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Pine Mouth in T-O! (watch out for bad pine nuts) - moved from Ontario board

Not sure, but I suspect the packaged pine nuts may be safer than the bulk ones.

And Peppermint Pate is right... though Pine Mouth apparently isn't dangerous, its main symptom (a metallic taste in your mouth) is also a symptom of much more serious conditions including stroke. This is one of the reasons why I posted -- so that those who contract it (and their doctors) will know pine nuts are to blame, and not a stroke.

Jun 28, 2010
jon b in General Topics

Pine Mouth in T-O! (watch out for bad pine nuts) - moved from Ontario board

My wife and I are both enduring our second recent bout of "Pine Mouth," a bizarre condition that gives food a weird metallic taste and turns eating into a generally unpleasant experience.

I've done a bit of research and contacted the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. Turns out it's a fairly new phenomenon, that's been widely reported in the U.S., and that's on the rise in Canada.

The pine nuts in question taste totally normal when you eat them. A couple days later though, food and drink start tasting weird. Apparently, this is the only symptom and it's not dangerous in any way -- just really annoying.

I don't have much advise to offer on which pine nuts to avoid, although both times it's happened to us, we noticed that the nuts looked much smaller than the ones we are used to. We bought the first batch at a bulk place in St. Lawrence Market. The second time they showed up in a salad at one of our favourite Queen West restaurants. I called the store owner the first time, and restaurant manager the second time. Both were nice and expressed concern, but not entirely convinced that their product was to blame. Can't say I blame them -- I didn't believe it myself when I first read about it, and it's hard to believe such a delicious ingredient could make other foods taste so gross.

Anyway, just thought folks might like to know that if you're experience similar symptoms, it might be those pine nuts you ate a few days ago.

Canadian Food Inspection Agency
, St Marys, ON N4X1C8, CA

Jun 27, 2010
jon b in General Topics

Caribbean "a la cart" at Bay & King

Noticed a new Toronto "a la cart" setting-up shop on the southeast corner of Bay & King this week. Stopped by yesterday to check-out the menu. They're serving jerk ($5), jerk roti ($7), curry chicken roti ($7) and grilled pineapple ($2).

Had the jerk roti. It was fantastic -- above average roti skin, tender chicken and to my surprise, a whole whack of ripe mango.

Apr 02, 2010
jon b in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Just one day in Boston -- where to eat lunch?

Heading to Boston in a few weeks, and looking for somewhere to eat. My criteria are that it be (1) open Monday, (2) open for lunch, (3) reasonably central, (4) not seafood (having this the night before), and (5) unusually good.

Any suggestions?

Mar 02, 2010
jon b in Greater Boston Area

The return of Kenzo Ramen

Walking on Dundas yesterday, I noticed a sign advertising a new Kenzo Ramen. Stuck my head in, and chatted briefly with the owner, who was working on fixtures in preparation for a Friday opening. He was very excited to hear that I knew and loved his old location near Yonge/Finch (which is still open, but under new ownership). He promised the new location would be even better, with a more extensive menu. There aren't many items listed yet on the website, but was pleased to see that some of my favourite ramens will be back, along with the gyoza, which at the old location, was outstanding:


138 Dundas West (just east of Elizabeth Street, between University and Bay)

Jun 30, 2009
jon b in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Work dinner near Bloor/Avenue

I am organizing a dinner for 15-20 colleagues in the Bloor/Avenue (or Yorkville) area. Looking for something with good food, and that can accommodate a good-sized group, but that isn't terribly expensive.

Suggestions welcome.

Oct 01, 2008
jon b in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

take out bbq ribs, etc for 20?

Confession: I haven't been to the Yonge/Sheppard one. I've stayed away on the advice of friends who compared the two, and much preferred Woodbridge. (They're not affiliated, by the way.)

It's also been a year since I last ate at Woodbridge, but I can't imagine it's changed much. They really were outstanding ribs, though I perhaps should have put a caveat on my earlier message -- I'm not a big bbq sauce guy, and prefer a dry rub that lets the rib speak for itself. I get the sense that some of the more negative reviews of Woodbridge are from those who like their ribs dripping with sauce.

If you do go, they also have awesome smoked wings (not to be confused with the regular wings -- make sure you ask for the smoked ones).

Aug 25, 2008
jon b in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Lemon Tarts in TO

Celestin has a full-sized pie (as opposed to a personal-sized tart) that's pretty much my favourite dessert ever, though it's rather pricey.

Aug 25, 2008
jon b in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

take out bbq ribs, etc for 20?

Memphis BBQ in Woodbridge (not to be confused with the inferior, but similarly named restaurant on Yonge, in North York).

Aug 25, 2008
jon b in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Looking for Good Traditional Dim Sum (Downtown)

Surprised no one has mentioned Pearl Harbourfront. Their dim sum is hands-down the best downtown. They do most of the classic dumplings, plus some outstanding originals. And they have carts AND a menu (the best of both worlds).

Alas, it's not in Chinatown, it's a bit more expensive than Chinatown (for familiar, inexpensive dim sum in Chinatown, agreed that Rol San is probably tops), and it can't begin to compete with the variety available in the suburbs. But it meets all your criteria.

Aug 25, 2008
jon b in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Where to eat? (University, between Dundas and Queen)

Just started a job in the neighbourhood. There are plenty of lunch spots around, but I have no idea which ones are good (and it would likely take a year to try them all). Would love to hear about your favourites.

Aug 13, 2008
jon b in Ontario (inc. Toronto)