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Kingston, Ontario for a May, early, weekday dinner

Just now rejoing the conversation after some long time away.

I believe that Atomica and Le Chien Noir are the same ownership. I spent a good chunk of last summer in the area, and made a point of having lunch at both establishments a few times. Atomica's pizzas are excellent. Their wine list offers great latitude in the volume of the glass, as well, which is a nice touch. Le Chien Noir has a lovely back patio. I'd recommend both, though one visit to LCN came with some service issues (very incorrect bill overcharging and a couple of foreign coins masquerading as part of my change). I blame the waitress and not the the establishment, in that instance. The food at LCN is well executed, straight-on bistro.

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Chien Noir
69 Brock St, Kingston, ON K7L1R8, CA

Atomica
71 Brock St, Kingston, ON K7L1R8, CA

bone marrow

Enter St L Mkt through the centre door, and to your left will be a butcher (sorry, can't recall the name, but the first one on the left) has bones for roasting, if you're thinking the Fergus Henderson roasted bone marrow appetiser sort of bone, where you roast a chunk of bone and scoop out the marrow and put it on toasted baguette, bit of parsley salad. About $1.50/lb, I think. I hope that that helps.

Mount Unpleasant

Appalling.

Where to take a Chicagoan for lunch today?

I love Chiado, Lai Wah Heen.... next time, for pho, Tienh Tanh (spelling?) on the east side of Ossington about two blocks north of Queen. Great people, great pho.

Where did you go, and how was it?

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Lai Wah Heen
108 Chestnut St, Toronto, ON M5G 1R3, CA

Chiado
864 College Street West, Toronto, ON M6H 1A3, CA

Painful, but funny

Yep, same thing. I was roasting quail for dinner, with guests waiting at the table, and removed the stainless steel pan from the oven. 425F. The choice was save my hand or dinner. I chose the latter. Fortunately, I had some aloe gel, and applied it liberally. I had a red mark, but the gel worked remarkably well. I suffer for my art ;-)

Cheap and Dirty: Thrifty Dive Bars of the GTA

Hey! I used to drink at Wise Guys on St Clair when I lived on Humewood aroun 1990! Good times! Actually, the clientele looked sketchy, but I never had a problem other than someone once falling into me. The owner (I forget his name) was a big guy, affable but kept an eye on things, and had a small samoyed named Dolce (she lived up to her name) who wandered the place.

where to buy Indian spices and grocery items in Kingston??

Also Tara (Fine?) Foods, a little further south on Princess St.

Shawarma. Where are they now?

A friend of mine and I were reminiscing about a place, north west corner of Bay and Yorkville, we think called Fallafel Fallafel, run by a brother/sister or husband/wife. It was the same building that housed The Sultan's Tent, now on Front St E. Fallafel was on the upper floor, Sultan's Tent a half floor down from street level, also where Yuk Yuk's was. They had the best shawarma in the DT. Does anyone know where they went?

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Sultan's Tent
49 Front St E, Toronto, ON M5E1B3, CA

House on Parliament-going downhill???

Gotta say about Volo.... I remember when it open around 1985, and it was a great Italian cafe. They must have had a change in ownership, given the change in style, but I love their current sourcing of unusual or artisanal beer. They're one of the few bright spots on Yonge south of Bloor. I'm also fond of the rustic furnishings.

Pubs on Parliament with good food?

Clarification re a different thread: The HoP is not in meltdown. There are a few issues that need to be addressed regarding service, but most definitely not in meltdown. The food might not be of the shockingly high quality and inventiveness it was a few years ago (when it could legitimately call itself a gastropub, though no longer), but it is still more than a notch above average pub grub. (Of late, I would say that the fish specials are the most interesting, things like halibut with risotto and watercress salad.)

From the HoP's Golden Age, Where are they now?
Steve: out of the business (selling lux cars, I believe)
Milan: I don't know
Joan Olsen: private catering
Andrew Loft: chef de cuisine at Paese on King W.

As to other pubs in the area... Brass Taps, on Carleton, steps away from Parliament, does very nice pizza - nothing gourmet, really, just a really good, solid pizza at a reasonable price. I often get a 'za to go from there. I haven't eaten anything else there in over a year, so I'll stop there.

The Ben Wicks has taken a couple of runs at redesigning their menu, and while they had some really good items, they seem not to have sold well, or changes in kitchen staff resulted in a return to the old ways, and it's not really a chow worthy place. I also find it pricey for what you get in terms of quality and quantity. That said, I do like their chipotle wings, and they do a nice mac and cheese.

