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The last damn time I ever take a Chowhound survey!

The M coming before F thing doesn't surprise me, it's in keeping with most forms I've ever filled out, irrespective of whether they were for things used primarily by women.

Men, after all, are the default human standard and women the second sex. How would we stay in our place unless we were continually reminded of that? /sarcastic rhetorical question.

Aug 30, 2011
basileater in Site Talk

Light & Crispy Paris-Style Baguettes in Toronto?

But ACE baguettes, even before they sold out, were not extremely sour either, so you have not addressed the question neoplop. You also incorrectly assume both that I ate only in cheap corner bakeries and that I wanted nothing better.

I did some research and there are a variety of things that can lead to the starter becoming overly sour. Possibly this is what happened. The bread was also burned, the second loaf even more so than the first. I've heard of Parisian bakeries sticking foreigners with burnt bread as a joke. Perhaps that is part of Petit Thuet's "traditional French" approach! Très charmant!

Jun 21, 2011
basileater in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Light & Crispy Paris-Style Baguettes in Toronto?

I just returned from a stay in Paris and am looking trying to find a decent approximation of a Paris baguette.

I bought two baguettes from Petite Thuet and was surprised to find a dense thick interior that tasted strongly sour. It was also burned black in spots. They are rather disappointing and bear no resemblance to anything I ate in Paris, and I ate a lot of baguettes in a variety of places.

I called the bakery and asked about it, and was told that all of their baguettes are sourdough, because that is the "traditional French style" and that it "confuses a lot of people." The tone was rather dismissive, like I am just another idiot who doesn't understand the intricacies of French bread. That may be so, but the thing is, had I not just returned from France and eaten bread nothing like what Thuet serves, I would not have questioned their bread at all.

I have loved everything I have eaten at Thuet previously and I will return for non-baguette items, but I am perplexed on where to turn now in my search for a baguette.

Can someone with French bread knowledge comment on this? If I go to Celestin, Pain Perdu and the other bakeries mentioned in this thread, will I also find very sour loaves? Why this difference? Is the bread commonly served in Paris these days not "traditional French bread?"

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Celestin
623 Mount Pleasant Road, Toronto, ON M4S 2M9, CA

Pain Perdu
736 St Clair Ave W, Toronto, ON M6C, CA

Petite Thuet
1 King St W, Toronto, ON M5J, CA

Jun 17, 2011
basileater in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Eat Good Fish

Excellent! More like this please.

May 24, 2011
basileater in Features

Chili Seasoning

You could try Rincón Latino at 1352 Kennedy Road.

Marketino is in North York, but west of where you want to shop. http://www.marketino.ca/

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

Virgin Coconut Oil

You might try Loblaws. I have purchased virgin coconut oil in the organic section of a couple of different locations in Toronto. That's the best I can do; I have never been grocery shopping in the places you named.

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

Agave Y Aguacate - delicious Mexican

Of all the Mexican hot sauces in the world, why Tapatio? (A sauce like that just doesn't match the food to me. I don't use it much, but it strikes me as more of a Valentina type of sauce that is better with chips or popcorn than real food.)

If you are ordering something that involves the owner chopping a chile (e.g. the flank steak salad), I bet you can ask him to make it a little more spicy for you. Let us know how it goes.

jlunar, from the sauces you have listed, Tapatio is the mildest and probably the worst-tasting of the bunch, so you have not missed anything. I don't know the two sauces on the left, but you will find the Yucateco sauces much spicier if you haven't tried those yet. Red is the mildest, but still very hot, then green, then the XXX one. They taste good but have a very specific habenero flavour. Give the sauce a try first (and your food) to make sure that you will like the combination. Start with just a drop, and beware, the XXX one is very hot and also has the propensity to flow freely from the bottle.

Personally, I would rather eat the food without spice than add the flavours of those sauces to most of the food there. Hopefully in the future he will have homemade spicy salsas on hand. If he doesn't, that is fine with me. I love chile, but Mexican food doesn't always have to be spicy. The women in my family don't use more than half a serrano in anything they make.

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

MEXICAN - Cinco de Mayo

Are you looking for a place that has a specific menu for Cinco de Mayo? It is more of an American holiday than a Mexican one, so you might be hard-pressed to find something.

Maybe give Frida a try? They take reservations and the food was good when I went there a year ago.

If you are specifically interested in trying Mexican festival food, you might also try some local restaurants around the Days of the Dead (Nov 1 and 2) or Christmastime. I personally haven't seen much (aside from pan de muerto, sugar skulls and rosca de reyes in shops and bakeries), but then I tend to avoid Mexican restaurants.

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

Make Your Own Pop Tarts

I wonder how these guys would survive being frozen? I'd rather make a big batch to last a while. Maybe freeze with the icing separate in the style of those commercial freezer tarts and then defrost and toast?

Apr 06, 2011
basileater in Features

Wheatgrass Makes Ladies Swoon

Ha ha! This is a Canadian chain but according to the address given at the end the location responsible for the ad is in Roseburg, Oregon. However I am sure you could air it in small-town Canada to rave reviews.

