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Piggy Smalls's Profile

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Moving to Calgary

Any suggestions for local eats? I've been to Calgary before and tried Model Milk, Centini's, and Charcut, all of which I've enjoyed. However, I'm looking for more ethnic eats, hole in the walls, etc. - the places you can go to on a day to day basis. Being from Toronto, I'm spoiled with the quality ethnic food here from pretty much every corner of the world, so I'm hoping to find some good places in Calgary as well.

Thanks!

Mar 12, 2013
Piggy Smalls in Prairie Provinces

Ethnic food in London or Oxford

Thanks a lot guys - I'll try to run some more searches on the board, but I think these are enough to get me ready for a weekend trip into London!

Regarding steak, I've heard good things about Goodman in Mayfair. However, I'm still concerned maybe it's not "American" enough for my taste? I've heard great things about them though and would like to give them a try. Although I'd feel kinda guilty if I paid GBP100 and the meal turned out disappointing...

Oct 25, 2010
Piggy Smalls in U.K./Ireland

Ethnic food in London or Oxford

Hi All,

I'm in Oxford for school but travel to London fairly frequently. Been absolutely dying for a decent meal here since I arrived - most of my dining out experiences have been disappointing here so far.

I'm looking for any recommendations on the following in either Oxford or London:

sushi - reasonable price/quality. NOT the Yo Sushi type of chains.
steak - anything decent. I tried rump steak a few weeks ago...that was a pretty big mistake.
Korean food - looking for Korean bbq, tofu soup, bim bim bap, etc.
Vietnamese food - looking for pho, Vietnamese subs, rice dishes, etc.
bbq ribs - any American style bbq would do.

Any tips would be appreciated. I'm sort of reaching my limit fish and chips, steak pot pie, and burgers here...not sure if I can last much longer. Thanks!

Oct 23, 2010
Piggy Smalls in U.K./Ireland

High End Brunch

Yeah I was pretty set on a buffet type of place but the more I look at George's lunch menu, the better it seems. I'll be going with my mother and fiancee, so they're not exactly heavy eaters. Thinking back about it, the buffet might have been a bad idea lol...

Aug 31, 2010
Piggy Smalls in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

High End Brunch

Thanks guys. I know Bloor St. Diner isn't high end for much lol but I just included them in the list because they had a brunch option and it's close to the Four Seasons and Windsor Arms.

Fire on the East Side and One both look pretty awesome for brunch, but I'm not sure if it's exactly what I'm looking for on this particular occasion. I'll probably check both of them out in a few weeks, but this weekend I'm thinking Four Seasons or Le Meridien or the four course tasting menu at George...can't really go wrong with any of them I guess.

Thanks for the ideas. I wasn't aware of Fire on the East Side's existence but the menu looks pretty creative.

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Windsor Arms
18 St Thomas St, Toronto, ON M5S, CA

Aug 31, 2010
Piggy Smalls in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

High End Brunch

Hi guys, I'm looking for a high end brunch place, possibly with a buffet. Does anyone have specific experiences with the following options:

Le Meridien (King Edwards Hotel)
Windsor Arms
Four Seasons
Bloor St. Diner
Old Mill Inn

Or any other suggestions.

I'd like to get an idea for the price ranges at each. I know Bloor St. Diner is a 25 bucks buffet and the cheapest of the group, but what about the others?

Also what's included in the brunch? I like lobster, and I'm aware Old Mill Inn and Le Meridien includes that on their menu. What about the other places?

Thanks all!

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Old Mill
21 Old Mill Road, Toronto, ON M8X 1G5, CA

Windsor Arms
18 St Thomas St, Toronto, ON M5S, CA

Aug 30, 2010
Piggy Smalls in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

J-Town Ramen

can anyone compare the quality of ramen to Konichiwa on Baldwin? i'm not uptown often so would like some sort of idea of the ramen before making the trip up. thanks.

Jul 28, 2010
Piggy Smalls in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Asian Legend Rave

they're all kinda iffy in the chinatown area. no restaurant really stands out above the others imo.

i'd recommend hua sang over on baldwin though for the seafood. lobster, ginger and scallion oysters, steamed fish, chinese style filet mignon, spicy shrimp, etc. are all excellent there.