Cranberries, Parliament just south of Wellesley, has nightly specials that can be pretty good, I am told by a chow savvy friend. She like the steak and caesar (yeah yeah, I know, technically a misspelling) salad on Wednesdays(?). I had a burger there once, and thought it quite delicious.

I hope that that helps.

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Ben Wicks Restaurant
424 Parliament St, Toronto, ON M5A3A2, CA

Paese
333 King St W, Toronto, ON M5V, CA

What's Good in Kingston These Days?

Actually, I'm going to praise Atomica more than the above"decent pizza". I was there in July and had an assorted mushroom and pesto pizza, and a glass of wine. The pesto was very good, the mushrooms were plentiful and various, and the crust was thin and crisp (not overly). The nice thing about the wine was that the selection was broad and you could select the size of glass (150ml, 250mL, 500mL, bottle), which I think is a wonderful option. The service was very good - friendly and efficient.

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Atomica
71 Brock St, Kingston, ON K7L1R8, CA

The HOP- Never Again (sigh)

I haven't noticed a problem with the taste of the beer, frankly.

I'd agree with the observation that female staff are generally more congenial than the men, not that all the men are snappy.

What used to be the Cabbagetown Community Centre is now being renovated, and will be the new HoP.... in the fulness of time.

The HOP- Never Again (sigh)

I've been a regular for years, and amongst the regulars the service has become a bit of a bitter joke. Yes, it does get busy, but it's difficult to empathise when you see three of the wait staff chatting while the pub is three-quarters full. While membership might have its privileges, I've also crossed swords with a couple of the staff. I can't help but wonder whether the HoP's move next door might occasion a purge.

Just to register a slight disagreement with hungryabbey, while I thought that Joan Olsen was quite good, I thought that her successor Andrew Loft, while different, was her equal. He hasn't been there for a couple of years, though.

Zeitoun Turkish Cuisine

Yes, that's the one.

Zeitoun Turkish Cuisine

Sorry, a bit off topic, but back in April(?) there was a fascinating article in The New Yorker about a fellow in Istanbul who is trying to revive really traditional (almost lost) Turkish dishes. Try to find it.

Eating In & Around the Toronto Film Festival

If you're on a tight budget, you could try Toni Bulloni (unfortunate name, I know) right across the street from the Cumberland (which I assume TIFF is using again this year). At lunch they sell street food, like chicken breast or Italian sausage on a bun. To be honest, I've never had their street food, but I've eaten there a few times, and it was pretty good. (Inside is not expensive, but not budget.) A few doors east is Dimmi, which does huge panini at lunch, and pretty decent pastas through the day and evening.

In the food court at the AMC, there is a Middle Eastern take away, Milo's. They do very nice falafel and shawarmas: decent meat that hasn't been hanging around forever. I haven't tried anything else in that court.

If you're at the Scotiabank Theatre, they have a dreadful food court. (Though, last year, I discovered there that the best wine pairing for a BK grilled chicken sandwich is a dry gewurztraminer.) You're better off going up to Queen Street. There's nothing great, but on the north side of Queen just east of John is a crepe place, and they also do pretty good panini.

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Toni Bulloni
156 Cumberland St, Toronto, ON M5R1A8, CA

Food Network: Canada vs US?

Clarissa wrote an autobiography... Spilling The Beans, I think it was titled, about four years ago. She still writes, I believe... can't remember for which publication... something Tory-ish.

In the depths of bitter winter, I once made their Asturian bean soup (had tonnes of swine in it), from their meal for the Cambridge eight. Unbelievably delicious! Very fortifying against the cold, as well. Other dishes were less successful.

My favourite line (cooking coq au vin for the Gurkhas) is... Jennifer (to the camera): There's a lot of goodness in an old cock.

As to comparing US vs Canada, I have been very disappointed in recent developments in the Canadia network. Bitchin' Kitchen is an embarassment beyond description, but good things like Anthony Sedlak, Laura Calder, and Ricardo Larrivee seem not to be in production anymore.

countries that just don't have good food/overlooked national cuisines

Oh, God, yes... I love that paste!

Caplansky's - You have got to be kidding me!

A close friend of mine, who was a Schwartz's devotee during his time at McGill, praised Caplansky for not trying to be Schwartz's. He liked Caplansky's smoked meat, but it was different from Schwartz's. As he said, "They should all be different. They're about the man."

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Caplansky's
356 College Street, Toronto, ON M6J, CA

Best Ethiopian?

