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chef_vagabond's Profile

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Portugese tarts

Give us a general area as to where you are, mid town is a big place.

Black Hoof Review 4 out of 5 *'s

Sounds like a great experience, thanks for sharing. I too wouldn't of been too bothered by the initial screw up, server must of been juggling a hundred things at once. I love the fact that BH got best restaurant of the year in Toronto Life, such a low budgeted operation beat Noto Bene, a multi million dollar project (which got number 2).

Pick me a sub-$30 wine to go with tomato sauce

Hey, Duck, I had this one a week ago and it was perfect! I too have been in the search for the perfect partner to tomato base dishes. I've found Chianti has been kicking the shite out of the tomato sauce and to be honest, I've found the cheaper bottles to be a much better match than the Chianti Classicos. Having said that, I saw Mario Bartalli and his sommelier on youtube discuss the perfect match and it was a sangviovese from Emilia-Romagna, of course the LCBO being the LCBO, those things come and go. I found this one
POGGIO BERTAIO STUCCHIO SANGIOVESE 2005
VINTAGES 95166
last week for $18.00, you can do a search on the LCBO's web site to see where close to you it's available. For me, it was a perfect match. Here's the tasting notes.
The 2005 Stucchio is 100% Sangiovese that spent twelve months in French oak. Medium to full in body, it reveals well-defined aromatics along with a generous expression of leather, earthiness, dark fruit and spices, showing terrific balance and harmony. Anticipated maturity: 2008-2010. Proprietor Fabrizio Ciufoli makes engaging, full-bodied reds at Poggio Bertaio. Score - 87

Where to find slab pork belly

No idea where you're located but really, any butcher, Vince Gasparro's on Bloor and Shaw is my favourite. Also the Healthy Butcher always has it on hand, it's four times the price but twenty times better.

Butcher By Nature

Thanks for your tips, everyone, just went their today myself and I'm a fan!

Le Paradis

My past few experiences have never been with the service. The food during my last few experiences have been meat never cooked to specs, sauces that have obviously come from stocks that are treated as garbage disposals and just very ho hum take on standards like pot au feu or choucroute, which as far as I'm concerned either specialize in those things or don't do them. Again, for the price, who's complaining but personally, I'd just rather go and spend $14.00 on a really good burger at high end pub and when I really feel like bistro food, spend an extra $10.00 a head and go to Pastis or Batifole. Come to think of it, maybe La Paradis hasn't changed at all, maybe I have. Not to say I'll never go back, it's just that it will be for the service and the dated decor.

Best Gourmet Food Shops IN ONE AREA in Toronto?

I was just about to say, we should all deserve a round of applause for not mentioning St. Lawrence or Kensington, no disrespect to either, I've call Kensington Market my home for over 15 years but those places are a given. Lawrence East around Warden, sounds like a Spring afternoon, thanks.

Le Paradis

I used to always be a fan but was disappointed the last few times I've been. It's always been one of the best in town as far as bang for ones buck goes but now I think, "why do they even bother." Much rather go to a good pub like Abbot for the same price. Then again, maybe they've gotten their act together since the last time I've been (just under a year ago). Always worth another shot and with the bill total, what do you have to lose?

Butcher By Nature

I've just moved into the area and found Butcher By Nature on google, they don't seem to have a web site. I usually frequent the Healthy Butcher and we've all heard of the 100 mile diet, well I believe in a 1 km diet when it comes to shopping. Any feed back about their products, prices, ect is appreciated. Thanks.

Best Gourmet Food Shops IN ONE AREA in Toronto?

Bloor West Village isn't bad, not the best but I feel, under rated, some of the best produce vendors in the city (must be the proximity to the food terminal, Bloor Meat Market, Snappers Fish Termanal, several Polish delis and bakeries and I quite like Vineyards Estates Wines. Such a pleasure to be served by members of the private sector when purchasing wine, if you know what I mean.

What's wrong with our lox?

terribly sorry

Nota Bene- no thanks!

Very interesting thanks for sharing!

What's wrong with our lox?

Hilarious! Doesn't surprise me.
I know it's not lox as we know it but I still like hot smoked BC better.

What's wrong with our lox?

Dan, what it is is that we use Norwegian smoked salmon, which is perhaps the most mass produced farmed salmon in the world. Every horror story you hear about bad fish farming practices, is all there. In NYC, I see a lot of NS salmon, why? Good question. That is for another discussion though.
I like a hot smoked, BC salmon the best on my lox.