Jul 21, 2010
Piggy Smalls in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Asian Legend Rave

i ALWAYS opt to go thru the heavy TO traffic. the way i look at it, i live in toronto, one of the best cities for international cuisine on the continent. toronto chinese food, imo, is better than anything else this side of vancouver/LA/san fran. so i pretty much refuse to pay 50 bucks, eat at a mediocre place like asian legend, and put up with the bad service. when i know i can drive for another 20-30 minutes north and get much higher quality food, for a similar or cheaper price, and be happy.

yeah i have to drive half an hr more. other asians have to fly in from around north america to enjoy the quality of chinese food we have here. well worth it imo.

Jul 21, 2010
Piggy Smalls in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Feed back on " Shanghai Dim Sum "

i was really excited to try this place when i read the beginning of the thread. by now though, i'm guessing i'll skip it. the dishes you ordered are some of my favorites...but no point in going if they don't make it well.

xiao long bao that's too salty and with a thick dumpling skin defeats the whole point of eating xiao long bao. braised pork that's not cooked long enough defeats the whole point of that too.

do agree though, asia legend is garbage. it's just dressed up westernized chinese food.

Jul 21, 2010
Piggy Smalls in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Fun, interesting places to eat in Toronto ?

there's been a lot of good suggestions so far. i'll try to fill in on a few more that i can think of.

since you're in christie already, and toronto has probably the second best korean food in north america behind LA, i'd start off by checking out korean town. like ekim mentioned, Buk Chang Dong soon tofu is excellent. they have a short menu but the food is cheap and delicious.

down the street there's also il bun ji, which has one of the best korean bbq's around and a great selection of fresh fish. i've suggested it elsewhere on this board, but definitely give their spicy sea bass stew a try if you get there.

you should also consider spending a day in the college st. area - starting from chinatown, you can have some bbq pork or pho. unfortunately, most of the really good chinese restaurants are located uptown and would require driving. however, you can always just grab something for a taste while in chinatown. then head over to kensington market and try suggestion #4 from ekim's list. afterwards, stroll up to college (about a 5 minute walk max) and hit up caplansky's for their smoked meat sandwich/poutine. finally head over west for another few blocks and check out little italy. the restaurants there are all pretty solid when it comes to italian food so you can't go too wrong just trying some. and afterwards, dolce gelato's an excellent dessert to finish it off.

you can also get down to baldwin street. there's hua sang, which looks like a dump but has the best chinese lobsters in the city. their ginger and scallion oysters are also delicious. also the chinese style filet mignon. a few doors down is konichiwa, which has one of the best ramen noodles in the city. another few doors down is vegetarian haven, which has one of the best cheesecakes in the city (and it's vegan too, imagine that). then you can walk over a few blocks south to ematei, which has japanese styled tapas. their omakase is a great deal...about 50 bucks for a 7 course meal that's enough to fill anyone. plus get some of the sides - chicken liver, bbq eel, bbq duck, etc. all amazing! by then, you can walk along queen for some shopping and sightseeing. and if you get over to spadina, you can try ackee tree, which has a great selection of jamaican foods. further west on queen, you can hit up gandhi's for a quick butter chicken roti that's just to die for.

i mean the choices are just endless downtown. that's not even half of the restaurants i'd recommend in the area. have fun on a 4 day food crawl around town!

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Buk Chang Dong
691 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON M6G, CA

Jul 21, 2010
Piggy Smalls in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Best All You Can Eat Japanese in Toronto GTA

i don't usually get the rolls there. only the sushi, sashimi, and cooked foods.

the rolls are usually huge and fill me up too much...i'd rather save my stomach for the other stuff.

Jul 20, 2010
Piggy Smalls in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Mid range real sushi! (my top places all have deteriorated in quality)

their seafood and bbq are both excellent. i really like the sea bass soup there.

usually we'd go with a bunch of ppl, split a sushi platter and a bbq (the kalbi is really good there, one of the best in the city imo), then i'd get the soup for myself/SO to share.

