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ISO: some great Persian food in downtown Toronto!

Pomegranate can be quite busy, so you should make reservations if you're going. Alternatively, Sheherzade, their sister restaurant next door, often has room, and they have my favourite dish in either place, abgusht (dizi), which is an amazing slow cooked lamb stew.

Harbord House

Yup, its the perfect local. Very comfortable and the staff are great. The sticky toffee pudding alone is worth a trip.

They also do a great fish and chips, medium rare hamburger, and cottage pie. Diablo eggs at brunch are great too - spicy hollandaise on poached eggs and jalapeno cornbread.

Prices are reasonable and they've got a great draft list.

My Global Just Cracked - Is This Typical? Also, post errors?

In answer to your second question, my local cook ware store told me the receive returns of Global knives that have snapped between the blade and the handle on a regular basis.

They wouldn't carry Global knives at all if it weren't for the fact that people keep asking for them, but they don't recommend them for this reason.

They carry Macs and Shuns as well, which they don't get returned for this reason. So although people may be using the knives incorrectly, like using it as a lever, Globals may have a bigger weak point at that point than other japanese knives.

Nov 02, 2009
DoNutAlter in Cookware

Caplansky's 2.0

anyone had smoked beef bacon before? Could that be as good as it sounds?

Starting to Eat Fish

when I made the switch I tried to start off with smoked salmon and cream cheese on a bagel, but that didn't work out so I ended up with lobster bisque.

If you feel you need to ease into eating fish again, I would suggest going with something like a tuna salad sandwich (tuna from a can), or something that you remember liking when you were a child, like fish sticks. Another good one might be a california roll.

Then you can work up to the delicious big slabs of fish, and then you can do sardines :)

Aug 31, 2009
DoNutAlter in General Topics

Single best dish you've had in Toronto?

Hot tonque on Brioche at the Black Hoof.

(Close seconds: the Dizi at Pomegranite, the Beef in Chilli Oil at BSRJ, my first fatty at Caplanskys, and most everything else I've had at the black hoof)

Loblaws is acquiring T&T

heh heh. "memories of durian"

Jul 24, 2009
DoNutAlter in Food Media & News

Grace - Great Disappointment!

I had a fantastic lunch at Loire. The Saint Maure goat cheese with the recommended glass of Vouvray was fantastic and they had a fresh caught pickerel special that was cooked perfectly.

Obviously I would go back to Loire before Grace, but my wife would hesitate to go back to either as she was not as impressed with her meal at Loire as I was with mine.

Grace - Great Disappointment!

The first time I went I quite enjoyed the slow cooked halibut. Not entirely my cup of tea, but interesting. The second time, a couple months ago, the waitress recommended the pork chop with smashed potatoes.

Bad move. The pork chop was lifeless and the potatoes were inedibly acidic. Any kitchen that can screw up potatoes so badly clearly needs to be taught to taste their food before it goes out, and if they did taste it, and thought it was acceptable, then god help them. I mentioned to the waitress that the potatoes were not good, but got a blank look and that was that.

Also my wife's pre-dinner cocktail upstairs should've come with the warning "beware pretentious barkeeps who ill-use muddlers".

Sheherzade Persian Grill and Dizi

Totally agree on the dizi. The first time we had it, it was so good we went back the next day and had it again!

Anyone been to the new Filipino Resto at York Mills & Don Mills?

What's for lunch today at Casa Manila? There's a line up, that's never happend before.

This looks new. Label says Barbeque Pork. Inquiries reveal that is called Sisig. Its diced, and doesn't taste like your normal barbeque pork. Its way more chewy, in a good way, and has a more pronounced charred flavour.

Google reveals all on returning to the office, it is bbq pig's head and liver. Huzzah!

Caplansky's and beer

I always go with an amsterdam blonde and that works for me.

I doubt you'll get any consciousness expanding pairings at the monarch, but if food pairings work for you as an excuse to drink and eat smoke meat sandwiches, then tally ho!

Anyone been to the new Filipino Resto at York Mills & Don Mills?

I love Casa Manila. I work in the area and its in my top 3 lunch destinations. I've had terrible luck with filipino restaurants in the past, but I've always loved the home cooked blood stews, adobos and other things.

The service is sweet, and the food is good and made with care. The best thing about the place, however, is the blithe disregard for normally accepted office rat cuisine. They don't dumb down the lunch table, so lung, liver, fish heads, bitter melon are all pretty common.

Today for example they had a new dish, I can't remember the name, described as liver and pork stomach. Turned out not to be tripe as i hoped, but thin slices of stewed pork belly fat. I love the pork adobo, kare kare, bopis, stewed taro leaves in coconut milk, among many other things.

Needless to say, I find the variety and novelty pretty stimulating for lunch. Its pretty heavy and greasy, so maybe not for everyone, but if you like stews, braised meats and offal, its good eats.

Taishanese & Taiwanese in TO?

Don't know about a cuisine (or a restaurant for that matter!) , but Taishan would be a sub set of cantonese cuisine. Its down the coast from Hong Kong a bit.

The meals I had in Kaiping, which is just north of Taishan, were like a country version of your standard cantonese restaurants, heavier, rougher, strictly local vegetables. Nothing as good as my mother-in-law's hoi ping style home cooking though.

