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Paese - is it good?

A few days ago, my wife and I had dinner at the Bathurst Street location of Paese. This has always seemed to be an odd location for it, since a large number of the residents in the neighbourhood are Orthodox Jews, prohibited by their dietary laws from eating there.
No sooner were we seated that we discovered that there was a group of eleven people being placed right next to us. Evidently they thought that the size of their party made it unnecessary for them to have any regard for the people nearby; anyway, they seemed incapable of communicating with each other without screaming. Fortunately, our server was able to move us to another table.

We began by sharing an appetizer of two large meatballs. Delicious – they should really serve them with pasta, for that Italo-Canadian-American specialty, spaghetti with meatballs.
For my main course, I had the liver, which was superb – tender, and without the gristle often found in this dish.

For dessert, we shared the tiramisu, which was large enough for two, and expensive enough, as well.I really appreciate Paese’s practice of allowing you to bring your own wine, not even charging you for doing so. We had bought a bottle of superior Valpolicella at the LCBO, and drank this, a welcome change from the Montepulciano and Makadonikos I am usually having as house wine. Not to disparage either of these, they are excellent, in my opinion, especially for the price. Nonetheless, it is good to have something a bit better.

May 25, 2012
ekammin in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Two cheers

We had dinner there last night. The appetizers were huge, and good - a big plate of several dozen olives, and "c igars" - a type oof Moriccan spring roll in a spicy sauce. Delicious!

My wife's main course was supposed, according to the restaurant's website, to consist of a piece of chicken, a lamb chop and some merguez sausages. What she got was the chicken, two merguez, but no lamb chop. When she mentioned this to the waiter, he did bring hera well-cooked, if small, lamb chop.

My main course was a rather scrawny lamb shank; I can get bigger ones, from New Zealand, in the frozen food section of my local supermarket. This was surrounded by loads of coucous, in a tasty sauce.

Halfway through the meal, it was show time. Some red lights went on, and the music, until then a pleasant backdrop, was turned up to a deafening commotion. There was no show, though, just one belly dancer who was not cvery good, mainly shaking her arms instead of her belly.

At the end of the meal, we got Moroccan pastries - very nice - some Moroccan tea, and glasses of arak. I didn't have mine, though, since I then had to drive back to Scarborough,

Oct 12, 2011
ekammin in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Salmiakki

Where do you live? Here in Toronto we have several shops run by Finns and featuring a variety of Finnish imports. I'm no great fan of licorice but if I were, I'd try one of them.

Oct 19, 2009
ekammin in General Topics

Most Overrated Dishes

Any sausage (Italian, bangers, farmer's bratwurst, etc.) that has any form of poultry listed as one of the ingredients. The only meat in a sausage should be beef, pork, lamb or veal.

Oct 19, 2009
ekammin in General Topics

Foods you refuse to eat as leftovers?

Reheated Chnese food.
A chicken sandwich with bits of bone, gristle and skin.

On the other hand cha siu. I grind it up in a food processor, and use it in Ma-po tofu.

Oct 19, 2009
ekammin in General Topics

Trip to Buffalo N.Y. what grocery items would you bring back? (moved from Ontario board)

Cottage cheese, both Bison or Hood's chive cheese, or just plain Bison. The American stuff, I have to say, is so much superior - firm and tangy, while Canadian cottage cheese is usually little white clumps in a white, watery goo.

Oct 18, 2009
ekammin in General Topics

Do you travel internationally and, if you do, do you eat street food?

Some of it looks tempting, and might be worthwhile as log as you have -
1. A hotel room with a private bath
2. Pleanty of toilet paper, and
3. Three or four days with nothing to do.

Oct 18, 2009
ekammin in Not About Food

Pho- is it .. good for you??

It always seemed like a well-balanced meal to me - starch (noodles) protein (beef) soup, veggies (bean sprouts, etc.). Remarkably so, considering the low price - it doesn't cost much less to have a chain greaseburger on a bun.

Can I comment that, after all, the Vietnamese ate it all duirng the war, which was, at least as far as they were concerned, a vast success?

Oct 18, 2009
ekammin in General Topics

How to pronounce Phillipe's

The apostrophe s ending does not belong in either German of French.

Oct 18, 2009
ekammin in Not About Food

The city with the most restaurants per capita population?

Not Dallas itself, but one of its suburbs, Irving, I think.

It;s really something to see, one restaurant after another. However, many of them are chains of questionable quality.

Oct 18, 2009
ekammin in Not About Food

Totally Disgusted at Supermarket--Am I too Finicky?

Reminds me of the anecdote about the grocer who suggests to a customer "How about some pickled tongue?"

The customer answered "Oh, I could never eat anything that had been in an animal's mouth. I'll just take a dozen eggs.".

Oct 18, 2009
ekammin in Not About Food

What's your most disappointing dining experience?

Too bad - the food was okay.

But right in them middle of the meal, theye shutthe lights off, evidently inresponse to a request by a nearby film crew. Not dim - off, leaving us to struggle with our dinnners by touch.

I wrote to the manager the enxt day, expecting at least an apology. No response - nothig. Never again!

Oct 18, 2009
ekammin in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Family foods I thought was normal

Alkapal's cucumbers in vinegar is, with just a dash of sugar and salt, a normal Hungarian cucumber salad.

Since my grandparents came from Transylvania, we often had "mamaliga" cornmeal mush usually with Brindza or some other hard white cheese.

But, I think the prize went to a lady friend of mine in Paris. Her mother (from Poland)would set out cups of milk on the windowsill to coagulate. The result wasn;t yoghurt, but just stinky, coagulated milk. They both loved it, and couldn't understand why i often seemed hesitant.