Jul 20, 2010
Piggy Smalls in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Brunch with a vegan option

you should try le pain quotidien. there are 2 locations yonge & bloor and avenue & eglinton.

they have plenty of meaty breakfast dishes. some really good vegetarian stuff - omelettes, cheeses, salads, yogurts, french toast, etc.

might be slightly tough for vegans but there are still options that come to mind.

another alternative is day break over at carlton & college.

Jul 20, 2010
Piggy Smalls in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Where to find good bread in TO.

le pain quotidien and cobbs are my 2 picks.

LPQ is at yonge/bloor slightly north of yonge - the baguettes are amazing.

Jul 20, 2010
Piggy Smalls in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

A humble request to the Toronto foodie gods!

pretty much any other good restaurant is going to be in a similar range as the steakhouses. barberian's has a separate room that'll allow your whole group to be as loud as you guys want.

5 doors north should be good too but again, you're not saving much money going there over the steakhouses.

churrasco villa at mt. pleasant and eglinton is a cheaper option, and they have a downstairs room that you guys can take out and be as loud as you want. the food is also really good, but it's churrasco style bbq for the most part. their bbq ribs are one of the best i've ever had (and i've had them all over the southern US).

Jul 20, 2010
Piggy Smalls in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Romantic Restaurant Downtown Toronto

what is your price range? or type of cuisine?

there are LOTS of nice romantic spots. depending on your style, there could be a variety of neighborhoods too.

starting from the west end of the downtown core, little italy's always nice and romantic. so are some restaurants in kensington market (such as torito tapas). further south there's king west and queen west, which has a wide range of price ranges and cuisines. there's baldwin street, which has a lot of its own character. if you go north to bloor, there are pricier options in the yorkville area. there's also the distillery district down by parliament and the lake. and then further east there's danforth as well.

a lot of the places i've listed are in cozy neighborhoods where you can take a stroll after dinner and get some dessert or catch a movie or hit up a bar/lounge/club.

if it's the weekend i'd always like to eat down by king/queen west and hit up either a lounge down there or a jazz bar (there are several in the area). or if i'm eating up at yorkville, i like to head up to the roof top lounge at the hyatt (i highly recommend the view up there - i think it's much nicer, more romantic, and less commercialized/business like than panorama across the street).

anyways, just throwing some ideas out there for ya...would probably be able to give more specific ideas with more details.

Jul 20, 2010
Piggy Smalls in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Best All You Can Eat Japanese in Toronto GTA

kyoto house on elizabeth and dundas is awesome. it's right next door to japango.

the quality of their sushi and cooked foods is better than most of the mid range (non japanese owned) a la carte places. and for the price it's a great bang for your buck.

Jul 20, 2010
Piggy Smalls in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Mid range real sushi! (my top places all have deteriorated in quality)

2nd that. Mikado's so good and the price is so reasonable. too bad (for customers) it's getting crowded all the time. the only time to go is a weekday evening.

also whoever thinks yuzu is comparable to japango is crazy. yuzu's overall menu is pretty bland and consists mostly of the same stuff you get at any crappy low end sushi place. they just dress it up nicely.

another decent place that's cheaper than mikado, japango, etc. is il bun ji on bloor between bathurst and christie. i know it's a korean restaurant and all, but their fish is fresh and better than a lot of the random japanese restaurants.

Jul 20, 2010
Piggy Smalls in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Omakase at Omi?

hey there. haven't checked this post in a while, but yeah it was Omi on carlton/parliament not O Mi on church.

i think it was just near the end of the night so they took some time to relax with the business men next table? who knows.

at the end of the day, for the price i can get sushi elsewhere in the city. Hiro, Mikado, Japango, etc. etc. all have great sushi and the chefs are all super friendly to chat with at the sushi bar.

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Japango
122 Elizabeth St, Toronto, ON M5G1P5, CA

Omi
243 Carlton St, Toronto, ON M5A, CA

Jul 20, 2010
Piggy Smalls in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Omakase at Omi?

I just went to Omi a couple of weeks ago with my SO and I have to say, the overall experience was TERRIBLE. First, the service was slow (although there were only 2 tables there for most of the time we were there). The waitress kept forgetting my drink orders and I had to ask her three times for a hot tea. IMO this is unacceptable at a high end restaurant like Omi.