Not the best, by a long shot, but a friend of mine and I had lunch at African Village (north side of Queen just a bit east of Parliament.... the only reason we tried it is that it's convenient to our neighbourhood), and it was quite good. We had kitfo (raw), and a tripe stew. Both were very satisfying. It's a rather unpromising looking hole in the wall, but worth a shot. I'll be back (convenience, admittedly, being part of its appeal).

My tuppence for best: Dukem.

Helpful Ethiopian Hint of The Day: The trick is to minimise the injera:other ratio, i.e., minimum of injera to maximum of food. I love the flavour of injera, but I find that it can be bloating. I don't know whether it expands, or whether it has to do with the high protein content of teff (highest of all grains, I think... where's Sam Fujisaka when you need him (God rest his soul)?)

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Dukem
950 Danforth Ave, Toronto, ON M4J 1L9, CA

Best Pho in T.O.

I'm no pho expert (does that make me a faux expert?) But a group of us went to Pho Tien Thanh for lunch back in March, and it was the best pho I've had in Toronto. Truly delicious. Interestingly, I tried a couple of non-pho items and they were OK, but nothing special. But, good lord, that pho... And the people there are so pleasant, as well.

Cookbooks you didn't know existed

Lark's Rise Recipe Book by Mary Norwak. I think that I've mentioned it on the boards previously. The recipes are interestingboth for their flavour and as an insight into 19thC English country life.

I don't know whether it's still in print, but given that my local PBS affiliate is showing Lark's Rise to Candleford, it might be reprinted.

I wish that...

On my wish list... a pm or private chat feature. There have been times when I wanted that feature because if I posted, I knew that certain particular people would chime in, and rare was the time that I was disappointed.

Aug 05, 2010
hungry_pangolin in Site Talk

Crawfish boil

Yes, please, more info. Do you know whether Sunny Supermarket carries them on a regular basis? I've been dying to do a Finnish crayfish feast at the end of August!

Passing of Mila Oh (aka moh)

I've been on the boards very little of late, for a number of different reasons. Last night I checked in, and was surprised that an old posting of mine had been bumped up. It was bumped, because it had been linked to the thread on Sam Fujisaka's passing. "Oh, God, no," I thought. As I read through that, I then learned about our beloved Moh. That was just too much. Two great 'hounds, two great people. To Moh's family and friends, I have to say that the fact that a grown man is weeping over a woman whom he never met in the flesh is testament to her larger than life character.

Aug 05, 2010
hungry_pangolin in Site Talk

Lamb kidneys! Woo Hoo!

Epilogue:

My barbeque plans fell apart when the barbeque did. I ended up broiling them devilishly: Dijon mustard, red wine vinegar, a couple of dashes of Tobasco, salt, pepper, dried rosemary. One makes due... Not terribly interesting,I admit, but good enough with some toated baguette, a Greek salad, and watching the cormorants, et al., over the lake. The leftovers were delicious with my eggs the next morning.

Jul 29, 2010
hungry_pangolin in Home Cooking

Lamb kidneys! Woo Hoo!

I took a look at the link.... Interesting thing is that the list of ingredients is essentially that for devilled lamb kidneys (which I love so much that that was my birthday dinner this year).

I'm still undecided, but I shall report back.

Jul 24, 2010
hungry_pangolin in Home Cooking

Lamb kidneys! Woo Hoo!

But, I want to barbeque them. I know how to sautee,roast, stew, etc., but I was wanting to do a brochette, or something else over coals. Give me your most complicated recipes, but I am in a not so well provisioned area, so give me your less complicates ones, as well. The cottage has only basic equipment, and (by my standards) a minimal pantry. I was thinking about a red wine, lemon, fennel seed marinade. Thoughts?

Ciao, hounds!

Jul 23, 2010
hungry_pangolin in Home Cooking

Biltong

Ha! Good luck. There is a butcher out in Oakville (Florence Meats?) that does boerwors, biltond, perhaps some other such things. There used to be a place on the Sheppard subway line at Bessarion Station that had a lot of that sort of Saffa stuff, but I was told on the board here that it changed name and moved to around Victoria Park (way north). If you hear of anything downtownish, PLEASE let me know.

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Victoria Park Restaurant
335 Durham Market St N, Kincardine, ON N2Z1Z4, CA

Allen's on Danforth - will never go back

To chime in with my tuppence... (a) Allen's has, to my my mind, been very long over-rated. The food not *that* good, and for what you get, it's not inexpensive; (b) I can't say that I've had an encounter with staff there that was pleasant - not necessarily unpleasant, just never very good. I blame management for both. There is definitely an air of unwarranted arrogance.