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The Costco Thread - Ontario - 2015 - April to June

I don't normally buy their frozen apps but the big spanakopita (or cheese only) coils are super easy and great for feeding a crowd. Make sure to get the Skortadakis tzatziki to serve on the side.

Casual and traditional Italian Restaurant recommendations please near College & Bathurst?

I would second Marinella's for rustic Italian done well. I went recently with a large group and everyone loved it. Bonus points for their menu (LOTS of choice) and a huge patio.

The Costco Thread - Ontario - 2015 - April to June

organic strawberries have been available at the Mississauga East location the past couple of weeks and they've been very good.

Luci Restaurant in the former Momo's Bistro space (Queensway & Royal York)

I really quite liked the place when it first opened but subsequent dinner have not been great. The last time I went was a year ago with two other couples and we were all underwhelmed unfortunately. Agree with others here that Cellar Door is better…though it is more casual.

Mimico, New Toronto & Long Branch restaurants - revised thread!

850 is alright…not my fave in the area for pizza (cellar door and pulcinella are better…though the former by a long shot). BUT if there's a group of us going for dinner with our kiddos then 850 is perfect. They are very good about substitutions, offer smaller size pizzas, long benches to accommodate big groups (we often roll in with 7-8 ppl) and the food comes out quickly. Bonus points for the crayons and colourable menu. The kids all love it and the parents love that we aren't at a boston pizza/jack astors/other crappy chain restaurant.
That said would love to see them offer more vegetarian combos and add some oomph to their sauce (it cries for garlic). Also the wine list, while cheap and local, is tiny...I would happily pay a little more for a couple of better options.

Cellar Door

we went recently and it was very good…in fact much better than the first few times we went after it opened. Pizza (i just got a simple margherita) was excellent and so was my main (halibut or sea bass…forget which...baked with a fennel and tomato broth). I do think they need to do something with their decor to make the surroundings less gloomy and more welcoming…especially in the spring/summer months. I'm all for industrial/rustic chic but you can't go overboard with it.

Mimico, New Toronto & Long Branch restaurants - revised thread!

Agreed…food was terrible when we went. Not sure if they used old cooking oil or re-hearted leftovers but it was clearly not fresh. And the place was not at all clean.

The Costco Thread - Ontario - 2014 - October to December

Has anyone seen meatless burgers (not veggie patties) at the Etobicoke location recently? Need to stock up but they didn't have any at the dundas location last week.

The Costco Thread - Ontario - 2014 - October to December

I saw it at the dundas street location....2 large bags (I think one lb each). I forget the price but it was reasonable. But my fridge space is precious so I don't want to get it if it isn't very good!

The Costco Thread - Ontario - 2014 - October to December

Has anyone tried the fresh strozzapreti pasta? I'm tempted as I love this shape, but have resisted the urge as I've usually not fared well with most fresh pasta purchases in the past (they often have a very pronounced eggy taste).

best pastas in Toronto, 2014

YES! I go to terroni for that only. Drake 150 also currently has a mushroom rigatoni with balsamic brown butter that is out of this world.

Zucchini blossoms (squash blossoms) in GTA

I saw them for sale at Lanzarotta's (wholesaler with a small retail front on lakeshore w/ of dixie) earlier this week.

The Costco Thread - Ontario - 2014 - July to September

Plenty of pecornino in the dundas/dixie location. And organic strawberries… 2lb box for 4.99 I think. Going back for more as I know this won't last. Wish Costco would regularly carry more organic produce.

Mimico, New Toronto & Long Branch restaurants - revised thread!

yes…was disappointing unfortunately. Service was great, but my pasta was way overcooked. Food used to be good here, but has really gone downhill in the last year.

Grocery items that you can't find in Toronto (but you can in the states)

trader Joe's frozen chocolaté croissants….soooo good

The Costco Thread - new products, old favourites, interesting items

It's still there...they just moved all the dips (hummus, guac, tzatziki, salsa, etc) to the last aisle of where the cheeses & meats are kept.

Beyond Spinach Nuggets and Zucchini Tots - what else for a toddler's lunchbox

my son loved quesadillas at that age. I would make about 20 at a time using the smaller size flour tortillas with different cheese/veggie/sauce fillings (leek-spinach-tofu, sweet potato-blackbean-corn, mushroom ragout, were fave combos). They freeze and reheat very well.

