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WTF is up with the noise level in Toronto restaurants?

I just found this thread after posting about noise levels at a specific restaurant. So loud I just won't go back. Add me to the list of people trying to find more tasty places where I can talk to my friends without yelling across the table.

Apr 07, 2014
A flock of seagulls in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

The Saint Tavern on Ossington

Enjoyed a delicious meal at the Saint last week. Every morsel of food was delicious right down to the the bread tray. Service was knowledgeable and pleasant. Loved the decor too.
Sadly for my tastebuds I won't be back. The "music" was so loud our table of four could not hear each other throughout supper. The bass was very heavy, the speakers made it worse. I would love to add this place to my local favourites but I keep good company and we like to converse and have a few laughs over our meals.
If you don't mind really loud bass you will not regret a meal at the Saint. Try the burger!

Apr 07, 2014
A flock of seagulls in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

The Old Toronto Restaurants you make the wishes for the comeback

I used to love The Bishop and Belcher on Queen West.

Feb 14, 2014
A flock of seagulls in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Drake 150?

I can't sit in a restaurant where dinner conversation is impossible. Reason enough to avoid:

Review by Joanna Kates today, not positive.

http://www.postcity.com/Eat-Shop-Do/E...

Dec 03, 2013
A flock of seagulls in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Worst thing eaten this year in Toronto??!!

The worst meal of my life was in Stratford at Ellam's Open Kitchen. Beyond terrible. It looked like an authentic mom and pop type diner. The older couple running it were pathetic - I felt sorry for them. They moved like turtles, made the worst food imaginable (how do you screw up bacon and eggs?) and we were the only people in the whole place. We still joke about it - the pinnacle of atrocious eats.

Nov 12, 2013
A flock of seagulls in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Recommendations/Critiques for "real" places itinerary NYC this weekend

I can't thank everyone enough for all the recommendations. We will try as many of these spots as possible. I have looked up every single one and I wish I had time for all of them.

For sure skipping Grimaldi's in favour of either John's or Juliana's. zeeeats I love Neopolitan pizza and I am spoiled in Toronto with three FANTASTIC places within 10 mins walk. Want to try a different kind of pizza.

Think I will stick with Ear Inn - I am actually looking for places locals would go (places I would go if I lived in the neighbourhood).

Will try to get to Walker`s Pub, Papatzul, Nancy Whiskey - (sounds like my kind of dive!), Eileen`s for cheescake and Spring Lounge.

Appreciate the Rockmeisha suggestion but there seems to be a great Izakaya on every corner in Toronto and more opening all the time.

Thanks again for your time. If anyone ever visits Toronto there is a lively Toronto Chowhound board where we can hopefully return the favour.

Nov 07, 2013
A flock of seagulls in Manhattan

Recommendations/Critiques for "real" places itinerary NYC this weekend

Wow thanks so much - exactly what I was looking for.

Nov 06, 2013
A flock of seagulls in Manhattan

Recommendations/Critiques for "real" places itinerary NYC this weekend

Hi all, two of us are visiting NYC from Toronto this weekend, staying in Soho but open to anything in Manhattan. We have been to NYC quite a bit and have tried many of the popular places from Minetta Tavern to Russ and Daughters. Looking for places similiar to these- good food with some character. They can be touristy - we loved Katz's Deli.
Lunch/Dinner: So far thinking Grimaldi's Pizza under the Brooklyn Bridge, Smoked Fish from Barney Greengrass on Upper West Side, my fave Cuban sandwich at Cafe Habana in Nolita, burgers at Shake Shack, anything from Amy's Bread. No asian or indian - can get in Toronto.
Breakfast/Brunch: One breakfast at La Bonbonniere - need another breakfast or brunch..
Drinks: Tribeca Tavern is around the corner from us, and plan to try Ear Inn but need a few other options.
Dessert - looking for a great cheesecake option
Thanks all, nothing fancy, looking for down to earth places preferably those that have been around a while.

Nov 06, 2013
A flock of seagulls in Manhattan
1

delux on ossington

Although I live in the area I don't often eat on Ossington. Two of us decided to chance a walk in last Friday and started with Rock Lobster. We got a seat, uncomfortably crammed into another table. Sadly the music was unbearably loud. I could not sit under tinny speakers with incomprehensible "music" jacked to 10 for longer than 60 seconds. We left before ordering which turned out to be a great decision.
Next up was Delux where we got a booth and a very attentive server. The music was loud enough to hear but we could still speak to each other without screaming. I tried a delicious boozy watermelon cocktail and loved it. Over the night I tried the cubano sandwich, bibb lettuce salad, Steak Frites, creme brulee and house donuts. All were delicious! I can't think of a single thing that could have made the overall experience more enjoyable. This is RARE. Will definitely be back and hope to try lunch soon too.

