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Momofuko Milk Bar

I tried them last week. Really liked the crack pie, quite close to pecan pie (without nuts) but with flavour similar to condensed milk.

Tried all the cookies. Found them all to be very rich and sweet.

With all the baked goods being refrigerated, none of them are at their best coming directly out of the store. The cookie dough texture is very apparent and is not ideal with the cookies sweetness and richness.

I found the cookies all need to be reheated to be edible. Not even leaving them to get to room temperature improved them. My preferred method was 5 to 10 minutes in a low toaster oven on parchment paper. At that point, texture improved immensely and they got crispy/chewy.

Needing this kind of extra step might be a deal breaker for some, for me not so much. On the other hand, my better half makes a better compost cookie - Captain crunch, pretzels, potato chips and dark chocolate chunks and vegan to boot. I was so surprised when the official Milk Bar version came off lackluster in comparison.

Jul 30, 2013
Pantz in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Where's the best fried chicken in the GTA ?

I had it last week and really enjoyed it. The half chicken dinner is a little more expensive than Stockyards, but you get some interesting sides and a couple of pops (go Boylans for max value). It's easily a two person meal.

The Sides -

The cornbread comes in individual muffins. It was solid, but not of a style I like as it was very sweet. Very filling.

The cilantro crema sauce was very rich, but quite tasty.

The pickled jalapenos were good and would have worked nicely in the cornbread.

The coleslaw was beautifully fresh, zippy and tart with a touch of creaminess. I usually prefer no mayo in coleslaw, but this was stellar and was just the right counterpoint to all the rich food. A good amount as well. I finished it off two days later.

Best side though is the porchetta gravy. I could drink it by the tub. I'll be ordering extra next time.

The chicken was juicy, the coating nicely spiced and not greasy. Reheated the next day in a low toaster oven it didn't dry out and crisped nicely.

Basically, they could open a dedicated outlet for Fried Chicken tomorrow and it would probably outperform their original concept. I like to suggest a Parkdale location.

Jul 11, 2013
Pantz in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

hogtown charcuterie

I've pretty much enjoyed everything I've bought there. The various pickles are fermented, not vinegar based, which is a big plus for me. For those not fond of dill, the cucumber version has none.

Apr 08, 2013
Pantz in Ontario (inc. Toronto)


Agreed. Took my in-laws to dinner in February, had a great time.

They loved the whole meal, but said they could live on the onion soup and bread basket!

Had a nice starter of oysters.

The pot pie in regular and vegan form was well received.

My one minor disappointment was the desert, a semifreddo. Wasn't crazy about the texture and basically had just been hoping for their excellent bread pudding.

Mar 05, 2013
Pantz in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Kanji sushi parkdale

We've been several times now. Put off going for a while, despite living 2 minutes away, as we thought it gave off a lounge vibe when first opened. Let's be clear, I am not a lounge person and can be identified as such on sight.

Was pleasantly surprised on first visit and even more pleased with them on subsequent visits.

Fish has been quite fresh and up a notch in quality level compared to most places around town. Nothing transcendent, but all quite solid. I especially liked the fatty sea bream nigiri with a dot of ume that I had last time.

Rolls may be a little busy with aggressive sauces but have been well executed technically. Not too large or rice heavy, flavours balanced, construction solid. I agree with chocabot, they deep fry very well - if you order a roll with a fried element, it will be crispy, not greasy and the appropriate temperature. They do love their fried shallots!

They get extra points for having a decent vegan friendly sushi plate.

Finally, we were most impressed with the service. Three times we've had excellent service. It's come from different servers, so as far as I can tell, this is a priority for the restaurant. They've made it a point to time the dishes appropriately, keep our water filled, follow up with us throughout the meal to see how we were or to answer questions, make recommendations and in general be friendly and professional. Again, this was the opposite of my expectations of a resto/lounge establishment.

Overall, I think they elevate them selves in d├ęcor and service, with a solid kitchen to back them up. I would qualify this as saying we've gone early evening each visit. I can't comment on how they operate later in the evening.

Nov 14, 2012
Pantz in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Peaty Scotch for my dad's birthday

I'm going to give them credit for the Black Bull 12 Year Old they are currently stocking! But, yes, I'm constantly amazed at what the LCBO doesn't choose to list.

The nice thing about this time of year is that they bring in a lot of interesting items for the holiday season.

Oct 19, 2012
Pantz in Spirits

Peaty Scotch for my dad's birthday

I agree on the Ardbeg 10 year old. It's one of the greats and should be tried by anyone who likes Islay single malts.

