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Chatty Cathy's Profile

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Grape Ice cream?

Try Greg's Ice Cream on Spadina. I believe they had grape ice cream there last summer.

2015 RESTAURANT Closings in Toronto? To June 30...

Word is out that Hillside Cafe, at Mt. Pleasant and Manor Rd, is set to close because the owners are planning to retire. Get your favourite Estonian and Finnish baked goods while you can.

ISO skinny pop

I've bought it at Healthy Planet at Eglinton Town Centre and I believe Freshco also carries it.

It is also on special this week, 2 for $5 at Metro until June 3. As I'm not a member of Costco, I wouldn't know how that compares to their price.

White M&Ms in GTA?

A Finnish brand called Fazer makes a candy called Avec which is just like Smarties but comes in white, pastel pink, and pastel green, and tastes minty. Unfortunately, it only comes in 150 g bags, mixed in colour. I've seen it sold at Hillside Bakery but I believe they are closed until after New Year's. Possibly Viking importers on Railside might have some?

Too bad it's too late for you to order some M&Ms online. I know that white M&Ms are available in M&M World retail stores in the U.S. (NYC, Orlando, Las Vegas) but I don't know if they would be willing to ship you some?

ISO Danish Caterer

How about Hillside Cafe on Mt. Pleasant south of Eglinton? Granted they are Estonian/Finnish but are especially known for their sandwiches for the lunchtime crowd. They also carry a lot of yummy Scandinavian items; I particularly enjoy their smoked salmon. Drop by at lunch and try one of their sandwiches. If you describe what you want for your party I imagine they could easily adjust the menu.

fishmarket that will cook lobster for me

To get 1/2 lb of meat you need a minimum 1-1/2 lb lobster. The lobsters when on special at Loblaws and RCSS are around 1.25 to 1.3 lb, which I feel are too small to be worth buying given how much of the lobster has to be discarded. At Diana's you can get larger lobsters and you can specify what size lobster you want, say 1.5 or 2 lb, as they are kept in separate tanks.

Lai Wah Heen

Have subscribed for the first time to the TSO and in return received a discount card to some restaurants downtown including Lai Wah Heen. I've never been to LWH, and currently get my dim sum fix from Dragon Dynasty. Recent threads on CH suggest that LWH has declined in quality although lately it may be improving.

Anyone been there recently for dim sum, and is it worth going given the high prices, even with a 15% discount? If so, what is not-to-be-missed on their dim sum menu?

Same questions for their dinner menu?

Where to find orange pekoe tea in envelopes in GTA?

Twinings as mentioned by youdonut above does sell a Ceylon orange pekoe tea that comes in individual paper envelopes. So does Dilmah. Both brands are available at supermarkets and some health food stores but Twinings may be easier to find.

Franki burger recommended- Vic Park

I believe Franki's is where Renegade's used to be.

Natrel Dark Chocolate Milk

I just came back from the Metro at Shops at Don Mills where they were giving out tasting samples and discount coupons which can be applied on top of the current sale price.

Macaron Day Toronto: Free Macarons at Participating Patisseries on March 20

I was also at La Bamboche this morning. They gave me a free macaron which I was told was lavender. It didn't have any discernible lavender flavor, was too chewy, and had some sort of white cream center instead of chocolate. Of the ones I purchased, the yuzu was really good and fresher than the freebie. Looking forward to trying the salted caramel, green tea mango and mystery flavor.

knife sharpening

I use my serrated knife for large fruit like watermelons and pineapples too, but it's especially useful for slicing ripe tomatoes. That being said, while my other knives are good quality Henckel 4-stars, my serrated knife is a cheapo one (the kind they used to hawk at demo booths at the CNE) but it came with a lifetime warrantee and has never needed sharpening for over 20 years.

Good quality cast iron frying pan

Depends on what you mean by a regular frying pan. Compared to my old regular stainless steel frying pan which cannot be placed over high heat without getting discoloured and potentially warped, my cast iron pan can go over direct high heat, including a gas burner. Same problem with my Teflon frying pan; high heat will damage the Teflon coating and apparently can release toxic fumes. Also I've been told that food cooked in a cast iron pan will pick up some iron which can be good or bad depending on your particular dietary needs. Two disadvantages for cast iron pans are the heavier weight and they can rust if left on a damp surface.

Where can I buy tins of Royal Dansk butter cookies in Toronto/Scarborough?

No Frills at Victoria Park and Eglinton carry "Danish Devine" brand butter cookies in their reduced-to-clear-from-the-holidays section. Although not Royal Dansk, this brand does appear to come from some company in Denmark. They're in a blue tin. Don't get the Danish butter cookies in the red tins beside them, as they are from an Asian distribution company.

If you really want Royal Dansk brand, perhaps you would find them in a European deli?

LOBLAWS Maple leaf Gardens

Yes, the Loblaws food areas occupy the 1st floor. They devoted a lot of space for eat-in/takeout food such as freshly made sushi, thin crust pizza, panini sandwiches, gelato, soups, hot entrees, etc. The 2nd floor holds an LCBO and Joe Fresh. I was told by a Loblaws employee that the third floor will hold Ryerson's athletic facilities, which are still under construction.

Restaurant "Har Gow" on Danforth

I dropped by today at lunchtime to try their dim sum (har gow, sui mai, spring rolls, steamed cha sui bau) and everything was good. I was pleased to see the restaurant looking busy, with a small lineup of customers waiting for their orders (wait times of 15-20 min) and 3 chefs working in the kitchen. I think the location is convenient, being just around the corner from Donlands subway and steps from a fruit market where I did some shopping while waiting for my dim sum. I'll be back to try their other dim sum menu items, and some of their dinner selections as well.

