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HogtownRich's Profile

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Where can i find the best chicken shawarma?

Shawarma House opened at Princess and The Esplanade about a month or so ago.Their chicken shawarma plate is excellent, as is the shawarma in a pita. The 'plate' (container) is piled high with lemon rice, roast potatoes, and your choice of greens - cabbage, lettuce, tabouleh, onions, peppers, tomatoes, beets, etc. Topped off with a generous helping of tender juicy chicken fresh off the spit and your choice of sauces. Two white sauces and hot sauce if you like. YUM!

I saw the other day they've added a second spit. Hopefully they'll be adding beef shawarma off the spit soon.

On a related note, did you read the feature article in this Saturday's Star Travel section about the Halal Cart Guy in NYC? Here's the link. I read this and had to rush over to Shawarma House immediately to satisfy my craving...

Looking for Butter-Cashew Ice Cream

I haven't seen this around since the late 70's, but am always on the lookout for it. I have no idea what brand we were buying back then, but I have very fond memories of it. Has anyone seen it anywhere in Toronto lately?

Jamaican Food

I've been a West Indian food fan for years and my current favourite spots in the city are:

-Ali's West Indian Roti Shop, 1446 Queen Street West, just E of Lansdowne: This place has always had consistent quality and fresh ingredients every time I've been. For years, there used to be a Halal meat shop next door that was run by the same family, I believe. I still walk right by Bacchus, which is closer, but doesn't match Ali's for quality in my opinion

-The Jerk Hut, 171 Front Street East at 134 Lower Sherbourne (just S of the Rabba on the same level: This place opened last Christmas, and it's quickly become one of my favourites. The neighbourhood had been lacking any WI food of note for several years, so they were an immediate hit. I've thoroughly enjoyed everything I've tried on the menu (especially the Jerk Chicken Roti!) and the quality and prices are excellent.

-Gandhi Cuisine at 554 Queen West, just E of Bathurst: I know it's technically an East Indian dish, but you really must try their Butter Chicken Roti. Unbelievably addictive, and although a bit pricey at the checkout (very little room for eat-in), it completely fills the take-out container, and you'll know it was a bargain after the first bite. I honestly have no idea what else is on their menu, as my imagination doesn't stretch further than the BC Roti once I walk in their door.

Lunch around Ryerson/Yonge & Dundas on a student budget?

1. Coconut Grove near Dundas & University really is worth the walk. Hell, it's even worth spending $5.50 to take the streetcar there and back.
2. Planet Crystal is closer at Church & Dundas, also has great Caribbean food, the restaurant is a little more comfortable, but it's pricier.
3. For those hangover Mondays, seek out something greasy or a great Gyro from the local diner on the NW corner of Bond & Dundas. I can't recall the name, but the very friendly couple that has run it for years are named George and Kay.
4.It's been years since I was there, but the kitchen at the Imperial PUBlic Library on N side of Dundas between Victoria and Bond used to have great deli sandwiches.
5.Great cheap pizza on the NE corner of Yonge & Gerrard at The Big Slice
6.There's always Tim's at Dundas & Victoria...

Reliable, high quality, no-nonsense butchers

I've lived in several different neighbourhoods in Toronto over the last 25 years, and without a doubt, I've found Uppercut Meats in St. Lawrence Market to be the best I've ever shopped at. They do have a section of pre-made kebabs and such, but their selection of freshly-cut meats do not suffer for space. Prices are good, and the products are restaurant-quality. The staff have always been helpful, and if you don't ind waiting a few extra minutes, they are happy to vacuum seal individual cuts if you're stocking your freezer for the week.

The Jerk Hut - Front/Sherbourne

I've been to the Jerk Hut about half a dozen times since it opened in December, and have tried the jerk Chicken and Pork, and the boneles Chicken Roti. I've found the quality to be consistant from one visit to the next,and the food well portioned and always satisfying, although at first I was a little disappointed with the level of spice. I've been a West Indian food fan for many years, and look forward to a little afterburn in the taste.

Of course, you can always add extra hot sauce if you want more heat, while I have found some other WI restaurants' base spice level can be off-putting for the uninitiated. The Jerk Hut's mixture of sweet and savoury elements with a mild-to-medium kick of peppers makes their dishes very accessible to anyone who has been afraid to try West Indian food in the past. Hopefully this will help to broaden The Jerk Hut's customer base.

When The Jerk Hut first opened, their menu was quite limited: Jerk chicken & pork, Oxtail, Beef Curry, Rice and Peas, and sides of slaw and corn muffins, but have lately expanded to include several varieties of roti, curry chicken and goat, and I believe one or two seafood dishes.

The facilities are quite small from a customer standpoint, as they identify themselves as a take-out restaurant rather than an eat-in establishment, which can only help business as they continue to expand the menu. The kitchen area is huge in comparison to the order/waiting area, as it should be. The larger the kitchen, the more variety on the menu. I hope they start to include other side dishes such as fried plantain or some traditional desserts.

There used to be another wonderrful Jerk/Roti place nearby at Princess and Esplanade, but, sadly, they closed up about 6 years ago, and we have been hungry for a return of this cuisine to the neighbourhood for some time. For me, The Jerk Hut fills the order nicely.