The LCBO is stocking a few interesting Bowmore bottlings with various finishes that look promising. This one - Bowmore Laimrig 15 Years Old - appears to be a single malt aimed at bourbon drinkers.

The original 10 year old Laphroaig is kicking around town again. I prefer it to the Quarter Cask, which mutes that classic iodine, peaty profile.

Oct 19, 2012
Pantz in Spirits

Nu Bagels - Wood Fired bagels coming to Kensington Market

Perhaps we are the dawn of a new era of Toronto style bagels? Let's hope so. The wood fired oven is encouraging, the stock photo on their web site, not so much.

Oct 05, 2012
Pantz in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Thanksgiving Bird

In the past, I've ordered from Cumbrae's, Healthy Butcher and just dropped by St. Lawrence and grabbed whatever looked decent. For the most part, they've all been quality birds.

This year, I'm trying something new and ordering from the West End Food Coop (grand opening this Saturday, Oct 6th!) in Parkdale. They get their birds from Weber Farms, a small producer from Paisley. I think they sell at some Farmer's Markets around town. They practice pasture farming of their live stock, so I'm interested to see what impact it has on flavour. Price was $4.95 a pound, which is about what I would pay at Healthy Butcher and is also my limit on what I'm willing to pay for a bird.

That said, I think any utility bird will taste better if it's just cooked properly. As many have noted, a good brine will elevate most supermarket birds. I've kind of gone off brining over the last couple of years because it does occasionally affect texture. Since I don't care about presenting the bird for carving, I deal with the eternal dilemma of uneven cooking of breast vs. thighs by breaking the bird down.

I remove the legs, keep the breast section in one piece and take the back off. The back I roast and then make stock with the day before. Roasting the day off, the breast being larger than the legs, they cook about the same rate. I've done this Thanksgiving and Christmas for two years and it works like a charm, with the added benefit of decreasing the cooking time.

Oct 03, 2012
Pantz in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Caplansky's- the emperor has NO clothes

Was at Caplansky's for the first time in ages (might have been a year) just before TIFF. Tried the smoked meat to see how it was going. Last time I remember it being a little too salty, like it was over cured, aggressively spiced and maybe a bit dry - i ordered medium fatty.

This recent sandwich was a huge improvement and was closest to the home runs I had at the Monarch. Perfectly sliced, beautifully tender, rich and moist. A good spice level was there and a decent smoke level, though still not as much as I'd prefer.

I have no idea if this is standard fare these days or if this is the same product that's selling on the trucks, but it made me want to go back and check in on a more regular basis.

Sep 20, 2012
Pantz in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Banh Mi Boys

I believe the orange slices are pickled daikon in the Japanese style. My guess is they don't make these themselves because of that colouring - they look and taste like ones you get in Sushi joints around town or down the street at Sanko. That said, they go perfectly with the pork belly.

We're big fans of this place at my house, especially as this is one of the few places around town that serve vegan friendly food as well as crazy awesome meaty goodness.

My one beef with them is that it's difficult to find room to try all the options. I've figured out a good way to take a banh mi home and eat later -

When you get home, dissemble the sandwich, taking all the salad components out and store in a container in fridge.

Keep the meat in the bun and wrap in tinfoil.

When you want to eat it (within 24 hours), throw bun in oven to reheat gently

The bun should crisp up again and the interior be warm

Add the salad back and you have the contrasting textures and flavours almost as good as when fresh. This method works best with the less messy sandwiches, like the pork belly, as opposed to the beef cheeks or pulled pork, which can be a little mushy due to sauce soaking into bread.

Sep 20, 2012
Pantz in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Top Chef Masters "You May Now Feed The Bride" (8/1/12) [*SPOILERS*]

The sad story of the couple involved a sudden death (the maid of honour) as well as the shady caterer. They contacted their local news station hoping to get some help with the caterer, someone from the Magical Elves saw the item and contacted them.

The bride actually posted several times (appears to be legit) over on the A.V. Club review (see the TV Club section). There's some interesting perspective on her reactions versus the editing, but on the whole, there appears to be less reality show manipulation of events then you would think

Aug 05, 2012
Pantz in Food Media & News

St. Lawrence Market in yet another top 10 listing!

The appearance in the list is not so much a tribute to SLM as it is the power of google search and CNN's minimal effort in getting some light content onto their site.

To give CNN some credit, the article is actually titled "10 of the world's best fresh markets".

I don't see any claim that they are "THE" 10 best fresh markets in the world.