Jul 15, 2013
A flock of seagulls in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

bars/pubs/lounges/places for drinks where 40somethings aren't out of place, where conversation is possible without straining your voice, and the music isn't turned up to nightclub levels between 10:30 pm and midnight....

I've been seaching for the exact same specs for my pub club which covers several age groups. We wanted a relaxed location, ability to enjoy our conversations, good beer, patio as a bonus. We loved the Imperial Pub (upstairs) which is a loveable dive bar. Would appreciate more suggestions as we love to try new places.

Jun 26, 2013
A flock of seagulls in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Burger's priest at Spadina/Queen

I waited about 20 minutes and was extremely claustrophobic in line. The line is very narrow, moves slowly and people have to squish by you to get to the cash machine. If staff were more organized they could likely cut the timelines in half, I saw zero sense of urgency.
I am medium height yet at the pick-up area I couldn’t make eye contact over the high counter. While they finally yelled my number repeatedly I kept yelling back I am right here in front of you THREE times. It annoyed me to the point of being quite pissed off. There was only one chair at our table that could barely fit two hamburgers and one drink. Strangers stand at crotch level one foot away and watch you eat while they wait.
Burger was very good but I will never get in that line again. I would consider take-out at off hours. I’d give the burger 8/10 but I would give the overall experience a 0.

Jun 25, 2013
A flock of seagulls in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Wiggle Room at 707 Market, Scadding Court

I tried Wiggle Room in Market 707 at Scadding Court this weekend and was really impressed. I had the Newfie Poutine (fries with gravy and dressing/stuffing) and the donair burger. Both were delicious! I wish there were some cheese curds on the poutine but they were also very tasty as is. The burger was among the best I’ve eaten. Donairs are one of my favourite things to eat and I thought the burger patty itself was nicely spiced and juicy, and the donair sauce tasted authentic. Buns are from Cobbs, fresh and soft. $8 for the burger was really reasonable, I am still thinking about how great it tasted. Fries were $6, a little steep with no cheese on top, I am going to try the pulled pork fries next time. The couple running the place were really friendly. I liked seeing my burger made the old fashioned way right in front of me. I will definitely be a regular here if they can consistently prepare such tasty take out. They had positive write ups in both Toronto Life and Blogto last week.

Apr 15, 2013
A flock of seagulls in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Nu Bagels - Wood Fired bagels coming to Kensington Market

I could hardly finish my Russ and Daughters Lox and Cream cheese bagel. It was gigantic, a little messy and wonderful.

Feb 07, 2013
A flock of seagulls in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Nu Bagels - Wood Fired bagels coming to Kensington Market

Had a chance to try it this weekend. For the soft open, they don’t open until 11. I hope that changes soon; they should open a lot earlier. I liked the space; bright, airy and smelled amazing. Paid $9.60 for a bagel with lox and cream cheese. The bagels are tiny, very little lox or cream cheese can be spread on top. It came with about 12 or 13 pieces of greens as a side. What I had was simply delicious, I just wished there was more. The bagels themselves provided an almost out of body experience – pure heaven. I will go back but will probably just get bagels and add my own toppings at home. $5 for six bagels.
P.s. I tripped on the way in because there is a raised step with no signage. Saw three people other people trip before I left, watch yourselves.

Feb 04, 2013
A flock of seagulls in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Prague Deli

Looks like they have gone to the deadzone.

http://www.torontolife.com/daily/dail...

Jan 21, 2013
A flock of seagulls in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Recipe for Halifax donairs (split from Ontario board)

Sure, here is a link, hopefully I am not going too far off topic. It is from the Trailer Park Boys website. The boys like donairs too, surprise surprise.
http://www.trailerparkboys.org/forums...
They suggest 20 minutes of kneading to toughen up the donair meat. Hope you have a good mixer! I cut the recipe in half when I make them and I skip the cayenne pepper too. It really is key to soften the pita by dipping them water and then frying. I use Pita Delight pitas.

Mar 12, 2012
A flock of seagulls in Home Cooking

Hopgood's Foodliner?

