SherylKirby's Profile

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One Table!

Very much impressed, as I too was expecting crazy crowds and bad food, and was delightfully wrong. Would have liked to have seen more vegetarian options, and beer/wine available. I've got photos on my blog, but ya'll will have to search for that, as I'm sure if I post the URL the evil CHOW overlords will delete my comment.

Jun 14, 2008
SherylKirby in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

The Drake, Gladstone, Beaconsfield -- best food?

How long ago was this? For along time they were running a separate pub menu in the Melody lounge, but for the past year or so, maybe longer, it's been Marc Breton's menu, as shown in the link I included. The CSA is giving them lots of asparagus right now, so over the past few weeks, there's been asparagus specials on the menu.

And your review of the fries definitely doesn't jive with what they're serving now in the cafe.

Jun 12, 2008
SherylKirby in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

The Drake, Gladstone, Beaconsfield -- best food?

Uhhh... the Gladstone actually has a quite impressive menu that changes at least monthly. A lot of the specials are seasonal, and right now are based on the CSA boxes they get each week, and the rest of the menu ranges from Chef Breton's Quebecois-inspired fare to classics like roast chicken. There is pub fare like burgers and fish and chips, but I've never had a frozen French fry there.

TorontoJo - menus here: http://www.gladstonehotel.com/cafe.html

Jun 12, 2008
SherylKirby in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

City Hall Farmer's Market-first day of the season

No, it's way slow until July. I'd say about half of the regular vendors were there yesterday. Lots of strawberries, rhubarb, and asparagus. Also lettuce and greens, greenhouse tomatoes, mushrooms.

New this year are St. John's bakery and Gurth Pretty's cheese stall. Would still love to see someone with eggs.

Jun 12, 2008
SherylKirby in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Bento Boxes & Accessories

Also Tap Phong on Spadina, and Little Tokyo in Kensington Market on Augusta - both have a selection of Japanese dishes and tableware.

Jun 10, 2008
SherylKirby in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Vegetarian Burgers

We don't get Quorn products in Canada, something many vegetarians lament.

Jun 02, 2008
SherylKirby in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

New street food?

Nothing yet and not for a while... blame the micro managers at City Hall...

"The excitement fizzled when the promise of new street foods fell into a bureaucratic labyrinth at City Hall. There will be no multicultural foods on our streets this summer. Councillor John Filion, champion of beyond-sausage snacking, insisted certain conditions be met before a fleet of carts offering culinary adventures roll out. City staffers have yet to submit a plan meeting his requirements."

http://www.nationalpost.com/todays_pa...

May 16, 2008
SherylKirby in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

ISO: Maple butter

There were some folks selling maple products at the Liberty Farmer's Market last year. I know they have maple butter - I bought some from them. Not sure if they'll be back this year, but the Liberty market starts in a couple of weeks.

May 16, 2008
SherylKirby in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Where to find Creme de Marrons in GTA?

The Cheese Boutique has it.

May 12, 2008
SherylKirby in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Organic Meat Prices, what's normal?

Actually... "organic" isn't really a loose marketing term. Although Canada won't have official regulations in place until December, many places who use the term meet the qualifications of the California certification that is the standard in the US.

This piece from The Star has a list of the regulations for various products. Organic chicken has mandatory outdoor access (free-range), but you can still have caged chickens receiving organic feed. That's going to create a price disparity.

http://www.thestar.com/article/418819

May 10, 2008
SherylKirby in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Organic Meat Prices, what's normal?

Is the stuff at Vince Gaspari also organic - or just free-range?

I have some issues with Rowe - the language used in their marketing info is a little too vague for my liking. "Natural" means nothing these days. Rowe uses "organic feed" but isn't organically raised - ie. free-range.

May 10, 2008
SherylKirby in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Organic Meat Prices, what's normal?

Organic meat prices are what drove me to go vegetarian way back when. Based on the amount of organic meat we could afford it was just easier to go veg. We've started eating a bit more meat lately, and the little meat we cook at home is organic. I've got a $25 chicken sitting in my fridge to be cooked for dinner tonight. At $5.99/pound, the final total was a bit breath-taking. I don't know if that price is typical or not - we got this one at St. Lawrence Market, one of the poultry vendors in the south building.

May 09, 2008
SherylKirby in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Mitzi's Pancake

For those complaining about the place always being packed - it should be noted that on weekends, the pancake is also available at Mitzi's Sister, on Queen, just east or Sorauren. Generally the toppings are the same as at the smaller cafe. Better chance of getting a table here, plus those who enjoy the breakfast of champions can enjoy an oatmeal stout with the oatmeal pancake, for a long-lasting stick-to-yer-ribs meal.

May 08, 2008
SherylKirby in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Where to buy carbon steel wok in GTA?

Dunno about the north part of town but I have a great one I got at Tap Phong on Spadina Avenue for something silly like $15. It took some work to get it seasoned, but it's on the list of things I'd save in a fire after the dogs, the laptop and the Tim Curry-autographed Rocky Horror album.

Apr 27, 2008
SherylKirby in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Freshest Oysters!

I know what you're asking and took your original post to mean other places that also served freshly shucked. My point of contention is the qualifier of "fresher" or "freshest".

Raw oysters shucked to order cannot be qualified as other types of fish that are killed and then shipped and may be days old, frozen, etc. If they're alive when the shucking knife goes in, they're just as fresh at Mandarin as they are at Starfish. And quite likely came from the same place.