Mar 31, 2011
basileater in Features

Restaurant with latin/ballroom/slow/casual dancing

Maybe Lula Lounge or Sky Ranch?

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Sky Ranch
2473 Dufferin St, Toronto, ON M6B3P9, CA

Feb 15, 2011
basileater in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Loblaws I hardly know you....

It is also sold at Sobeys.

Dec 04, 2010
basileater in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Tajin Mexican Seasoning

I have seen them at all of the above and at a few Loblaws locations too.

However unless you have some kind of sentimental connection with Tajin I recommend buying the ingredients from Kensington and making your own mixture. It's so much better.

Aug 30, 2010
basileater in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Chow-worthy stops on the way to Rice Lake?

If you would like to eat at the Victoria Inn it is worth calling in advance so they are expecting you, especially in the slow season. I have been told by family who live in the area that sometimes they don't open if they are not expecting anyone to come. They are really lovely folks and worth visiting for sure.

Aug 10, 2010
basileater in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

The Lady Will Have the Prawns

Ah yes, what an affront to reason that individual women have different personal tastes and that those who date them generally need to take the time to get to know them. Nonsense indeed. Vorpal, you are not the only person who is thankful that you are a gay man.

For those who need it, here's a hint: Women are human and enjoy being treated as such. They are varied individuals just as men are. Bear that in mind you'll be fine regardless of what you do. You don't need a rule book to tell you how to behave.

Jun 30, 2010
basileater in Features

Best Authentic Meican???

I'm not a fan of Milagro. I find the food boring and bland and overall not of good value for that you get. If I am going to spend more money on higher end "Mexican" food I will go to Frida, where the chef in my view is passionate about his food and not just running a business. I've been to the John Street location of Milagro at least 15 times and it's been worse each time I've gone.

A caveat: the tortillas at La Tortilliaria are the best in the city, but that doesn't mean that they're anything special. I'm glad to have them, don't get me wrong, and we always have some in our house as it is a staple food (we are a mixed Mexi-Cdn family). But it's powdered masa and the tortillas are only as good as you get from such a product. I like the flavour of the yellow tortillas better than the white ones but they still have the lack of toothsomeness and have the tendency to disintegrate of Maseca-style tortillas. Their prepared food is fine but not great.

I agree Chimachanga is bordering on Tex-Mex and I am not generally a fan.

For taqueria style food I enjoy Rebozos and Salsas. My husband the Chilango likes Salsas best. You can get some tasty things at some other places, but those two are my favourites. You might also try Perola on the weekend, El Jacal and other places and see for yourself what you like best. I find I like some items at some places more than others. For example if I am dying for chicharron de queso and don't want to make it myself I'll head to El Trompo, but I find their tacos a little salty and generally only OK.

Regarding not being able to get spicy food at Salsa's if you're pale, Salsa's has several different salsas that determine the spiciness of your food. I am not Latina and have had no problem getting spicy sauce. I speak Spanish but doubt that has anything to do with it as the salsas are clearly labelled according to their spiciness and it's up to you to choose the one you want. Chiles are an important part of Mexican food but not everything is spiced to kingdom come all the time so don't be surprised that not everything is burning holes in your mouth, and that goes for everywhere you might eat.

You won't find what you're used to the States. Don't even try to replicate it. It's just like I can't find the southern Mexican food I adore done properly anywhere outside of Mexico. Or the local of food of any place done exactly the way it's done outside of its particular geographic area, for that matter. It doesn't mean I don't enjoy what I eat in LA, and it doesn't mean you can't enjoy what we have here, with our much smaller Mexican population and limited access to ingredients, for what it is.

And, I have to say, most people in Toronto don't understand Mexican food and expect to eat giant burritos and what have you, so if a given place doesn't adhere to our expectations of authenticity, in fairness I think we need to look to the clientele and not only to the proprietors. These folks need to make a living, after all.

Jun 28, 2010
basileater in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

ISO: Sushi restaurants in downtown Toronto that use brown rice

HoSu Bistro.

The food isn't very good but I have eaten brown rice vegetarian sushi there from time to time when I am trying to find a somewhat healthy fast food lunch.

Jun 17, 2010
basileater in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Can I buy a real molcajete in Toronto anywhere?

Check Perola in Kensington. They have molcajetes, but I have not inspected them to tell you what they are made of.

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Perola
247 Augusta Ave, Toronto, ON M5T, CA

Jun 14, 2010
basileater in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Great Mexican in Toronto?

Rafael, I might take away your passport for that remark! (Just kidding.) Chipotle is fine for what it is (fast food American-style burritos). I recommend you try the carnitas at Rebozos. They are off the beaten track but if you go around to any of the annual summer Mexican festivals at Harbourfront or Nathan Phillips Square they always have a booth and there are always plenty of carnitas.

