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B'day dinner: Edulis or Actinolite

The recent comments did the trick; thanks! Just booked Actinolite for dinner and will definitely plan a Sunday afternoon visit to Edulis. Win Win!

B'day dinner: Edulis or Actinolite

Thanks everyone, for the comments to date. Clearly a style difference between them, but either would be suitable. estufarian aside, maybe a vote or call-out by those who have dined at both would do the trick.

B'day dinner: Edulis or Actinolite

My wife's birthday was just before Xmas, so her dinner is now due. I think they're both "can't go wrong" but I'd love to get some recent feedback. Or make a worthy suggestion.

"Rashers" opening in Leslieville

Open today!

Just happened by and sampled the "Hogtown", which is the house made peameal on eggy bun with their "brown sauce". I'm not a big peameal bacon guy; most of my experience being the St Lawrence Mkt. Carousel version, perhaps every other year.
I digress. Friendly and enthusiastic fellow was manning the front and explaining each menu item to everyone.

The "Hogtown" was average, bacon had nice texture but I found the sauce a little sharp, the vinegar component taking over my taste buds and somewhat overpowering.

I'll be back to try something different next time.

The Double Down is fun, but its the more rustic preps that really wowed at Joe Beef.

Thanks for the great review! I'm not a regular at CH but have noted your various meals around the continent when I'm in the same city and am always impressed by your ability to note details. I tried for a table this past summer at JB but was stiemied despite 4wks advance; this weekend I'm back but alas not good timing; hopefully next year. Based on your description, I probably would have a hard time with 3 courses but not sure what to eliminate.

"Rashers" opening in Leslieville

On my way for a scoop at Ed's this afternoon, spied this beside Majesteas. Perhaps competition for LP across the street?

Sun Valley on The Danforth closing

That sounds about right. My wife was in last week and the closure was confirmed by one of the staff; by end of July.

I always considered Sunvalley an asset for the neighborhood, they carried a good range of foodie items at a fair price. While not on the same service or product level as Summerhill or McEwans, I think it contributed to making the 'hood as popular as it is. In addition to the Big Carrot, Sunvalley brought food choices to The Danforth that were previously unknown. Where now to find Gelato Fresco or Manoucher bread?

Goods and Provisions Welcome to the Hood!

Indeed, Goods and Provisions is a great addition to the ever refreshed Leslieville strip. It brings a warmth with it's casually eclectic furnishings that seems to reflect the area. Like other comments already noted, the staff were terrific, knowledgable and friendly. No attitude, like some popular west end restaurants.

I was surprised to find the cozy room mostly empty at 6:30 on a Friday but it was completely fiull by 7:15. The set up is best for small groups of 4 or less.

Started with the cocktail special of cava, homemade peach syrup, bitters and cognac; Yum! We went on have the marrow and Korean tacos for starters. The marrow was delicious in its simplicity and was in contrast to the messy combo of pork belly, kimchee and secret sauce stuffed into the corn tortillas. For mains, we went with the chop of the day, which was a lamb chop served with a tomato chutney / jam and the deep fried sardines, accompanied with 2 sauces, one tartar like, the other a spicy Romesco. Both dishes had simple and small salad like sides.

Everything was well executed and displayed a certain confidence. I should mention the menu is very small , with the only other main being a steak. Also, vegetarians would be wise to go elsewhere.

A very pleasant meal.

Musings on lunch in Leslieville

Perhaps it's case of kitchen inconsistency at Prohibition. On recent visits, while still good, the portions have been downsized.

We regularly order lunches from Lady Marmalade and they now routinely decline our orders (4-5 people), citing "too busy". And they seem unique in adding a 15% gratuity to the take away orders. I guess when you're popular, you make the rules.

Musings on lunch in Leslieville

Well a little over a year later....still loving Prohibition. And they offer a clear winning challenge to Bonjour Brioche's roast beef sandwich mentioned above, in the form of their Buckingham Blanket. It's a sloppy juicy house made wrap (a la Yorkshire pudding batter) stuffed full of rare flank steak and caramelized onions, served with red wine jus for dipping.

I was surprised how excellent the corned beef beef sandwich at The Roy was a few weeks ago; chef's creation, with Jameson whisky. In high contrast to the Reuban offered at Le Canard Mort last week, which was dry and severely underweight of beef and overweight in
sauerkraut and bread.