Also, the other table there was a table of 3 businessmen. The owner was VERY friendly to that table, chatted with them, brough out extra Jack Daniels shots and drank with them. The whole time, my SO and I were completely ignored by the staff and we could not even get their attention until near the end of the meal, when my SO couldn't stand it anymore, and started to speak to them in Korean. They then apologized to her in Korean, but were still slow with our orders. At the end, when we left the restaurant, I turned around to say bye/thank you to the staff/owner and they were all at a table, speaking obnoxiously loud in Korean, and didn't even look up at us at all. Needless to say, after experiencing that type of service, we're never going back.

Now on to the food. We ordered the torched scallop pizza, some sushi, omakase, and another order of noodles (which I specifically asked them to bring for us at the end of the meal, which they then brought to us first). To be honest, none of the dishes impressed us much. We've had much better omakase elsewhere at Ematei, Mikado, etc. The sushi was good, but there are definitely other restaurants in Toronto with similar quality sushi at a similar price...and much better service. Overall, I just found the food to be above average but nothing spectacular, and I feel like I can get a much better bang for my bucks elsewhere for either sushi or cooked foods.

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Ematei
30 Saint Patrick St, Toronto, ON M5T3A3, CA

Omi
243 Carlton St, Toronto, ON M5A, CA

Apr 04, 2010
Piggy Smalls in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Any AYCE Japanese/Chinese/Thai Restaurants?

AYCE Japanese - Kyoto Sushi on Elizabeth St. by Dundas/Bay. It's right next door to Japango, and I've only tried it because I went to Japango and it was packed full, and I was too hungry to go anywhere else and had already parked my car. However, that being said, the food there is hands down the best quality AYCE Japanese food I've had anywhere in Toronto.

2nd China Buffet King as well for generic Chinese AYCE.

If you want to venture up north, there are a couple of other places that are acceptable like Wasabi, Yang's Kitchen, etc. But I strongly recommend Kyoto Sushi for Japanese AYCE.

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Japango
122 Elizabeth St, Toronto, ON M5G1P5, CA

China Buffet King
9737 Yonge St, Richmond Hill, ON L4C8S7, CA

Apr 04, 2010
Piggy Smalls in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

I have to eat dinner at Fran's - what should I order / avoid at all costs?

their chili is quite good. i like it better than most places i can find in toronto...

Jun 19, 2009
Piggy Smalls in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Taking Friends Around Town - Suggestions?

thx for the ideas. i was thinking embrujo just for the flamenco. haven't been to il gelatiere but i'll keep that in mind.

Apr 22, 2009
Piggy Smalls in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Taking Friends Around Town - Suggestions?

so one of my best friends is coming to visit (from chicago) with his girlfriend for about 4 days. i'm looking to take them around town for different foods and have been brainstorming a list. please feel free to suggest/add anything to the list. we're looking for variety as much as possible...

we're also flexible to go either high end or hole in the wall as long as it's something they don't have in chicago. also the list is not in any particular order

1. Rodney’s – oysters, maybe king crab?
2. Sejong – Korean bbq, Korean soon tofu soup
3. Caplansky’s – montreal smoked meat sandwiches, cheesecake
4. Gandhi’s – butter chicken rotis
5. Churrasco’s – bbq chicken, ribs
6. Barbarian’s – steak, lobster
7. Hua Sang – lobster, seafood, Chinese steak
8. El Plebeyo/Chachy’s – Peruvian food
9. Backyard Gadne (Ban Mu Yuan – Midland/Finch) – Sichuan food
10. Go for Tea – bubble tea
11. Hamdi – Somali food
12. Lahore Tikka – Pakistani food
13. Bamiyan Kabob – Afghani food
14. Doner Kabob (Gerrard/Yonge) – Middle Eastern food
15. Burrito Boys – burritos
16. Vegetarian Haven/Fresh – vegetarian food, cheesecake, carrot cake
17. Terroni’s – pizza
18. 7 numbers/Graze – Italian food
19. Embrujo – Spanish tapas, live flamenco
20. Pan/Astoria – Greek food
21. Bella Vista – Italian food
22. Dolce – gelato
23. Le Pain Quotidien –breakfast
24. Crepes-a-gogo – crepes
25. Day Break – breakfast, omelets
26. St. Lawrence Market – pemeal bacon sandwich
27. Yang’s Sushi – cheap all you can eat sushi, includes unagi
28. Gregg’s – ice cream
29. ‘Nawlins – live jazz
30. Coquine – French food
31. Foxley’s – Thai food
32. Fran’s – chili, 24 hr fun
33. The Senator – breakfast, burgers
34. Allen’s – burgers
35. St. Louis – wings...don't like Duff's. the hot sauce is too sour.
36. Royal Meat BBQ – Eastern European BBQ
37. Rooftop Lounge (Hyatt)/Panorama – drinks, view of the city
38. Seven West – 24 hr fun
39. Sushiman/Hiro Sushi – Japanese owned sushi
40. Batifole – reasonably priced French food