The vast majority of Chinese immigrants in North America before the 80's or so were from that area, so many of the original chinatown restaurants would've been run by people from there. That's changed a lot over the last 20 years or so though.

Best Espresso in the city...

thanks for the tip, I'll check it out. The joke back home used to be that I was composed, by volume, of 50% coffee and 50% sushi.

Gluten-free restos

they have 100% buckwheat noodles at Sanko on Queen St. I believe they flagged them with a sign so you don't have to check the back of every noodle package.

Dragon Fruit in GTA?

I've seen them recently in the SuperFresh on Bloor (block or 2 west of Spadina), the big Chinese grocery store at Spadina and Baldwin (sweet dragon fruit!), and at Hong Tai Supermarket at Sheppard and Victoria Park.

T&T should be a pretty safe bet.

Wine Glass or Tumbler.

it is a big deal to some for sure. I know an Italian who is quite conflicted when he goes to Italy and gets served wine in a tumbler. To him, it just doesn't feel right, even though he knows that's how they do it in the old country.

There are clear advantages to the proper glass for different beverages, but unless the point of an evening is an amazing and interesting wine (and not the amazing and interesting company for example), then insisting on a particular wine glass is more about the ritual of the thing than about ensuring you get the full bouquet and experience of a wine.

Personally I prefer a tea cup, but I'm currently trying out an unglazed terra cotta wine cup.

Jan 03, 2009
DoNutAlter in Not About Food

Gluten-free restos

nice, I'd never heard of that place, thanks!

Splendido Has No Clothes

Yup, context is important, although I don't think we should dismiss out of hand, all disappointing experiences as being related to having had better experiences elsewhere. Even my favourite local places just screw stuff up occasionally as no place is perfect.

Gluten-free restos

I haven't had the gluten free dough, but I did have the spelt flour dough at Magic Oven on Dupont. It tasted like a pre-made frozen focaccia. Maybe it wasn't, but it didn't satisfy the pizza cravings ...

Splendido Has No Clothes

well, that's true, about splendido the restaurant not being a "scam". However, I think the implication in the original post, and why the discussion has gone the way it has, is not primarily that he thinks has better taste than everyone else, but that he personally feels "scammed" by the recommendation on Chowhound.

I have a bit of sympathy for evansl, even though his way of expressing the point is rather akin to lobbing a baconator into el Bulli, as I had a similar experience with Lai Wah Heen last month.

Splendido Has No Clothes

i've always found that my worst restaurant experiences are when I have the highest expectations. I never seem to learn though!

We've been thinking of going to Splendido, and probably still will, so its nice to see a dissenting opinion to knock down the expectations a notch. Just because a whole bunch of people like something, doesn't mean I will, (on that day, at that time), and that's okay.

Sunday night for 12? Help!

I'll plump for our local, Harbord House on Harbord between Spadina and Bathurst. They often handle large reservations and the food should please most everyone. Good quality comfort food at reasonable prices, although its more in the $13 - $20 range than the mid $20's. One of the best short beer lists in the city too.

147 Harbord St, Toronto, ON M5S1H1, CA

Gluten-free restos

Don't give up on tempeh, it's moist and tasty!

I've found lots of vegetarian restaurants screw it up, but its usually good at Indonesian places. Its not too difficult to cook with either as long as you don't dry it out and appropriately sauce it.

Hot Chocolate/Cocoa Mix in Toronto?

dang, there was a package of soma hot chocolate floating around at christmas, but it got given away, as like a "gift" or whatever. Will have to try t score some next time I"m down there.

Gluten-free restos

Depends on if you're the celiac type (no gluten at all) or the gluten intolerant type (wheat in soy sauce ok).

I haven't heard of any specifically gluten free places in toronto, but I"m pretty new here. Being the intolerant type, I don't usually have a problem finding something to eat unless I'm at a place that only serves sandwiches, pizza or pastas.

Hot Chocolate/Cocoa Mix in Toronto?

We've tried quite a few and cocoa camino is our fave, especially if you go easy on the milk and froth it up with a whip. If the SOMA mix is anywhere near as good as the store, it'll be good too.

Faithful coffee lovers...humbly asking for help..

I think its supposed to be 2 weeks, but you can probably keep it for a month without a noticeable degradation in taste. Honestly, Its never lasted long enough to find out though.

The coffee itself is surprisingly smooth, with a noticeable decrease in bitterness and acid. It does tend to remove some of the differences in beans and roasts, but it sure is a good cup of coffee. I prefer it to most drips.

Faithful coffee lovers...humbly asking for help..

there's also those loose leaf tea filters, like this one: I've seen these at most good tea stores, and some grocery stores.

Probably as minimal as you can get, it replaces the cone filter holder with a stir-stick and you can use the same contraption for coffee and tea.

I have an aeropress, but find it too fiddly for speedy coffee and with too many pieces for travel. (Also the comparisons to espresso are not accurate, its produces something closer to a good drip coffee


Another option is cold brew coffee, which only requires hot water. Its the only kind of coffee my wife likes black. I use this for road trips as you can dillute with cold water or hot water. You can only use it for plane travel if you're going to put it in checked luggage of course.