I've yet to try the Viennese place although neighbors are not impressed and Harlaam was certainly brief.

There's a new raw juice bar set to open opposite Te Aro and Rubywatchco's new enterprise is now open.

Yup, sure is an active 'hood.

But can someone fill me in on Lola Bar?

Jameson's Restaurant
27 Wilson St W, Perth, ON K7H2M8, CA

Te Aro
983 Queen St E, Toronto, ON M4M1K2, CA

SUKHO THAI - what's going on?

Banana refers to someone Asian, probably Western born, who has the habits and customs of Caucasians. i.e. yellow on the outside, white on the inside.

Btw my lunch at Sukothai last week was as good as it's always been, with the service just fine considering it was full.

Sukothai Restaurant
3115 Winston Churchill Blvd, Mississauga, ON L5L2W1, CA

Musings on lunch in Leslieville

Just a quick post as in the title. I've worked in the area for well over 10 years and have been very happy with the changes to the Queen St E. food scene in recent years.

A friend and I were having lunch at Prohibition yesterday and we agreed it was definitely one of the best kitchens on the DVP-Coxwell strip. It was my 3rd time there in the last 2 months and the meals have always exceeded my expectations. Being a hot day, I opted for the Cobb Salad which may have been the best version I've ever had.

Perennial favourites and repeat sources of take away lunch (which I regularly provide for clients and co-workers) are Loic Gourmet, Lady Marmalade & Sushi Marche. While perhaps not top of list, I'm happy Queen Margherita is an option to Lil Baci. And Sophie's tortiere holds its own compared to Bonjour Brioche. It's been a long time since I've been to Ed Leveques and not in years to Hello Toast. And I shouldn't forget Hanoi 3 Seasons, yum! Too bad Table 17 is only open for dinner.

The biggest treat is Ed's; he can do no wrong.

And there's a coffee shop opening on the east side of Carlaw just north of Queen promising Viennese food.

Table 17
782 Queen St. East, Toronto, ON M4M 1H4, CA

Bonjour Brioche
812 Queen St E, Toronto, ON M4M, CA

Sushi Marche
1105 Queen St E, Toronto, ON M4M1K7, CA

Hanoi 3 Seasons
588 Gerrard St E, Toronto, ON M4M1Y3, CA

Loic Gourmet
722 Queen St E, Toronto, ON M4M, CA

Where to Find Heath Bars in Toronto (or suitable substitute)

Unless you get the real Heath bars from the specialty candy stores, Skor is the closest. I used to buy bulk Skor bars at Domino's at SLM, very reasonably priced. I don't know if they still carry them but worth a call if you need a lot. I used to make Ben & Jerry's Heath Bar crunch ice cream using Skor.

Ben & Jerry's
152 Jozo Weider Blvd, Collingwood, ON L9Y3Z2, CA

Local kitchen and wine bar

My wife and I had a date at Local last Saturday night; we had high expectations after reading a few very positive reviews. And while we enjoyed the warmth of the service and vibe of the room, I don't think we'll be back. We found the gnocchi had a nice mouthfeel but lacked enough oomph (flavour), ditto the salad with gorgonzola dressing. One of the specials that night was pasta with boar or was it a venison ragout, again pleasant but verging on a Bolognese sauce. The best item was the cured sardine, unfortunately it was so so small a serving, it was more fitting to be considered an amuse-gueule. A nice neighborhood spot rather than the destination visit for us.

Joy Bistro - Leslieville - not great

Working within a few blocks, I've had lunch and take away several dozen times over the years; several changes in chefs, none memorable. I stopped giving them my money 18 months ago and can't imagine going back. Maybe it's different at dinner time but doubt it if the owner's have such poor standards at lunch.

Café Florentin, Leslieville

Is now open at 948 Queen St E. almost opposite Mercury and same block as Ed's Real Scoop.

Currently selling pastries and pies baked at their main Beach location, with plans to offer Panini sandwiches shortly.

Ed's Real Scoop
2224 Queen St E, Toronto, ON M4E1E9, CA

Café Florentin
2010 Queen St E, Toronto, ON M4L, CA

Merchants of Green Coffee. Are they worth the shoe leather?