Apr 22, 2009
Piggy Smalls in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Skyline Chili in NYC?

I grew up in Cincy but live in Toronto now. I still go back to visit friends once or twice a year...so I usually just stock up on cans of Skyline when I'm in town or I'll have my friends bring some whenever they visit. Only problem is, it's still not the same out of a can as the REAL thing. :( Now I can only imagine using the powder mix...oh well, I guess you gotta get your fixes somehow lol.

In terms of other local delicacies such as La Rosa's, Graeter's, and goetta, I just get my fix whenever I'm in town. Speaking of which, I think I'm due for a trip...my mouth is watering thinking about all that...yummmm...

Jan 17, 2008
Piggy Smalls in Manhattan

Dayton Area-Chinese food and groceries

Jungle Jim's in Cincy is good for international groceries. There's a pretty good place in Cincy called House of Rising Sun for Chinese food. Grand Oriental is good for their dim sum.

Jan 17, 2008
Piggy Smalls in Great Lakes

Small cities' food specialties

Cincinnati's Skyline Chili, goetta (a mixture of meats/organs/barley etc. all baked together into some yummy goodness), La Rosa's pizza (the sauce is to die for, i always get my pizza loaded with meat toppings, but i make the exception at La Rosa's...all i ever want there is plain cheese pizza so i can taste the sauce better).

Chicago style deep dish pizza, Italian beef sandwiches.

Ice wine from the Toronto/Niagara area.

Montreal smoked meat from...Montreal! I usually go to a restaurant there called Dunn's that specializes in smoked meat...big establishment downtown, open 24/7.

There's a restaurant in Toronto called Vegetarian Haven which makes everything not just vegetarian but completely vegan. They have a vegan cheesecake that is the best I've ever had hands down...and it's VEGAN. Nobody ever believes me on this one until I take them, so far I've converted 100% of my friends that I've taken there...okay so maybe this isn't a local thing, rather just a specific restaurant, but it's still amazing...

Prairie oysters from any of the prairie states/canadian provinces? I guess that's more of a regional thing.

Jan 16, 2008
Piggy Smalls in General Topics

Mr. Greenjeans

one word sums it up...craaaaaaap. :)

i was there a while back for my birthday with a buddy. i had one of their famous milkshakes...my buddy got his beer first, finished it, got another one, downed half of that before my milkshake even got there. it was a week day night so it wasn't busy, but the waiter wasn't attentive at all. i actually spilled the milkshake by accident, got it all over my pants, and had only one napkin to wipe myself up...now the waiter sees me across the room struggling to clean myself of the milkshake and picks up a wad of napkins, casually strolls across the room and gives it to me to clean up the mess, which by then had already soaked through my pants and the situation was beyond help. definitely not impressed by that...

needless to say, i was quite furious about the whole matter...not going back...

Jan 16, 2008
Piggy Smalls in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Sky Ranch Argentinian restaurant

el bodegon is pretty good...try el fogon up on st. clair and bathurst their lomo saltado is good as well. el plebeyo is another peruvian restaurant at st. clair and bathurst, but i prefer going there for their jalea, which is amazing. i think el plebeyo might be the same owners as el bodegon? could be mistaken on that though...

Jan 16, 2008
Piggy Smalls in Ontario (inc. Toronto)