I think it is a testament to Hopgood's that I would definitely go back even though I was disappointed in my main. I DID NOT leave Hopgood's hungry as I had more donairs and dessert which were both delicious, In fact, I used the word delicious delectable and mouth-watering throughout my post. Yes, I feel my main was a rip off at $22 for three scallops and two or three bite sized pieces of pork but I felt VERY comfortable paying my overall bill: drinks, appetizers, dessert, service were all well above average. I look forward to trying a different main next time. I think this was all conveyed in my original post.
As for donairs - Hopgoods were the closest I have found in Ontario to Halifax donairs which are my favourite. There is a Halifax Donair in Milton that is similiar to Halifax style donairs but it uses a different style of pita and the meat is not spiced quite right. Usually I make them myself if I want one for less than $10. There are plenty of recipes on the internet. College Falafel's donairs are not Halifax style, but they make a decent spiced meat sandwich.

Mar 07, 2012
A flock of seagulls in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Hopgood's Foodliner?

Thanks Jamesm, exactly.

Mar 06, 2012
A flock of seagulls in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Hopgood's Foodliner?

I agree with Sochow. Enjoyed dinner for four last Friday at Hopgood’s. Overall we experienced very good service and good food. Beer selection was minimal, nothing on tap but the mixed drinks were delicious and packed a nice punch.

Had the donairs as my ap – they are Halifax authentic, delicious and I could have eaten 10 more of them. In fact we ordered more for dessert! Why? Well they were they mouth-watering and I was still VERY hungry after my teeny tiny main. Had the scallop and pork which consisted of three or four medium sized scallops (decent but no better than what I make myself) and a couple of dried out pork cubes that tasted like sawdust (yes I have tasted sawdust don’t ask). At $22 I felt ripped off, no question.

The chicken main and the corned beef went over much better and looked slightly more filling. But if I could go back in time I would order the donairs for all three courses with a side of the delectable toffee crisp dessert. I am still thinking about it, every bite was a dream.

The back dining room is a poop (sorry) brown box with some Triscuit boxes and Campbells’s soup cans as décor. A couple of Nova Scotia prints might liven it up a bit. The front has a nicer vibe but was a bit cold – the curtain wasn’t helping much. Very smooth wait staff and I appreciate that they didn’t rush anyone in the room, professional all the way. We will certainly go back.

Mar 06, 2012
A flock of seagulls in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

L'Ouvrier Kitchen Bar

I have been twice now, once for brunch and once for dinner. Had a traditional breakfast at brunch, quite tasty and the room itself is bright and pretty in the morning.

Dinner I had a fantastic hot and sour soup that I am still thinking about. Had salmon as my main and it was good, not great – the side was kind of boring. Our table of four tried nearly everything on the menu and all were willing to share. The charcuterie was a dream and I wish I had ordered the steak or burger – both were well above average. Had some kind of chocolate cake for dessert and it was DELICIOUS.

Servers, while somewhat inexperienced, are earnest about getting it right and attentive to details like ensuring glasses are filled and food is enjoyed. I am definitely going back and feel comfortable recommending the restaurant to some of my pickiest friends.

Nov 02, 2011
A flock of seagulls in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Dear Terroni - I Might Have to Break Up with You

I have dined at Terroni on Queen Street once or twice a month since 1995. So I have eaten here approximately 380 times. Not once in 16 years have I been thanked for my patronage. I have always been made to feel like the pleasure was all mine.

I come here for the consistent, delicious food, convenient location and for the restaurant itself. As for service, I expect smug and disinterested. But in the last six months I have noticed a real deterioration of basic civility by wait staff. Last Tuesday night’s server was so glum, so blasé that I want to break up with Terroni but damn it I just love the food so much.

Dear Terroni, I’ll respect your menu but give me a little respect back. I don’t need plates plunked on the table without a word, laughable lack knowledge of the menu, beer or the wine or a disappearing act for most of the evening. I know the menu like the back of my hand but when I ask about the specials you should at least know what they are. Really, I am down with your “no soup for you” schtick but only if servers are professional, knowledgable and truly care about the food.

I am tired. And there are now plenty of places to have a delicious thin crust pizza sans sneering. I think I have finally had it. I am sure Terroni’s owner won’t care if I ever come back, he has my $23,000. But I might have to take the next $23,000 elsewhere. Campagnolo is closer, Libretto’s pizza is better - their servers professional and accommodating. L’Ouvrier is prettier and the food is terrific. If I do finally get the backbone to break up with Terroni, I know they won't miss me at all. But man I will miss that food.

