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DylS's Profile

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Where to find Orange Blossom Honey in the Toronto area?

Try Domino's, basement of St. Lawrence market. Their stock of honeys changes often but they often have less-common flavors especially from Europe.

Mar 30, 2008
DylS in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Amuse-Cusine in Beach

It's on the bottom of the downloadable menu. (Salivating from afar--I've been living in the States for nearly a year and hope a good local restaurant doesn't close before I get home to try it!)

Mar 27, 2008
DylS in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Naples and Rome in October for Honeymoon

Maccheroni seems to be on a downslide. A recent visit was very disappointing, and friends who ate there a month earlier felt the same.

Sora Margherita, in the Ghetto, is consistently worth the frequent wait; we have at least one meal on every visit: the menu changes daily, and it's straightforward, typically Roman dishes, prepared from scratch, among them many Jewish specialties. Filled with Romans and the odd tourist. The staff don't (or won't) speak English, but you'll manage fine.

Aug 28, 2007
DylS in Italy

6 hours in Roma

I assume you're passing through Fiumicino airport? A consideration if you decide for whatever reason to not stray far from the airport (traffic tie-ups would be my concern; flight delays might also complicate things): take a cab (or bus?) 15-20 minutes to the nearby seaside town of Fiumicino and dine at Bastianelli dal 1929, on the canal on via Torre Clementina 86. We ate there last month and the seafood was spectacularly fresh and tasty. It's a bit on the elegant side (servers in white jackets) but not at all stuffy and not overpriced. You will have a delicious, relaxed meal and be back at the airport without stress. But of course you will not have an authenticf Roman experience. For that I would cope with the traffic at that hour and head to a popular neighbourhood such as Trastevere, where sitting outdoors at a pizzeria such as Da Ivo (via San Francesco da Ripa 158; not just pizza) -- or any pizzeria that is clearly popular with locals -- with a half-litre of red should give you a good dose of early-evening Roma.

Aug 28, 2007
DylS in Italy

T&T coming to downtown!!!! (Toronto)

And they ARE great. We had one on Saturday. Saves a trip to Chinatown.

Amazing prices on meat and most veg, and very good quality. Nice addition to the neighbourhood for those of us forced to rely too much on Beach supermarkets and the Leslie St. Loblaws.

Aug 28, 2007
DylS in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Gelato

Agree, transports you right back to Italy. Hands down the best in town.

Jul 23, 2007
DylS in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Must Dine in East Beaches

ViVetha has a small patio though its not the world's most charming, it's right on Queen at the "neglected" end of the street and nextdoor to a junk shop. My gf loves the place though and it probably is your best bet in the Beach. If you like Indian, Ali's Tandoori House is quite good (but no patio).

Jul 20, 2007
DylS in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Sorrel in the GTA

Definitely Dufferin Grove, also the herb/vegetable stall facing you when you go in the front door of St. Lawrence North market.

Jul 18, 2007
DylS in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

SlowFood

I must have been in an extreme-grump mood when I wrote my first response, but I forgot -- honestly, not spitefully -- that SF arranged a really fun sausage-making evening at The Healthy Butcher (popular enough that it ran for several nights) and a pasta-making class/dinner at Grano, at which a winemaker, a salumi maker (Mario Pingue from Niagara), and a mushroom-grower all spoke. I apologize for forgetting these fun, educational and affordable events. Perhaps if Slow Food had such events more often, I wouldn't forget them so easily?

Jul 09, 2007
DylS in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

SlowFood

I dropped my membership, which was a major moral dilemma, because SF Toronto never seemed to reach its potential. Its events for the most part a) were expensive, b) featured JK and/or c) focused on cheese and wine. Other conviviums such as Perth and Vancouver have monthly Taste Workshops and more (financially) accessible events. Several Toronto taste events (organic ice cream, I think, and fair trade coffee) that were canceled during SARS were never revived. They had a change in convivium leader but that doesn't seem to have lit any fires about more, or more varied, local events. Oh well.

Jul 08, 2007
DylS in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Public barbecuing facilities in Toronto parks?

There were some at Cherry Beach (Clarke Beach) last year. But there were also some at Woodbine last year, so maybe the City got rid of all of them?