By the way, in case anyone is trying to look up the restaurant, the actual name of it is "Ha Gow", not "Har Gow".

Ontario Wild Blueberries

Flexitarian, thank you for the clear and detailed explanation you've provided regarding the provenance of wild blueberries. What you've described makes sense regarding the huge amounts of wild blueberries sold fresh each summer at roadside stands and farmers' markets, and available frozen year-round in the supermarkets. When Loblaws started selling frozen wild blueberries marked 'organic' it had seemed sort of redundant to me, after all, I wouldn't have expected blueberries supposedly growing wild in the bush to ever be sprayed with pesticides anyway. So I've been buying just the regular frozen wild blueberries and assumed there was no difference.

When I buy them fresh in the summer, I'm going to assume they are probably cultivated, possibly sprayed with pesticides, and treat them accordingly, washing them really thoroughly first.

Wow! Fish Monger with more fish varietals than Diana's, Bill's Lobster and T&T combined!!

Speaking of sustainable options, any chance I would be able to find some fresh barramundi (aka Asian seabass or Australian seabass)?

local strawberry sightings & pricings, 2011

Funny, picking strawberries this year seems very hit and miss. My hubby went to Whittamores the same weekend (June 26?) and the strawberries were still watery and still not very tasty or sweet. Plus, they had raised the price from $2/lb. My strawberry muffins and strawberry crisp were adversely affected by the high water content in the fruit. P.S. I believe Whittamores sprays their crops, so muddy or not I wouldn't eat the berries without washing them first.

local strawberry sightings & pricings, 2011

Whittamore's Farm opened Tuesday for pick-your-own and are charging $2 per pound. As others have said, the berries are nice and red but not that tasty. There were plenty of medium-sized and even some large berries when we went. I think they'll be alright for baking or topped with ice cream/frozen yogurt.

Looking for Small Cans of Canada Dry Ginger Ale

Thanks for the detailed location info on the downtown Sobey's and Rabba. I never thought of using them for mixing drinks, but I imagine you probably aren't the only one who does so; hmm, wouldn't it be handy if LCBO were able to sell them too?

Looking for Small Cans of Canada Dry Ginger Ale

Oh, I see! I assumed the taller cans contained more. In any event, the person for whom I'm shopping prefers the shorter cans. Thanks for the second link which is just what I'm looking for. If I can't find them at Sobey's then I can try Mr. Case. I wasn't familiar with this website but it looks very handy!

Looking for Small Cans of Canada Dry Ginger Ale

Gary, thanks for the information. My nearest Sobey's in Leaside carries lots of small cans, but just Schwepp's ginger ale. If your Sobey's does carry Canada Dry then I'll have a look at the next closest Sobey's first on Mt Pleasant, then check out the downtown one if necessary.

Looking for Small Cans of Canada Dry Ginger Ale

Thanks, TorontoJo, I had a look at the link, but unfortunately it's not the size I'm looking for. The cans I want are smaller, like the small Coke cans that B.Craftie was looking for in an earlier thread.

Looking for Small Cans of Canada Dry Ginger Ale

I shop regularly for an elderly senior who prefers the 6-pack Canada Dry ginger ale in small cans (8 oz), not the regular size cans.

I usually find them at Loblaws, but they've been sold out for a couple of weeks. I can't find them at other grocery stores in my neighbourhood (No Frills, Metro, RCSS, or Sobeys).

Has anyone seen them elsewhere?

looking for Bigelow's Constant Comment tea

I've seen it in local grocery stores in my neighbourhood (Don Mills). I am pretty sure Metro carries it so I would suggest you try the nearest one in the west end.

Constant Comment is very popular. Unless there is a specific reason your health food store has stopped carrying it perhaps the manager would resume stocking it if you asked.

Warning on a couple of horrible tasting products!

Ace bakery frozen bread has been available for quite awhile at Loblaws in Leaside (off Laird Drive) and lately it's been available again at the Real Canadian Superstore at Don Mills and Lawrence. Miriam, if you're in Ottawa this may not be too helpful, but it may be a sign that the Loblaws chain has resumed stocking it more widely, perhaps at a store closer to you.

METRO Eglinton Square - Do they butcher their steaks with a Lawn-Boy?

If added salt is a concern for you, then just watch out when you buy meat at No Frills, or other stores in the Loblaws family. A lot of the meats, especially cuts of pork, are labelled 'seasoned', which means they add salt to the meat. For last week's special on beef rib roasts at No Frills, the roasts were also seasoned. Who needs added salt to their diets, plus I've heard that salt is generally added to poorer cuts of meat. I don't see as much 'seasoned' meats at the Metro in Don Mills where I usually shop.

scandinavian restaurants...

I hate to admit this, but hubby and I tried the 99 cent meatball dinner special at Ikea last night and we thought the meatballs were pretty good. However, whether you like the food there or not, I wouldn't take an out-of-town friend there anyway because Ikea's food is about the same at just about every store and is hardly representative of Toronto.

I agree with SWS's suggestion about Hillside Cafe. You could pick up some nice rye bread, smoked salmon, Scandinavian cheese like lappi, and with a few veggies put together some traditional open-faced sandwiches to serve at home. For dessert, serve some Hillside pulla (a better choice as it's less commonly known than danishes which are kind of ubiquitous) and serve with a Finnish coffee or maybe a nice cup of hot Glogg (a spiced Swedish fruit drink).

Hillside Bakery and Cafe

I believe it is closed Sundays (and Mondays).