There is no explanation of ranking or criteria, so really, this is just an arbitrary list of markets currently found on planet earth.

No hatin' on SLM. It's a market with much to enjoy and recommend, though I will say I enjoy Kensington more these days.

Jul 27, 2012
Pantz in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Burgers Priest to open West End Location


Jul 23, 2012
Pantz in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

GTA Gelato Wars 2012

I seem to recall a mint chocolate/chip before, but never a plain one. I'll ask next time I'm in.

Jul 20, 2012
Pantz in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

GTA Gelato Wars 2012

Boreal is five minutes from my house, so I am one of those lucky people who have a neighbourhood gelateria. This may make me a little more forgiving of a disappointing experience than some, because it's easy for me to just pop by and try them again.

I don't approach Boreal like a shop representing a century of Italian tradition so much as a new business akin to all the indie coffee shops of the last ten years. The owner has solid culinary background, probably loved making gelato and is learning and improving all the time.

I can vouch that they have improved over the last year and are experimenting with flavours. I have had the occasional texture challenged batch or underwhelming flavour, but on the whole they put out a quality product.

Faves I would recommend would include the Lemon Olive Oil Sorbet, Salted Caramel, Rosemary Shortbread, Coconut.

Recently, I think they hit it out of the park with their Mojito - tons of lime flavour with real mint. I was especially happy about amount of zest that seemed to be included. Very refreshing during this recent heat.

I can also second the Root Beer. It tasted closer to a Boylan's than an A&W.

Jul 19, 2012
Pantz in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Vegan Tasting Menu?

Had a great experience at Woodlot where a mixed crowd of eaters all came away happy and especially pleased with the service.

For the vegan, the chef recommended additions to certain dishes instead of just omitting the dairy elements. The staff were knowledgeable - for example, confirming if she ate honey. The served a vegan desert sampler at the end that was really appreciated for variety.

Just send them an email with any questions, they'll respond quickly.

Jun 04, 2012
Pantz in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

New PC Insider's Report

Tried the hot dog pretzel buns, quite liked them. I found warming the whole bun in a toaster oven (or BBQ if outside) was more effective than sawing in half and toasting both interior and exterior of bun. The exterior gets nice and crisp, the interior stays soft and doesn't dry out as much.

Pro - nice and crispy exterior, doughy goodness
Con - has a tendency to split and fall apart, maybe too firm?

I think they work well for sausages (tried it with several different types from Healthy Butcher). I think they may detract from a burger experience where a crispy exterior on the bun may interfere with texture. I'll still give it a try. I would also give them a try with other fillings, they might actually be more interesting with a good smoked meat?

May 27, 2012
Pantz in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

In search of Lyle's Golden Syrup

It's a thick syrup from England, very distinctive flavour and basically the greatest thing ever. It can be used in any recipe that would call for corn syrup or honey. I grew up eating it on toast, often while watching Rocket Robin Hood - the most poorly animated show of all time.

Check out their site for details

and "the wiki" of course -

Apr 13, 2012
Pantz in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

In search of Lyle's Golden Syrup

Price Chopper on Gladstone has it for those jonesing in Parkdale. Panicky hoarders can now relax and make that treacle tart you've been dreaming of.

Mar 28, 2012
Pantz in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Where to buy great Andouille & Chorizo Sausage in Toronto?

Sausage Partners at Queen St. E. and Greenwood makes a good Louisiana style Andouille. Texture is a finer grind then they do it down south, but they have a lot of good smoke flavour (hickory?) and spice. Made red beans and rice on Monday and they really made the difference.

Feb 21, 2012
Pantz in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Worst in Toronto

Thread age is showing! Victoria Restaurant is closed - space is reno'd and I believe it's a retail outlet for orthopedic shoes? Never went in but it was always fascinating to watch while waiting for streetcar at the stop on Queen.

Dec 23, 2011
Pantz in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Chicken Wing Prices - RIDICULOUS!!!

At certain point in the last couple of years, due to production levels, didn't wings become more expensive then chicken breast? Or at least it became more cost effective to cut up a chicken breast into 3 or 4 pieces, bread and fry them and then sell them as "Boneless Wings"?

Nov 02, 2011
Pantz in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Now available: Chicago-style deep dish pizza - downtown Toronto

How are you reheating the pizza? If you heat your oven up to the 400/450 F. zone (convection oven works best) and have a pizza stone or even a cookie sheet heating in the oven, you get pretty good results. Especially if you like a crispy crust. Also helps if your pizza is undercooked a little to begin with.

