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JKWB – What happened? A mediocre experience (review + pics)

I'm sorry your experience was less than stellar. JKWB has become one of my more consistent go-to's over the past couple of months, and I've come to really look forward to the little tweaks the chef makes to the menu. I don't go looking for a gastronomic experience, and i don't think as a wine bar, JK tries to fill that void. It is, for me, the perfect unpretentious and just creative enough place for entertaining a small group of friends (who are picky eaters)-- while not every item is the Best I've Ever Had, I think the flavor profile has become cleaner and more consistent since the old chef left (where, to the best of my recollection, "Salt" was the most consistent thing on the menu)... and the last 3 times I've been, I've walked away more than pleased.

The $20 challenge (Toronto)

Relish is pedestrian and bland. way too much stuff on their menu, most of it not the freshest.

ISO a good, strong hard Canadian Cheese

I concur with the Thunder Oak -- i pick mine up at the cheese boutique on ripley -- if you do a search for star articles there was a great feature on it sometime earlier this year.

Pizza places that use fresh mozzerrella.. No shredded garbage please..

Fresh mozzarella has been the standard in nyc and new haven pizza places for years, even the chains (Patsy's) wouldn't use the prebagged shredded stuff. i was in amato the other day having a conversation with the boss about fresh mozzarella and he shrugged and said that it would be too cost prohibitive.

thanks for the tip on libretto.

Looking for Nestle scoop shops serving Tiger Tiger

it was originally tiger tiger, just the orange and black licorice, early 80's; then they added a vanilla swirl and changed the name to tiger tail; now nestle only offers it as a flavor in its scoop shops in cottage country and has reverted back to its original tiger tiger name. i had it in one of those ye-olde-general-store places on a rural route in the kawarthas, and want to find it in toronto....

Looking for Nestle scoop shops serving Tiger Tiger

Does anyone know of any stores with Nestle scoop counters in the GTA that regularly carry this black licorice and orange ice cream flavour?


Best of the PATH - Recommendations

I'd be happy to hear from anyone re. their favorite non-chains in Toronto's massive underground PATH system. Someone mentioned there was a gourmet sandwich place that was supposed to be pretty decent, somewhere, that I haven't been able to find.

Many thanks.

romantic dinner

The River Cafe and One if by Land are both postcard perfect romantic spots. The River Cafe tends to be more consistent, and has served as a training ground for many well known NYC chefs.

Feb 25, 2008
nyctransplant in Manhattan

Best Eggs Benny in T.O

Thuet's is outstanding - a duo of eggs benny on mini croissant - one side with parisian style ham, the other with a cured salted prosciutto style ham, excellent salad.

New Yorker looking for a good burger...

I'm back! 10 lbs heavier, but none the worse for wear. Alright, I've gone to about 80% of the spots in this thread - from fire pits in nearer mississauga to hipsters at drakes, strollers at freshwood, griffin's, senator's, long yard's, too many to mention; my cardiologist is submitting the complete list to science.

That said, nowhere in Toronto compares to Allen's.

The beef is excellent, fresh, the bun perfectly proportioned, the size of the burger approximately 7 oz; it is greasy, but not too greasy, outstanding. You can pair it with over 200 types of single malt scotch. The only complaints - while they had gorgonzola, blue, and chedder (which is bland and not aged well), they did not offer plain american processed cheese. With its ridiculously high salt content, processed cheese slices work magic on burgers; the only thing that tops it is what Louis' Lunch does in New Haven - CheezeWhiz spread on Texas Toast. Killer. If I had to find one other gripe about Allen's, it would be their Ontario-only wine list. While it's a nice, homey touch, Ontario wine sucks almost as bad as New York wine, so I'm a try to smuggle something old country or napa on my next trip.

It wasn't until I got there that I learned that Allen's was opened by a guy from NYC - a NYC Transplant, if you must, who worked at the only decent franchised NYC burger bar - PJ Clarke's - and wanted to open a pub in Toronto in the New York tradition - blue collar gastro pub. Well done.

Thanks to everyone.

New Yorker looking for a good burger...