Jun 11, 2010
basileater in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Le Gourmand at Y & E closed down--due to non-payment of rent!!!!

Those folks from the condos were across the street buying coffee at Starbucks for $5 instead of buying coffee for $3 in Le Gourmand. Telling themselves the area "wasn't ready" for their upscale product sounds a little bit deluded. Too bad, I was a fan of their products.

Jun 11, 2010
basileater in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Beans (kidney, black, pinto, etc.) - keeping them interesting

After years of soaking dried beans but never being totally happy with my results, I learned to cook dried beans from my Mexican mother-in-law. Mexicans never soak their dried beans. I used to be a soaker but have since been converted as it's easier and I like them better. Aside from a little increase in cooking time, I've noticed better flavour and colour and no change in digestibility.

I now use the cooking liquid as a base for soups and sometimes to cook rice in.

Jun 07, 2010
basileater in Home Cooking

Salsa's: new Mexican Restaurant in Kensington

Al pastor can be reddish from being marinated in chiles, but it's not stewed and there's no way anyone would mistake it for being stewed. It's grilled on a big stick similar to gyros or shawarma. The stick is called a trompo, which explains the name of the other Mexican restaurant down the street from Salsa's which also offers tacos al pastor.

I tried the cochinita pibil at Salsa's last weekend and it was excellent. I had cochinita in a taco and Mr. devorador de albahaca (aka Mr. basileater) had it in a torta. We ate a lot that day as we wandered through the market, but the cochinita stood out as the best. My favourite fillings here are the pork in all its various manifestations, lengua and cabeza. One day the chorizo con papas was to die for. I've had it since and it was good but not as good as the first time.

The price is right too.

They've some menu items clearly catering to the English-speaking crowd who are used to eating Canadian interpretations of this food and I see most of them are eschewing the tacos and tortas in favour of texmex style burritos. Their loss.

Jun 05, 2010
basileater in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

The Fish Store ... if I lived in Toronto I'd be a regular

Thank you for this review. I love this place and haven't seen it mentioned here before. I've had the Manhattan Chowder and thought it was very good. But the sandwiches are heaven.

Jun 02, 2010
basileater in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

ISO Danish style Smorrebrod

I second embee's comment. It should only be used for the most dire of Danish pastry emergencies, and only then if you keep your expectations low and realize you will be eating a sad facsimile.

May 31, 2010
basileater in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

ISO Danish style Smorrebrod

Tak skal du have! I had no idea this place existed. I have been in serious withdrawal for years and my many searches only turned up the closed up places from days of yore. Great news, I'm planning my next road trip now.

Have you tried the leverpostej? I know it is simple but it is one of the things I miss the most (but I guess most all Danish food is simple). Also, how are the pastries? If you are able to compare directly to what is available in Denmark that would be great.

May 28, 2010
basileater in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Niagara Falls... Pack a lunch from Toronto, or eat there??

When I'm in Niagara Falls and don't have time (or a car) to leave the central tourist area I eat at Antica Pizzeria on Victoria Ave near Clifton Hill. The food is decent and so are the prices, and it's not a chain. For Niagara Falls, that's like striking gold.

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Antica Pizzeria
5785 Victoria Ave, Niagara Falls, ON L2G3L6, CA

May 26, 2010
basileater in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Looking for a nice Mexican Food

Is Mexico Lindo a chain? Went there one day when we couldn't find the montreal hot dog place in downtown Oshawa on Simcoe Street but were starving and so ran into the first place we saw.

It was totally fake Mexican food and it didn't even taste good. I ordered pozole and it was made in a tomato base with nary a chile to be found. While that's not pozole, if it had been nevertheless well-prepared I would have been fine with it. A soup with hominy in tomato sauce isn't pozole, but can be very delicious (and incidentally is prepared in Mexico under another name). But this was an insipid mixture of pureed canned tomatoes, MSG and salt with very little flavour.

Everything we ordered was equally icky. If that Mexico Lindo is related to this one, I'd avoid it. Save your money and just eat at Taco Bell as the quality is similar.

May 22, 2010
basileater in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Fresh, juicy corn in Toronto

While we are on the subject of corn in Toronto does anyone know where to buy corn on the cob that isn't super sweet?

Hubby is hankering for elote and esquites that don't taste "like candy."

Recommendations both for right now and later in the season are appreciated.

May 22, 2010
basileater in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Where to buy GOOD eggs in Toronto or GTA?

I thought it was flax in the feed, not fish oil?

May 11, 2010
basileater in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Best fruit/veg delivery in Toronto?

Hi, very sorry I am only seeing this now.

I have used Plan B for two full summers. Last year the weather was off so there weren't as many tomatoes etc., but there was always something else in there to fill up the box (e.g. tomatillos). I also did the fall and winter share last year.

I really like them and I'm going to keep ordering from them. There are times you get inundated with some produce because they've harvested a bounty, but that is part of the fun of the CSA model.

May 11, 2010
basileater in Ontario (inc. Toronto)