Oct 26, 2011
Pantz in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Mezcal in Ontario?

Highly recommend the TLACUACHE MEZCALE JOVEN - ORGANICO. I would pick this up before most of the listed blancos at the LCBO. I've seen it discounted $5 in some stores, so that's an added bonus.
Very refined spirit, with smokiness balanced by fruit, vegetable and pepper notes. Nice clean finish. Drink it straight, it's worth spending some time with.
And not that it matters, but it's a nice bottle!

Aug 02, 2011
Pantz in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

LCBO - cheapo scotch

We definitely seem to be out of the realm of cheapo scotch, especially when we start talking about single malts and bourbons.

Perhaps the thread should be renamed to 'best value whiskies for your flask'?

In that respect, I like that sweet spot of the 30 to 40 dollar range - where you often get big flavours for a good price.

Here are my current faves -

Rittenhouse Straight Rye Whisky 100 Bond- $34.95 - This is new, the only American rye in general listings and definitely a live one at 100 proof. Highly recommended.

I prefer Sazerac 6 Year Old Straight Rye - $44.95, 90 proof - even more, but there appears to be one bottle left in Ontario - up in Thunder Bay.

On a side note, I think it's a shame that no one in Canada is making ryes in the more rough and tumble American style. I love Alberta Premium, but the last time I tasted something really adventurous from a Canadian distiller was Lot 40 Pot Still, a whisky not available for a while now.

Buffalo Trace Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey - $39.95 (90 proof - has a nice touch of of rye in it's blend to add some spice, has been creeping up in price while oddly Maker's Mark is actually decreasing in price, from $45 to current $37.95 )

Jim Beam Black Kentucky Bourbon Aged 8 Years - $28.95 ( I love the whole Beam family of bourbons, but this is the value loaded one of the bunch, bottle at 86 proof)

The Black Grouse Scotch Whisky - - $33.70 (86 proof a - fair amount of Islay in the blend, so peaty/smokey/briney with some nice sweat notes - a great value blend).

Apr 26, 2011
Pantz in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Topless Muffins should be illegal! Please help!

Capital Espresso in Parkdale make some of the most awesome old school muffins in town. They are indeed about half muffin, half muffin top. The tops are always crunchy and the edges are where it all comes together - like a cookie and a cake hooked up and said 'let's see if we can make something beautiful together'. To gild the lily, they often add a simple icing sugar glaze to the top.

They achieve this increasingly rare muffintopness because they bake them in-house, so no travelling time and no opportunity to get soft. Sometimes when you get there at the right time in the morning, they are STILL WARM. That's an omen that your day will be good and all is right with the world.

Word is out in the nabe, so show up early or you are unlikely to score one. Sometimes I'm not even hungry but I get one because I know it will reheat nicely in the toaster oven the next day.

Fave flavours - carrot coconut (golden cake like muffin, shreds of carrot throughout, sweet, crispy glaze with coconut on top)
- zucchini walnut chocolate chip (pretty much like what it sounds -shredded zucchini, walnuts are killer and it's worth a reheat to get the melting chocolate.)

As a side note, I rate them highly for consistant, well executed espresso.

Apr 20, 2011
Pantz in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

New BBQ joint coming to Roncesvalles.

Stockyards sure isn't just around the corner from 299 Roncy or I'd go there a heck of lot more!

With this place opening, there is a good possibility of a west end BBQ Triangle now - Stockyards, Barque and Drake BBQ.

Hope they get it right. Or hey, maybe you could open up a spot in Parkdale?

Apr 15, 2011
Pantz in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Thor Espresso Bar - anyone been?

I went last week and was impressed.

The Slayer machine is beautiful, with a lot of solid, tooled metal and beautiful wood.

For the straight espresso drinkers out there, the shot was complex and layered. Bright acidity at the beginning, some red wine like notes and then cocoa and buttered toast on the finish.

Most espresso in the city tends to be a little one note, but this was quite the ride.

I also had a cappucino and it was executed with panache. Velvety textured foam, creamy milk with a nicely integrated coffee/chocolate flavour. No sugar required, the milk wasn't overheated and was quite sweet.

This was based on one visit, so we'll see how consistant they are in the future, but I can say I would rate them highly on the CGFS (Coffee Geek Fervour Scale).

Dec 06, 2010
Pantz in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Live Bait New Restaurant?

Last night I got a close look at the liquor license application. It's for Sushi Kanji.

Nov 30, 2010
Pantz in Ontario (inc. Toronto)