WINTERLICIOUS -- is out, new price ranges

Well said, all I ever to is diss the "liciouses" when they come around. I can choose to skip them, others can choose to enjoy themselves at them. I still think prixe fixes should be more of a norm though and not a special event.

unico premium san marzano tomatoes - where to find in TO?

I second that, Clayphish, also, I always add a dash of sugar to a large pot of other Italian, non SM tomatoes (never domestic, unless from my garden), never with SM. Yes, Kagemusha the cost difference is significant but they always seem to be on sale at the supermarket I go to.

unico premium san marzano tomatoes - where to find in TO?

Does it have to be Unico? As a rule Fiesta Farms on Cristie between Dupont and Bloor have San Marzano tomatoes on sale. They carry several brands, none Unico.

Cava Money, Money, Money, Money.......

Cava has a local celebrity chef as an owner which will only naturally jack up the price. I'm sure Mr. McDonald is bringing in better steak than one would get at European Meats for $4.99/lb though. You've brought up a very good point, 12% food cost is silly but same goes if you're ordering a pizza. A better question to ask is, did you have a good time? Was this a memorable experience?
Personally, I find this sort of a place goes against the whole point of the tapas experience in Spain. Toronto Tapas=double the price+half the food

Le Petit Castor - WTF?!?!?!

Well in ten years time who is still going to be standing? You've just answered it.

le petite castor

You're not the first person to complain about the food. My friend met the chef one evening, the chef corrected him and told him he was not the chef but the food consultant. So much for the food turning around. I second Abbot on the Hill.

WINTERLICIOUS -- is out, new price ranges

"Toronto's great at taking really awesome ideas and driving them into the ground"
Well said ($15 corkage fee is a prime example of that), why do we have to make an event out of prix fixed menus? The Summer/Winterlicous are dreadful for both the staff and the customers. People would be much happier skipping the bruschetta and grilled salmon and order what they really want. I one really wants to save money, just go to Chinatown.

Question: Best Food Reviewers

Good food reviewer Toronto, do four words qualify as an oxymoron?

Hidden gems in Chritie-Dupont area?

I second Banjara, the best Indian cuisine (for the price) in the city! On the corner of Bloor and Christie, south east, is an orange Korean restaurant, Best $8.00 lunch in the city. You're in a good area, mate!

What Has Rowe Farms Become?

Thanks for your responses and I will keep you posted as to what I hear back from them. My meaning of going corporate wasn't about becoming an incorporated company, of course, they've always been, I meant it in a self righteous sort of selling out to the man, man way.

Finding Beef Cheeks in Toronto?

Agreed, the rav at Babbo is the bomb. If you give the HB a call with several days heads up than they can hook you up. I got them from them two years ago and it was about $12.00 a kg! Again that was 2 years ago and the price of things go up once people realized what to do with them. Osso Bucco is a prime example of that!

If "No Reservations" came to Toronto, where would Anthony Bourdain go?

Because the question wasn't what interesting food experiences Toronto has, it was what food experience does Toronto have that is worthy of a Bourdain show.

If "No Reservations" came to Toronto, where would Anthony Bourdain go?

Sorry, pancake, I get Bourdain and the GTA's culinary richness, it's just no Les Halles, St. John's or Bangkok. Ya, Anthony Bourdain in Portugal for a pig slaughter one day, the next he's in Kensington Market buying organic produce, sorry, it's just not the same.

What Has Rowe Farms Become?

It's well known, Rowe Farms has gone corporate. My friends have all stopped buying their products but I chose to give them a chance. Maybe going corporate is one way to make such products available to people outside major urban centers. They have their pledge on their web site and there is a video of people visiting one of the farms but when was that video made? Their eggs are from regular caged birds. Apparently the chickens are in quite large cages but who is checking this? Are the animals fed GM grains? I've wrote them an email and I have yet to hear back from them, it's been a few days, I'm still hoping, I want to believe in this company, has anyone done any research on them?

Worst in Toronto

Fresh

If "No Reservations" came to Toronto, where would Anthony Bourdain go?

Toronto would rightfully be skipped all together, we've just gotten out of our lemon grass risotto faze and have a lot of catching up to do. Thank god places like the Black Hoof have opened. Street food, what street food?