosas, which were better than ones I had had in India, and was a frequent visitor between 1987 or 1988 until it closed circa 2002. I used to live at Avenue Road and Davenport, and at least once, walked there and back just to have a dosa.
Summer and autumn were the best seasons to go because they had an outdoor patio. There were a few seats inside the restaurant, but I preferred to sit outside at the picnic tables. The dosas were brought out on large white foam plates, with a foam cup of fluorescent orange dal, and a smear of homemade coconut sambar flecked with black mustard seeds.
I once told the man his dosas were my comfort food. He seemed surprised, and touched.