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phisherking's Profile

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Lots of high profile new restaurant closings, anyone know why?

Yes true, but we are not in Japan, and people are not willing to pay those prices here. Look at Sushi Kaji, he renovated his restaurant a few years back precisely for the reason so as to get more seats in the place. He needed more "bums in the seats" in order to make a reasonable profit. And he charges high prices. Not complaining though, as I feel the experience is worth it every time.

Lots of high profile new restaurant closings, anyone know why?

Economy of scale also comes into factor. Small spaces( 35-45) seats leaves very little room for profit. The small size is a dream for chefs, they can be creative and have a hand in every plate, but they also have to cook the line, scrub the line, and work the dish pit to keep labour down. Labour cost is what will kill a business. Fewer seats means fewer $$$ coming in, sadly. Add to that the price of food at the market keeps going up, but menu prices have been relatively stagnant for years. Customers will only pay so much for food unfortunately. Unfortunately this is happening to such great places, chefs deserve great restaurants with customers willing to pay as much for their food as they are for a cocktail.

Top Chef Canada begins tonight

The show as a whole is a total embarrassment, it fulfills all the stereo types, many of the men are arrogant and chauvinist, and the women are not serving their gender well. The women are not good cooks at all. And what is with the Mexican dude's ( have not even bothered to learn the names) hair? It should really be pulled back, I would not want to eat in any restaurant that allowed a chef to have all that hair flailing around. I'm waiting for the episode when the judges pull a long, black greasy hair out of their food, as there really is a need for some comic relief on this program.

Mar 27, 2014
phisherking in Food Media & News

Carbon Bar

Back in his TL days, Chatto referred to himself as a food writer, not a reviewer. He has a gift for keeping his articles fair, leaving out the bitchy sarcasm that most other food writers tend to use. I'll gladly read what he writes over C.N.S. and Pataki any day.

Chipotles in adobo sauce?

Metro at Front and Church.
P.S. Why not state the general area you are looking instead of getting upset with chowhounders for not reading your mind.

Carbon Bar

Franco owns countless properties in the city, and has for decades. The potential is there that he has been sitting on this space for years and renting it out. Probably bought it a long time ago for a dime. His knack for real estate is uncanny, and well documented.
There have been rumours about this new place floating around for a few years now. These guys are seasoned veterans, don't think they need to worry. Add to that the fact that David Lee is a very talented chef, I think they will do just fine.
I hope to check it out over the holidays.

fresh fava beans / Toronto

Saw some at the St Lawrence market on Saturday. The place downstairs in the middle.... Didn't look twice as definitely not local so won't taste very sweet.

Seville oranges toronto

Did I miss them this year? Has anybody seen them around town? Would love to make some marmalade. Thanks

Frida and Diego prix fixe supper at Frank - worth it?

Skip Frank... Over rated and over priced. It's your typical tourist trap food, in one of the worst designed spaces in the city. Try Elle ma Dit ( sp.) on Baldwin St., Alsatian style food in an intimate space.

This one goes out to the breads I love...

De la terre based in St Catherine's. An excellent example of sourdough. Love Thuet bread as well but they can be very unreliable at the store front on King East.

The Black Hoof: New Chef in a month!

That quite possibly is true... but it can be said that she is the reason these chefs get the opportunity to make a name for themselves.

Best Bread in Toronto

Le Matin's baguette is the worst bread I've ever had. No crust, no structure (doughy), and smells way too yeasty. Thuet's bread is some of the best. If you get to the Sarauren (sp?) market on Mondays DeLa Terre's bread is really stunning. And I would not blame woodlot for St John's problems. Chef's and bakers change jobs regularly. It is up to the business owner to ensure there is always a back-up plan

where to find 100% buckwheat noodles?

Big Carrot on the Danforth carries them, around 3.50 a bag.

Let's talk about Frank and the AGO!

While the Frank may be an OK restaurant ( way too overpriced IMHO), the design of it is terrible. The room has no flow, and has a cold feeling to it. We got stuck at a table in the corner beside the wine cabinet, and were basically forgotten about. The restaurant was not very busy, which made us question why we were stuck in a corner. Can't even remember what we had - not a memorable experience.

Who is planning to attend Picnic at the Brickworks 2011?

I wish event organizers would check on what else is happening in town when they pick dates. This is not the first year the picnic is the day after nuit blanche. Really frustrating for those of us who want to do both.

Grant gone at the Black Hoof

The Black Hoof is what it is because of Grant's skills in the kitchen, and because of his skills in the kitchen he has been able to attract good sous chefs. I really don't think Jen was dictation what was on the menu. Without Grant's vision for the food, the Hoof would be a cocktail bar... and if the new executive chef leaves then Jen could be left with 2 cocktail bars directly across the street from one another.