Parks & Rec info online is spotty. I'd call the Access Toronto at City Hall, 416-338-0338

Jul 04, 2007
DylS in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Guanciale in Toronto

I'd call Diana Meats (1299 St. Clair West), 416-654-8222
La Salumeria (2021 Yonge at Davisville), 416-486-8327
or least likely
Schefflers (St. L.), 416-364-2806

Mario Pingue in Niagara makes it, I think, and supplies Cumbrae's, so call them too, but I don't imagine they have it on hand.

Jul 04, 2007
DylS in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Sunday brunch? (yet again ...)

I know this subject has come up time and time again, but things change so rapidly. For months I've been reading raves about Barrio Lounge, finally made a reservation, and then read last month's thread about how it's rapidly gone downhill. The only place I've ever been for brunch before, Vienna Home Bakery, is closed. What, at this very moment (and ideally still by this Sunday) is the fave brunch spot--good, well-prepared food; unstuffy atmosphere; reasonable prices? Starting point is the Beach, but anywhere in the realm of the TTC is possible. Thanks.

Jul 04, 2007
DylS in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Restaurant equip in GTA

I'm no pro but for cookie sheets I always use standard resto-grade aluminum sheet pans (the ones with the one-inch rim), with a nonstick mat or parchment if required. Forget nonstick, it's inappropriate for many baked items, and forget fancy things with air cushions etc, and forget the cookie sheets with no sides. Of course others will have different opinions (and of course Chowhound will have a board somewhere for just this kind of answer).

Jul 03, 2007
DylS in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Restaurant equip in GTA

I have NEVER in 25+ years found Nikolau's staff to be "surly and at times uncooperative" -- they in fact seem to go out of their way to help novices, asking questions and making recommendations based on skill level etc. Totally unlike the staff at Dinetz, to which the negatives do apply, consistently, esp. to non-trade shoppers.

Nikolau carries just about everything in just about every size, in a range of crap to top-quality, and will sometimes shave off a few dollars. I would go to Tap Phong only for low-quality items or Asian items specifically, such as woks. You will find a lot of flimsy aluminum pots n pans there ...

Nella Cucina also has an outlet on Queen E. near Parliament; I don't know how stock compares with the (bigger?) Bathurst store. Staff can seem remote, and quality and prices are both highish.

Jul 03, 2007
DylS in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Dried Sour Cherries

Gosh, all over the place. Health food stores and bulk stores for starters. I wouldn't be surprised if Loblaws and other chains carry them. They're no longer exotic, after all. Quality will vary tho.

Jul 03, 2007
DylS in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

George

Thinking of going to George, having heard so many great things, but is it possible for 2 people to have a great meal for less than $400??!!, say $200 or even lower?

Jul 01, 2007
DylS in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

vegemite and twisties

Well, yes and no. Our foods are pretty similar--same culture and all. If I were going to the wilds of, say, Vietnam, I might want to take something familiar to my tastebuds. If I were going to Sydney -- or London or Rome-- it wouldn't occur to me to take along any of my familiar Canadian treats. The food isn't exotically different.

Nevertheless, you can find a lot of English goods in Canada--stores like the Nutty Chocolatier in Toronto have an English section, mostly sweets but also soups, pickles, crisps, etc. , or try Sugar Mountain for sweet stuff. If there's a close English equivalent to something Australian (like Tim Tams? I dunno), then you could likely find it here.

Jun 17, 2007
DylS in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

vegemite and twisties

I know it may seem blasphemous, but since you are visiting, not immigrating, you could temporarily forgo your Australian staples and enjoy the many, many foodstuffs Canada has to offer. :)

Jun 16, 2007
DylS in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

vegemite and twisties

Stores in the Loblaws chain always carry Marmite, and so does IGA, but look in the baking section, near the packaged yeast, not in jams and spreads. The "yeast extract" on the label confuses the stockboys :)

If a small jar isn't enough to satisfy one's craving, the Spice House in Kensington Market often has the 500 mL jars. (And Nutty Chocolatier carries Twiglets. )

Jun 13, 2007
DylS in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Weekday lunch around Mount Sinai?