Jan 20, 2013
chicapea in Home Cooking

The Costco Thread - new products, old favourites, interesting items

Etobicoke location
Staple buys:
Shepherd's greek style feta (the one in the big blue tub),
buffala mozzarella
fior di latte 2 packs (awesome for pizzas)
white linen pasta sauce
fontaine sante roasted garlic hummus
skortadakis tzatziki (though i wish they sold this in a combi pack instead of having to buy 2 of the same variety)
pilaros spanakopita spiral
vidalia/sweet onions
partner's rosemary & olive oil crackers
cranberry/walnut artisan crisps (forget the brand)
asiago wedge
parmesan wedge
portobello caps/slices
kirkland coffee beans (green bag)
kirkland plain greek yogurt

grab when available:
raclette cheese (they had it when i was there last month)
real smoked gouda (not that processed crap they sell at most stores)
pekkle pajama 2 packs for kids

wish they brought back:
agave nectar
bulk packs of garofalo pasta
Kirkland premium tuscan extra-virgin olive oil
balsamic glaze
bergeron le calumet (it's a smoked version of the plain "classique" cheese they sell now)

Restaurant with kids

We've had great experiences at Terroni as well, though i prefer the la bettola location over terroni on queen. Relish was also great...the menu was a little eclectic for my then 4 year old's palate so they made a cheese flatbread pizza for him. Queen margherita pizza is another place i have gone to sans child, but i would go back with him.

best diners/greasy spoons serving breakfast, 2012

i love me some greasy breakfast.. the grille on queensway (e. of east mall) is my fave out in the west end by far.

Vegetarian Restaurant Recommendations

Honestly as a vegetarian i much prefer going to vegetarian-friendly places over strictly vegetarian restaurants. Plus, my friends love their meat so I'd rather eat somewhere everyone can order something they'd really enjoy. A good rustic Italian restaurant will almost always have a at least one or two vegetarian pizzas, pastas, risottos and sides - terroni/La bettola I keep coming back to due to their home-made pastas. Middle-eastern restaurants are also great for vegetarian fare though it's harder to find nicer ones for a special dinner...93 harbord is one that comes to mind. And Lee is always a favourite - their menu has a pretty substantial vegetarian section and the dishes I've had were very good.

Top Chef Canada, Season 2, Episode 6 (spoilers)

lucky for me, my spouse works on the show so I've got an in.

Apr 21, 2012
chicapea in Food Media & News

Top Chef Canada, Season 2, Episode 6 (spoilers)

Well I ate at the "True North" side of resto wars and i quite liked the corn soup! But the wait for the food was indeed too long and now i know why! We were starving by the time our mains came but unfortunately for me, the potato risotto was miniscule in portion. At least it was tasty, with a nice smoky flavour. It would have been good as a component of a main, but it was definitely not an entree dish on its own.
Agree with you OP on Lisa Ray...I think she's doing a really good job. Irks me when I hear people call her a "padma clone" as they really aren't similar at all.

Apr 17, 2012
chicapea in Food Media & News

Saturday night dinner with the girls (30's) any recommendations in King West area?

we do girls nights out in that area regularly. Lee continues to be the favourite. Marben was a close second until it re-invented itself - the menu last time I went had very little to offer for those like myself who don't eat meat. If those are booked up we go to crush or wabora (you can always get a table on short notice at either). Food and service at brassai are not good...avoid! And yes, spice route is awful. Not to mention you end up smelling like a mr. pong's truck when leaving. As for buca I have NEVER been able to score a reservation for 4 or more on a thurs, fri or sat night...even when I check open table well in advance! Is there a secret to doing this?

Luci Restaurant in the former Momo's Bistro space (Queensway & Royal York)

I went a few saturdays ago (had a groupon) and agree with the above. Quality of food was good, portions were large and prices very reasonable. They also have a daily prix fixe special for $25. Unfortunately the place was only 1/3 occupied, so I hope business picks up.

Worst in Toronto

omg I had the absolute worst caprese salad there in my life. they should rename it the CRAPese it was so horrid. cold, pink, mealy slices of tomato, slices of processed mystery white cheese, dried basil and oil that was definitely not derived from olives. ugh...i still shudder at the memory.

Casual dinner on Queen West (w of Bathurst, e of Shaw)

my preferred spot for that area is bar one. dined at rosebud once about a month or so after they opened and the meal was forgettable. Perhaps it was an off night but I haven't returned since.

First date in south etobicoke

Agreed Rocco's is pretty good (I actually had a guy take me there for a first date some years ago). Buuuuut definitely go to the Rocco's on Queensway just west of Parklawn. The one on Islington is more "family-oriented" and I found the food & atmosphere lacking.

ISO Cheap(er) Miso Paste

I like the selection at samko but they're pretty expensive. I just bought some shiro miso there for $20 (it was recommended by the guy there for being lower in sodium than the other brands). I didn't realize it cost that much at the time as I was buying a number of items and in a hurry, but def. got the sticker shock at home!!! also bought some of their 'top shelf' takari mirin for $14, but subsequently found it online for $5.

Indian for Indians

I would avoid little india...frankly I've never had a good indian meal there (and this is from an indian).
For North Indian food, the Host isn't a favourite of mine, but its probably your best centrally-located option. Cuisine of India (in north york) is good but only for tandoori dishes, stay away from the curries.
For south indian dishes, I quite like Madras Palace (one in scarborough, another in richmond hill). Not fancy digs though.