-----
Terroni
720 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M6J1E8, CA

Campagnolo
832 Dundas St. W, Toronto, ON , CA

Oct 07, 2011
A flock of seagulls in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Woodlot

Hi, the cafe/bakery is open all day. I wanted to get a coffee and ask a few questions about dinner. Didn’t even get a hello. Very, very strange.

Nov 26, 2010
A flock of seagulls in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Woodlot

I live around the corner from Woodlot and stopped in for the first time around lunch time on Saturday. I am a regular at Grace and was hoping for another good option in the neighborhood. There were four maybe five people cooking/baking/cleaning. A few glanced in my direction but after a few minutes of being ignored I just left. It really put me off.

Nov 17, 2010
A flock of seagulls in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Loblaws I hardly know you....

You know what really makes me mad? Loblaws’ silly “Price Checked Weekly” signs! They are meaningless. A manager and a customer service rep at Dupont/Christie both confirmed what I suspected: that it means nothing really. Not price matching (which it certainly implies). Simply that they check what competitors are charging. Oh really? So why not put other silly signs around the store telling us about your operational practices. How about “These items taken out of a box and put on this shelf” or “We can fit 24 jars of Pickles on this shelf” or “This milk is refridgerated for your comfort”? It’s misleading and I am complaining to Industry Canada’s Competition Bureau and so should you. The Price Checked Weekly items are almost invariably higher than No Frills.

Nov 03, 2010
A flock of seagulls in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

weber chimney starter?

You can get the Weber chimney starter at Home Hardware on Roncesvalles.

Mar 30, 2009
A flock of seagulls in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Le Pain Quotidien - Coming to Toronto?

I tried the Royal Bank Plaza location last week. Had the Ham/Gruyere sandwich and had trouble finding either on the sandwich. I love crusty bread but the razor sharp edges cut the inside of my cheek to ribbons. The order taker behind the counter was one of the top 5 WORST "service" person I have encountered in Toronto. I told him I was trying to decide between two different sandwiches and he just stood there with his mouth hanging open. I picked up a menu and said "Oh you have soup here?" He looked at me for a few seconds before coming up with "yeah". I just rolled my eyes and then another server jumped in with some actual information. This exchange would be acceptable if I just paid $3 for an egg salad at coffee time but my coffee and sandwich were $11. Two words for le Pain - Buh and Bye.

Oct 13, 2008
A flock of seagulls in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

"East Coast" Style Donairs in Toronto?

If you are really desperate for donair go to the donut shop downtown Toronto at Adelaide St W & Sheppard St (across the street from First Canadian Place). It used to be a Greco express and they've kept the greco recipe. It ain't King of Donair but it will do in a pinch.
One quick edit...don't bother with College Falafel if you are looking for east coast style donairs. They make a decent 'sandwich' but tastes nothing like Halifax donairs.

Oct 05, 2008
A flock of seagulls in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Clark beans

I really love Clark Beans too and can't stand Heinz. You can find them at Zimmerman's in Kensington Market...
208-212 Augusta Ave.

Aug 18, 2008
A flock of seagulls in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

best breakfast joint in Toronto?

I've given Musa several chances. The food is good, the atmosphere is great and it's just around the corner.
But the indifference of the staff is chronic; they are far more interested in feeding themselves and downing their own shots behind the bar during brunch than in serving pesky customers. The last time, and I do mean last time I went, I asked to seat myself after an uncomfortably long wait at the door. I waited about 10 minutes then walked up to ask for a few menus and some coffee. After about 5 more minutes a waitress came by to ask if we wanted coffee?! Then we waited 10 more minutes and still no coffee and no order yet taken. There is such a thing as laid back service but it's inexcusable to have no coffee or water on the table within 25 minutes especially when the place is half empty. We just left and I am sure they didn't even notice.

We ate at the Palmerston. Had a delicious fried egg panini on their patio. Lots of attention to detail here, even the variety of fruit and berries on the side were at a perfect stage of ripeness. Another good brunch place is Easy on Queen near Roncesvalles.

Jun 15, 2008
A flock of seagulls in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Noodle Concepts in the PATH - Closed for good?

I ate the delicious noodle soup here a couple of times a week and now the lights are out. Anyone know if they've relocated or what might have happened? They were in the food court near Bay and Adelaide I think - the same one with the ATROCIOUS Hero burgers outlet.

Apr 06, 2008
A flock of seagulls in Ontario (inc. Toronto)