As for "avoid it if you're in a rush," when I was last there, the menu had asterisked items, mostly soups and sandwiches but some cooked mains, for if you wanted to be out in an hour or 90 minutes (can't remember)--I guess with lawyers and cases in mind. It would be a shame to rush, though.

Jun 11, 2007
DylS in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

vegemite and twisties

Artgeek, are you sure about Vegemite at Loblaws? My local ones carry only Marmite, which Ozzies won't touch (and Brits won't go near the veg version). I know I've seen it around, but rarely, though (being a Brit by birth) I don't look for it.

Jun 11, 2007
DylS in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Weekday lunch around Mount Sinai?

Yes, the breads ARE good. Maybe they didn't always, but they use white tablecloths now, so you don't really know they're fold-up tables. They used to do two prix-fixe but now it's one, but an expanded wine list. New chef--sorry, I've forgotten his name--has kept the lobster club and the famous frites. In mid-spring I saw peach tart on the dessert menu, and at first I was disappointed, since starters and mains had emphasized seasonal ingredients. But turns out the peaches were put up last year by the chef. Nice place, if difficult to find (had to ask directions twice once we were inside the building), and the airport-style security check before lunch only adds to the best-kept-secret ambience.

Jun 10, 2007
DylS in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Weekday lunch around Mount Sinai?

For charming ambience (wood, quiet, unstuffy, unpretentious), impressive menu (small but seasonal/local, updated classics, well prepared), professional and knowledgeable servers, and an excellent (expanded) wine list -- and it won't bankrupt you either! -- try the restaurant at Osgoode Hall, in the old law courts. They're still open but close soon for the summer. Call 947-3361. The menu is starred with items that can be ordered if you're in a rush, but it's also a lovely place to linger.

Jun 08, 2007
DylS in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Quality butcher in/near Leslieville

Conversely, I live less than a block away from the Chopping Block but will happily walk all the way west to Meat on the Beach. The Block's sausages taste mostly like, and have the mouthfeel of, filler. Staff are often unfriendly (at least fake a smile, please!) and not knowledgeable enough about the products. Trying to get a special order tries the patience of Job. (Yes, guys, there are kinds of ham that are not honey-baked and spiral-cut.)

Jun 03, 2007
DylS in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Beach Eats: Let's Be Honest

That is awful. Same thing happened to me at Peter Pan about 20 years ago -- in between mains (with a bottle of wine) and dessert. I told the manager I'd never go back, and I never have (though it pains me to see I didn't put them out of business LOL).

That said, I will hope you give Sauvignon another try. The blunder was unforgivable, but they do remain one of the better choices in the neighbourhood. They make a few slips but the food is generally better than average. Hopefully that staff person has learned his lesson.

May 21, 2007
DylS in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Nice eats at Beaches or near lake for stroll...

I confess I haven't been there yet, but the new Balsam, where Peppino's was for some years, has got good reviews from neighbours. 2343 Queen St. E., close enough to Ed's Real Scoop for dessert.

May 09, 2007
DylS in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Secret Food Festivals

The Dufferin Grove Tasting Fair, a joint offering of Slow Food and the market (and one of Slow's cheaper events), usually late Sept/early Oct, $2 an item/drink ... good local organic etc.

One summer we chanced upon a big Hare Krishna festival on the island -- dunno if it's an annual event. Great smells, great food, little proselytizing. Long lineup for cheap and yummy pork curry ... suspiciously next to the empty elephant ride. (The other grey meat?!)

May 09, 2007
DylS in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Looking for imported Dutch cocoa powder

Reither's on Church St. stocked Van Houten last time I bought some. They used to carry Bensdorp (my favourite) as well but either stopped or were out of stock.

Apr 27, 2007
DylS in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Where to buy dried white beans? (Toronto or Canada)

Tuscans use many different kinds of beans--zolfini, sorane, barlotti, garfagnine, malati, and on and on, so you're safe in picking a general all-purpose white bean. Find, if you can, dried cannellini or barlotti. Great Northern beans and navy beans will do as well. I'd head to Rube's Rice at St. Lawrence market for dried, or Domino's also at the market for canned cannellini and barlotti (and other Italian types). My local healthfood store has canned cannellini from time to time, so they're out there.

Apr 25, 2007
DylS in Ontario (inc. Toronto)