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The Un-Official "Go To" Restaurant Thread

I went to Café Arc De Triomphe along with my SO recently. I ordered the creamy seafood pasta and he ordered a curry noodle soup dish. Both were bland and kinda gross. The sauce on mine tasted like it came out of a can, and his smelled great but tasted like instant noodles. HK style tea was good and strong but it tasted an awful lot like Lipton's instant milk tea. I'm willing to give the place another try, but I don't want to be disappointed again, so what do you recommend? On a side note, this place has the BEST decor, it's so kitschy.

ISO inexpensive high tea or bakery/cafe for this Sat. afternoon

I've been to La-Tea-Da once before (http://www.lateadatearoom.com), they were pretty good, I loved their blueberry scones (made in house) and their pastries (from Dufflet)... The owner was incredibly friendly and really made the experience that much more enjoyable. Afternoon/High Tea whatever you wanna call it is $16 - $22

You could always go straight to a Dufflet Pastries outlet for tea and baked treats which would be almost the same thing, minus the frilly ambiance and scones for a lower price.

Old Mill was cheap I guess, but the food and tea were pretty bad imo. The scones were flat little greasy pucks, like a baked pillsbury instant biscuit type of concoction, and the tea was pretty unspectacular. It came bagged, the supermarket variety... I think it was Typhoo.

Red Tea Box on Queen West across from Dufflet has a Tea Bento special for $17 (if I remember correctly) if you go between 11-2. They have some really amazing sandwiches and pastries (but stay away from the buttercream rose cake or any of the pretty little fondant cakes in the front, they're stale). Their version of afternoon or high tea is rather fusiony, but really amazing. If you go there make sure they're open coz they're closed for months or weeks at a time throughout the year and I've been really disappointed and p'od in the past. They don't take reservations, and the service is slower than my 70 year old grandma walking up the stairs. Also, prepare to be bewildered by lukewarm melon flavoured water refills in a glass instead of hot water for your teapot.

One of my favourite relatively cheap places is the Victorian Garden Tea Room out in Etobicoke (sort of outside your preferred area, sorry) http://www.victoriangardentea.com . Traditional tea in a super frilly uncomfortably girly setting with painted indoor murals of a garden, complete with a functioning indoor fountain and creepy victorian dolls in the gift shop in the front. They have a nice selection of tea, and very tasty mini sandwiches and tooth achlingly sweet petit fours. They make their own clotted cream and jam and their cranberry and apple scones are defintely worth the trip out there.

Valentine's Day Chocolates

Wow, they've delivered chocolates to the Queen mother, the pope and the artist formerly known as Prince then known as Prince again. O_o

Any recommendations on their truffles? I hope they have a classic selection of them as well as new twisty flavours. Also, do you think it could survive a week or two in shipping off to the States? My valentine isn't going to be with me this year. =(

Valentine's Day Chocolates

Can you guys recommend any good chocolatiers in Toronto/Mississauga/Oakville area where I can get a nice heart shaped box of rich truffles and chocolates? I'd rather get them from a fresh, preservative-free, handmade source than from some place like Godiva.

Good Clam Chowder in the GTA?

I thought I hated clam chowder, probably because my first experience with it came from a Campbell's soup can when I was a kid ( I heated it myself :D but it was really gross; gritty and fishy).

However, on a recent trip to San Francisco at Fisherman's Wharf I found out how delicious fresh clam chowder can be. :) So, where can I find the good creamy stuff here in Toronto?

Major plus if it comes in a bread bowl or it's available for takeout.

Chinatown - Let's seperate the winners from the losers

Pho Hung's food is okay, but the service is awful.

The last time I went there I brought a friend along for a quick lunch on a slow weekday and ordered vermicelli and the standard "everything in it" special pho and a mango milkshake. We waited a good 15 minutes for my friends shake, and another half hour for our food while watching the waitresses plunk down meals on tables seated after us. We tried flagging down a waitress to ask where our food was, but the staff ignored us, even though we were sitting right in the middle of the annexed on dining area.
I guess we didn't have as much patience as you coz we walked out, completely fed up after one couple sat down next to us finished their meal and left within the time that we had sat there waiting.

Another time more recently, my brother and my dad went there for a Sunday lunch, and were asked to leave their 4 seat table for another party. This was a bit rude, but since the restaurant was getting busy they assented b/c they assumed it was for a larger party. They got moved to a crappier smaller table tucked away in the back and watched the manager seat a young couple (also Asian) into the table my father and brother were just sitting at. Big WTF here.

Preferential treatment at Pho Hung? Do they have a targeted clientele or something? LOL I'm Asian, my friend isn't, but we were dressed like what we are; poor students. And I know my dad & bro probably had that 'slept-in late' bedhead look, but since when were we supposed to dress up for eating at greasy pho restaurants?