Now if you're insinuating that some restaurants may serve oysters that have left this life and have moved on to oyster heaven but are still sitting on ice and are being served, that's another story. But seriously - I can't really believe that any reputable Toronto restaurant that prides themselves on their oyster selection would be foolish enough to serve duds.

Quality may vary from one place to another based on the the origin of the oysters and individual tastes, but there is no such thing as "fresher" when it comes to raw oysters. They're either alive when you eat them or they're garbage.

Apr 25, 2008
SherylKirby in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Freshest Oysters!

Can someone explain what you mean in terms of "freshest" as referring to oysters? If they're served live, as raw oysters traditionally are, then the term "fresh" doesn't really apply. It's still alive when you swallow it - it can't actually be any *more* fresh.

The difference in taste, texture, etc is dependant on a number of factors including source location and time of year, but given that most places that serve oysters in Toronto get them from one or two importers, I can't see how there'd be a difference in quality from restaurant to restaurant if they're served raw and shucked to order. Certainly not "freshness". Or am I missing something?

Apr 24, 2008
SherylKirby in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Where to buy injera and why?

It's possible. I only buy it in my own neighbourhood and all the places here (pretty much every corner store) carries the same brand. It's the only one I've ever seen any place I've looked.

Apr 19, 2008
SherylKirby in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Where to buy injera and why?

Pretty much all the injera sold in the city, including the stuff you get at Ethiopian restaurants, comes from the same place.

The darker bread is made from teff, and is more traditional. The white ones were made using mostly white flour. I'm not sure why they bother making white ones, except that teff is quite expensive here and the white version is more palatable to non-Ethiopians. In terms of eating, the teff version tastes much better and is easier on the stomach. Ever have the bloated feeling after eating Ethiopian food? It's probably because of the wheat flour (white) injera.

In areas where there are large Ethiopian populations (ie. Parkdale, Bloor & Ossington), I'm pretty sure the injera is delivered every day. There always seems to be a fresh stack where I buy mine.

Apr 18, 2008
SherylKirby in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Source for unroasted/green coffee beans downtown?

Besides the places everyone else has suggested - if you're in Parkdale, the Hasty Market at King & Dufferin carries green Ethiopian beans.

If you're serious about home roasting - a popcorn popper won't really do the trick. They generally make for an uneven roast. And as for that smell, roast your beans near an exhaust fan - some of them smoke - a lot - and the fresh roasted smell is only good if it doesn't set off the smoke alarm.

Apr 16, 2008
SherylKirby in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Toronto Chocolate Nut Brownie

I don't remember if the Hazelnut Brownie Sundae at C'est What actually has nuts in the brownie, but it meets your other requirements and is darned good.

Apr 16, 2008
SherylKirby in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Farmers' Market in Roncey?

Not sure of the start-up date, but it will be happening, probably late May/early June. I spoke with the guy running it at the Slow Food CSA event a couple of weeks ago.

Apr 15, 2008
SherylKirby in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

The Dizzy Gastro Sports Pub

It can be hit or miss. We were there for lunch once and the food was spectacular - but we were the only people in the place other than some guy we think was Leafs coach Paul Maurice at the bar. A second visit on a Sunday afternoon during a basketball game and a almost full house offered up some really mediocre food.

Apr 15, 2008
SherylKirby in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

A Taste For Life charity event supporting Fife House Wed, April 16

Yeah...
The Queen Mother absolutely refuses to take reservations - so anyone going there should be prepared. Mtzi's Sister didn't seem to have a volunteer on site the year we went there, all the places around Church & Wellesley get insanely packed.

The number of participating restaurants is limited to the number of volunteers available, so if you want to see more places on the list for next year, contact Fife house and sign up as a volunteer.

Apr 09, 2008
SherylKirby in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Toronto.com Best 10 New Restaurants 2007

Am I missing something? That article was from Nov 28th, 2007.

Apr 04, 2008
SherylKirby in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Ethiopian Food - Recommendations Please

I've been to Sheba on College. Food was okay - not the best I've had. Service however was pretty much non-existent - it took an hour for our food to arrive - we were at the point of getting up and walking out. We had ordered coffee as well, which the server ended up comping us to make up for the wait.

Apr 04, 2008
SherylKirby in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Green Gastronomy at C5

Greg (hubby) and I are planning on attending the Sunday session this weekend. The Friday events are a bit out of our price range, but the Sunday events appear to be priced more for our budget.

Apr 04, 2008
SherylKirby in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Boca meatless chili?

Never had it, but if you can't find it, maybe try the stuff from Lick's. Their meatless stuff is pretty great.

Apr 04, 2008
SherylKirby in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

What foods would you buy organic?

"As for other farmer markets, people have got to avoid those places which sell bananas, oranges, and outofseason veggies and fruits."

:( At this time of year, Dufferin Grove has vendors selling imported *organic* produce. Or else I've missed all those local pineapple and kiwi farms.

I think we have to be reasonable in terms of what we expect people to give up. If someone is going to eat a pineapple, I'd rather see them buy an organic, imported pineapple than a conventional one.

Apr 02, 2008
SherylKirby in General Topics

ISO coconut cream (ie Coco Lopez)

I'm pretty sure my local Price Chopper has it (Gladstone & Queen). Or perhaps the No Frills in Dufferin Mall with the big huge international aisle.

Apr 01, 2008
SherylKirby in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Toronto Sweet Shops

The selection in store is fairly small. You can check out the website...
http://www.delightchocolate.ca/variet...

She does a lot of florals and spicy centres that are really interesting. Maybe call ahead and see what she has in stock the day you're planning on going by.

Mar 26, 2008
SherylKirby in Ontario (inc. Toronto)