Oct 18, 2009
ekammin in General Topics

Iberian sausage

I have several Spanish recipes that call for chorizo. This seems hard to find, except in stores that specialize in Spanish or Latin foods.

However, I find many stores sell a sausage made by a company specializing in Portuguese foods, labeled "CHOURIÇO". Can anyone tell what the difference is between this and chorizo, if any?

Oct 18, 2009
ekammin in General Topics

Peter's Chun King

Yes, we went to College and Spadina this evening to go to Peter's but found a sushi place there instead.

Too bad. Not that Toronto doesn't have other good Chinese restaurants, but I have never had dumplings like Peter's, anywhere. Maybe, wherever he is, he can make them available, frozen, at supermarkets.

Sep 06, 2009
ekammin in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Best hot and sour soup in Toronto?

I've always enjoyed the hot and sour soup at the China Hut at Kennedy and Ellesmere. Maybe not better than every single place in Chinatown, but still good.

Aug 04, 2009
ekammin in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Dolores Brick Chili Con Carne Recipe [moved from General Topics]

Nu, what;s not kosher about chili? The beef can be kosher, no need for pork, no dairy products in any chili I've ever eaten, etc.

Aug 04, 2009
ekammin in Home Cooking

Foodstuffs with unfortunate names

Somehow, the Italians, with their polenta, ended up liking basically the same thing.

Aug 04, 2009
ekammin in Not About Food

Foodstuffs with unfortunate names

It's basically cornmeal, which my grandmother would boil in an iron pot with water. She would serve slices (cut with a string) covered with brindza cheese, although many other cheeses would do, (Kashkaval for example, even feta). There are plenty of other ways to eat it as well.

Romanians got to like the stuff when the Ottoman Empire ruled Romania. They stole most of the peasants' grain, leaving just the corn, which the Ottomans considered fit only for pigs.

Aug 03, 2009
ekammin in Not About Food

Pollo Pepsi

I had an excellent dish in Mexico called Pollo Pepsi - chicken with a can of Pepsi-Cola added during preparation. (No, I've never heard it called "Pollo Coca", "Pollo Diet Coke", etc. ). Has anyone a recipe?

Aug 03, 2009
ekammin in Home Cooking

Foodstuffs with unfortunate names

grieven - in Jewish cuisine, the solid scraps left after chicken fat is rendered. Sounds like your feelings when indigestion sets in.

Aug 03, 2009
ekammin in Not About Food

Foodstuffs with unfortunate names

meatn3's nomiation of scrod reminds me of a joke.

A man gets into a cab at Logan airport in Boston. He says to the driver "So this is Boston. Tell me, where can I get scrod?"

The driver says "I've beeen asked that a hundred times. But never before in the subjunctive"

Aug 03, 2009
ekammin in Not About Food

The sad truth about "fresh" orange juice

The best orange juice I ever had was from a stand in Safed, Israel, squeezed in front of me from Jaffa oranges.

Aug 03, 2009
ekammin in General Topics

Gong Bao Jiding [split from SF]

Chez moi, we call this Kung-Pao Chicken, that I make frequently. No peanuts, just cashews browned with the chicken.Our daughter's first husband made it with plenty of peanuts tossed in. But she divorced him.

Aug 02, 2009
ekammin in General Topics

Foodstuffs with unfortunate names

Mamaliga. Sounds like an insult about your mother. But it's great (if your background is Romanian, that is).

Aug 02, 2009
ekammin in Not About Food

Frida's - A Mexican Lover's Review

Is the "Mexican mint" Sadistick mentions epazote, by any chance?-

Aug 02, 2009
ekammin in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Why do some Mexican restaurants have whole beans and others refried?

You're talking about two separate dishes. The whole beans are frijoles de olla (pot beans) The mashed beans are frijoles refritos. The re- prefix, BTW does not mean that the beans have been fried twice - it is an intensifier ("well fried beans"). Both are, IMHO, delicious.

Jul 24, 2009
ekammin in General Topics

What are you a stubborn purist about?

U agree with madkitty, etc. about milk and butter. Margarine was, when first developed, declared to be unfit for human consumption. From whatI have asted, it stilli s.

Killoman - I disagree. Yamase is an excelllent Japanese brand, and there are very good Korean ones, too, If you look at the label,Yamase is made in Japan, while all the Kikkpmn I've seen recently was made in the U.S., hardly a hotbed of Japanese culture.

Jul 11, 2009
ekammin in General Topics

Cheese fondue--anyone tried Beer Bistro's or Carin's recently?

Ihave yet to have a really authentic-tasting Fondue neuchateloise in a restaurant, simply because theproprietors cheap outt on one or more off the main ingredients, which hould be Swiss, and thus, expensive. These are -

Te cheese - should be Swiss gruyere (althouigh French is also good0 NOT Emmenthaler r so-called "Swiss" cheese.

The wine - should be a Swiss white, Neuchatel or Fendant, not the leftover Chardonnay from someone's poached salmon, amd

The brnady, Kirschwasser from Switzerland, orr thereabout, Austria or France, for example.

Note that I am less fussy about the origin of some ofthe lessser ingredients - the nutmeg or pepper can be from anywhere.

Jul 11, 2009
ekammin in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

ISO mexican ingredients

There's a Latin store (I forget its name - somethingorother Latino) in a shopping plaza on the northwest corner for Hurontario and Dundas, in Mississauga. Nothing to make the stall owners in the main tienda of Mexico City loose any sleep, but still, a good source for tortillas, botlled and canned goods, etc.

Jul 07, 2009
ekammin in Ontario (inc. Toronto)