YellowGriffinPub -- Went for lunch yesterday. There was no wait, and both the Raptors and the Argos were flickering on the old school televisions. Things looked promising. The menu reminded me of Island Burger in Hell's Kitchen - 40 different suggestions and a chicken option. From what I saw on the other tables, the burgers looked fantastic - perfectly proportioned beef to bun, not too many toppings, freshly ground hand formed patty. When the waitress came over (friendly, btw), I ordered a cheeseburger ("You mean the triple cheese fiesta cheesie burger" "Umm, no, just a cheeseburger.") When I asked for it "medium," the response was "No, I'm sorry, we cook all of our burgers well-done. *Health code*." Oh. So 25 minutes later the burger shows up, and sure enough, it looks fantastic but is burnt to a crisp, dry as cardboard, and reminiscent of something you'd see in the lunch line in an episode of Prison Break. I ate half, nodded politely, left a big tip. Moving on...

New Yorker looking for a good burger...

Cutrara has good pedigree with his stint at JK, and I remember reading about his trips to NYC for inspiration a short while back in Toronto Life. Cowbell, Allen's, and the Yellow Griffin seem to, in print, be closest to what I'm looking for, and I'm excited about the trips.

New Yorker looking for a good burger...

No, it was the homeburger I got. It was about $4.10, left side of the menu board. The patty was thawed out and cooked on the grill. The regular burgers, which were about a buck cheaper and listed as "from our charbroiler" looked disastrous, and only one guy in the line of six ahead of me risked it. Regardless, even the, ahem, freshly ground homeburger was just ok.

New Yorker looking for a good burger...

Tried the homestyle cheeseburger at Burger Shack today... It's starting to seem as if there was one guy who had a burger recipe in Toronto many years ago and everyone's been using it ever since... not to suggest they're terrible, they're just *ok* - and certainly should not be on anyone's best-of list in a city of so many millions. The patties at the Shack are shipped frozen and thawed day-of - they do not grind in-house; it's not a good sign when you see the wax paper patty separator as the guy grabs the next tray from the fridge. The patty itself was just that - a patty - though not enough salt and a little too much pepper. The burger was slightly redeemed by the freshness of the available ingredients - the tomatoes looked good, a nice, deep greenhouse red, onions were freshly sliced with no browning, as were the pickles. But the meat was too lean, too thin, and overcooked, and as such, you invariably end up with what seems to be the Toronto standard for burgers - overcooked, charcoal-y backyard taste with too much focus on toppings.

Allen's on the Danforth is my next stop. From what I've read, the guy seems to be on the money.

New Yorker looking for a good burger...

this place sounds like home. perfect. it's first on my list.

New Yorker looking for a good burger...

No problem.

Top 3 places.
JG Melon on 74th and 3rd - Upper East Side institution for many, many years. I've had their greasy burgers sitting next to two different NYC mayors...
The Burger Joint at Le Parker Meridian on 57th St....they literally built a dive bar into a hotel with faux wood panelling and 2 small staticky tv's from the 80s. Burgers are phenomenal...
Louis' Lunch in New Haven - Probably best burger I've ever had -- considered the original burger spot in America, owned by the Lassen family since the 1890's...still use the same vertical broiler; no ketchup or mustard available.

Corner Bistro - It died in like 2002 when the bankers took over and all the good cooks left.
DB Bistro Moderne - Daniel should stick to cooking game - his 40 buck burger is like a 5 inch tall meatball in a portugeuse roll...the center of it is filled with foie gras, truffles, and all this other garbage...completely unnecessary...
Smith&Wollensky - overrated suit hangout.

New Yorker looking for a good burger...

Okay Toronto chowhounders, I'm a transplanted New Yorker looking for a good burger. Of course, I recognize that everyone's opinion on the matter varies, so I'll be as specific as possible. Any help would be much appreciated.


One decent cheeseburger. Ground chuck, fresh enough to be cooked medium-rare... 70 to 30 beef-to-fat ratio. No more than 7 ounces. Greasy...I'm talking fat dripping through the bun greasy. Sesame seed or regular hamburger bun, no kaisers, portugeuse rolls, or any of the like. No fois gras, truffle oil, garlic butter, chipotle mayo, etc... No oversized balls of overcooked frozen patties... nothing that comes with pickles, onions, lettuce, relish, etc... the freshness of the beef cannot be overstated.

As far as my experience with Toronto burgers so far, I would say that even the highly recommended places seem to take short-cuts. Lick's is just awful, dry, flavorless meat, too focused on toppings; Bymark is too loaded with stuff and loses focus; Fran's, eck...

I'm hoping someone would know of a busy pub-like environment with a high turnover and daily beef and bun deliveries, with a finicky cook who knows how to make a killer burger...

Many thanks!