I agree GB has a very good selection of home roasters and grinders, they have an extremely limited offering of espresso machines. Besides the fairly well regarded Rancillo and Pasquini lines, they fail to carry even a single example of the classic and seldom improved upon Faema E61 grouphead design; a glaring omission IMHO.

Faema Cafe
3175 Rutherford Rd, Vaughan, ON , CA

Merchants of Green Coffee. Are they worth the shoe leather?

I'm assuming your interest is in green unroasted coffee beans. I've never found Merchants to be worth the trip even though I work about 4 blocks away; very limited selection. By default, most of my purchasing has been on line through Green Beanery, with additional sampling through Everyday Gourmet at SLM and Birds & Bees.

Of late, I've been dealing with the well known Sweet Maria's in the US; they offer unprecedented knowledge and breadth of careful selection. Even with the seemingly high cost of shipping, the landed price is no more than buying local. Highly recommended.

The Toronto area of Coffee Geek forums offers up additional information on home roasting and is worth exploring.

Green Beanery
565 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON M5S, CA

Toronto Life & James Chatto parting company

Toronto Star reports that long time Toronto Life food writer / editor, James Chatto's services will no longer be needed. Pity, his stories were often the best part of the magazine.

May 08, 2010
lightbulb in Food Media & News

ISO Berreta cheese

Thanks Full tummy, I had done a search but different spelling.

ISO Berreta cheese

My wife's been searching for this elusive cheese without success. She's been told there is a GTA producer; so local or Italian will do.

foie gras. where?

Cumbrae will cut to size, whatever you need to cook your own and their prepared house Torchon version is also highly recommended. As it sounds like you're a newbie to this decadence, you should try it with a sweet wine; a Sauternes is classic but ice wine is equally yummy.

Nowhere in Toronto is the availability of foie gras like Montreal. At the St Lawrence market, only Whitehouse Meats typically stocks the fresh lobe, whereas at the Atwater Market, almost every butcher shop (6-10) has it on hand.

I recently enjoyed the brioche french toast w/ the foie gras at Hoof; highly recommened.

481 Church St, Toronto, ON M4Y, CA

Puff Pastry

In the past, I've seen puff pastry for sale (maybe Rahier's) at All the Best; I've been buying it at Daniel et Daniel the last several years. Just ask at the counter and they'll go into the back and sell it to you by weight. The PC version is much better than Tenderflake but still short of the real thing.

1586 Bayview Ave, Toronto, ON M4G, CA

Daniel et Daniel
248 Carlton St, Toronto, ON M5A, CA

Riverside/Leslieville: groceries and farmers markets

In addition to the good suggestions above, I'd recommend Meating on Queen, a small family run shop with good quality meat and really outstanding home made sausages. I would shop at Meating before Rowe.

1160 Queen St. at Jones.

Black Hoof Cafe - Review with Pics

Paid a visit this past Thursday; arrived at 11:30, open tables. During our yummy meal, steady but never long lines.


Schefflers" at SLM carries guanciale from Niagara's Pingue.

Cumbrae's Steak at $7/lb!

Ahh beef cheeks! The first time I had them was at Crush; I knew I had try my hand at them with a small group of wine loving friends. Ordered them without problem at Cumbraes, they asked for 48 hours notice. They were beautifully trimmed and ready to use. I think they were about $6-7 lb. After a slow braise, the cheeks were enjoyed by all with great Gusto!

Best seafood restaurant in Toronto

My wife and I were pleasantly surprised by how good Zee Grill on Mt Pleasant was this past week. We had the diver scallops and pickerel between, both were done perfectly. Starfish is a great choice albeit a little on the expensive side for what you get.

Dinner in Leslieville....

A long time Leslieville resto is Edward Levesques' and there's also Hanoi 3 Seasons for not quite traditional Vietnamese.

And if you need a Sushi fix (take out only) be sure to try Sushi Marche.

Best place in GTA to buy Vanilla Beans?

I've had occasion to source vanilla beans for photo shoots recently and would suggest the following: St. Lawrence Market, which has several vendors, including Domino's and Schefflers, both of whom have several varieties. But even better was Provincial Fine Foods Cheese on Church (beside Cumbrae's), they had an excellent selection from an importer (whose name I don't remember) all of which were much plumper and perfect compared to than anything else available anywhere. Be forewarned, they were MUCH more than .99 each. I spent more than $100 in the various stores to have a good selection.