The Black Hoof
928 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON M6J, CA

President's Choice Black Label

And stocking the shelves. So sick of going there to find only half of what I need.

Fair price and better quality products in Farmer's Market - Not neccessarily!!

Try going to a "my market " farmers market , where the vendors must sell their own farm grown goods. Many other markets sell food terminal food. I was once at a market where mennonites were selling peppers with the stickers on them, go figure. Store bought things may be cheaper but we really have to support farmers whenever possible, and the only way to do that is to buy directly from them.

Fresh Portugese Sardines

Try Diana's seafood in Scarberia, i know they get fresh anchovies once a week and they are amazing. Not sure about sardines though. To be honest, the frozen are really quite good, they are meaty and grill up nicely. Pretty sure restaurants would be using the frozen as the availability would be more consistent.

The Ethics of Foraged Foods [split from Ontario]

very well said dillybravo, I too know a few respectful foragers, who also use family owned land and don't rape the property. It is not really a fast buck as the time it takes to pick, process and deliver to market is not really going to make these people a huge sum of money. These people enjoy being outdoors and spending their "down time" in the country. The broad generalizations of all foragers are thieves is really an unfair statement, as most generalizations usually are.

Aug 01, 2011
phisherking in General Topics

Caplansky's- the emperor has NO clothes

Well said Googs, he may come across as humble on his blog, but then again he also states how much he respects his staff in his self indulgent pontifications. I was eating a terrible sandwich in his restaurant one day and watched and heard him yell at and berate an employee in the middle of the restaurant. It was a very uncomfortable moment for everyone in the room. I've never returned. People don't like him because he's successful... people just don't like his ego.

Caplanskys Delivery and Food Truck


Easy on the Ramps! -[ Moved from General Chowhounding board]

Not all foragers are criminals, some are, but not all. I've been the recipient of both ethically and unethically foraged ramps. The most unethical ones happen to be from a hot shot TO chef who took a shovel out with him and just dug holes. The ethical ones make agreements with land owners and only take 30% of what is out there. Please don't lump all foragers in with the idiots your friends encountered. Many are earth loving hippies who respect the planet and understand the delicate balance that is sustainability.

May 02, 2011
phisherking in Food Media & News

Toronto Undergound Food Market

"We cannot assume that a home chef would necessarily meet or have a certain level of food safety standards...that is the purpose of inspections." In theory the inspections and training would ensure proper food handling, however inspections are not happening on a regular enough basis. And even though people may be trained as food handlers in places such as McDonalds, that doesn't mean that the standards are upheld on a daily basis. Just because a place passed inspection on one day, does not mean the next day they those pickle jars are properly sterilized for preserving. I would never eat at McDonalds, but may be inclined to purchase food at an underground market if it was a market taking place on a regular basis and saw the same vendors representing themselves and their product.


bought some beautiful fresh chinook salmon (BC) from diana's last week. I think it was farmed... but there are debates as to which is better- farmed vs. wild- both having pro's and con's. Maybe they would divulge if they supply any of TO's finest with it. The reason that many people use Atlantic salmon is the relatively cheap price. BTW many restaurants still serve chilean sea bass... and despite what Whole Foods says, it is still very much red flagged.


Oliver/ Bonacini serves atlantic salmon?? Yikes, i thought they would be more informed on their fish choices.

NYT Digital - Food & Lifestyle

If one follows links from a blog does that count as an article? if not maybe there will be "helpful" bloggers out there who will post the wednesday dining section as links. Wishful thinking i guess.

Mar 21, 2011
phisherking in Food Media & News

Being Billed for No-Shows [split from Ontario]

Once in the past i missed a reservation due to an accident, was billed, disputed it and the credit card company refunded me my $$. They told me it was a bogus charge as i never signed anything. As it was not done on line, and there was only a verbal agreement it was not a legally binding contract. guess it was my good luck, despite the accident.

Feb 02, 2011
phisherking in Not About Food

Being Billed for No-Shows [split from Ontario]

(This post was split from the Ontario board at: -- The Chowhound Team)

Being billed for a no show is illegal, and can be easily disputed by the customer to the credit card company. Generally it is a scare tactic, as 1 no show on a saturday night can easily ruin the whole night's business in a smaller place.

Feb 01, 2011
phisherking in Not About Food

Great Beach restaurant

Is Pat still working there?? I heard rumblings that there may have been a change of toques. Any confirmation??