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Old 05-08-2009, 01:20 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Hey Torontonians! I need restaurant advice

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Old 05-08-2009, 04:56 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Location: The True North Strong and Free!
A nice Italian Bistro would be 'Gio Rana's Really Really Nice Restaurant' which is on the corner of Queen St. E and Leslie. There is no sign above the door, rather it is a big paper machet Nose (like 4' tall). Great food!
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Old 05-08-2009, 04:57 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I can't in good conscience recommend anything but vegetarian friendly, so I have two for you.

Seven Numbers (Italian) http://www.sevennumbers.com One location over in my neck of the woods (Danforth). Simple, reasonably priced, and the most amazing roasted food I've ever had. Fun atmosphere... the servers are pretty in your face without being obnoxious. They have meat here... so if you are turned off by a veggie spot, don't worry about this spot.

Urban Herbivore (Veggie) ::: URBAN HERBIVORE | FRESSEN ::: Awesome lunch spot in the heart of Kensington Market. The best sandwiches and salads. This is a vegan joint, but very hearty food. Even if you don't have lunch here, I dare you to have one of their muffins and not think it's the best you've ever had. Baraka_Guru and I like to hit this joint up sometimes.

Unfortunately the link only provides their address.
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Old 05-08-2009, 05:36 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Most of my recommendations here are for downtownish restaurants:

If you're eating with a large group, you've got to go for Dim Sum! The best in the city (balance of price and quality) is The Bright Pearl on Spadina, right in the heart of Chinatown. The servers push carts laden with dumplings and other goodies around the room and you choose what you want as they pass by your table. Chinatown has a lot to offer on a budget.

For Thai I recommend Salad King on Gould St. at Yonge. It's near the Eaton Centre and right in the middle of the Yonge st. strip and the food is excellent. Just be sure to choose your spice level carefully.

There's a bit of a Gourmet Burger war on right now with new joints popping up monthly. I recommend Craft Burger on King W. near Portland. The Burger Shoppe in the east on Queen. E. is also good and the owners of each are former partners who had a falling out. We benefit!

For a humble and old-time diner, I recommend the Patrician Grill on King E. between Jarvis and Sherbourne. It's been there forever and is no-nonsense but very friendly It's the perfect place for a grilled cheese sandwich.

For authentic Italian thin-crust pizza, I recommend any of the Terroni locations.

Do you already have some restaurants you're thinking about? We can give your our opinions on them if you want.

Good online reviews can be found at the following links:

NOW Magazine // Food & Drink
FOOD REVIEWS : TORONTO RESTAURANTS
Toronto Life: Restaurants

The first two are online versions of the two competing free alt-weekly newspapers available everywhere. Grab one when you're in town to see what's happening. The third is from a magazine sort of like Vanity Fair for Toronto.

Happy gorging!
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Old 05-08-2009, 06:56 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Location: The Danforth
McDonald's Restaurant in the Eaton Centre. They have a double decker hamburgher with a secret recipe special sauce, shredded iceburg lettuce,sliced pickles, sauteed onions, a slice of processed Canadian cheddar cheese and a unique bun, with a middle layer, topped with sesame seeds. If the toppings aren't to your liking, they will entertain a change in condiments at no extra cost (eg, if y ou prefer to add ketchup or mustard feel free to request). This burger is jauntily referred to as the Big Mac, a tongue in cheek reference to the establishment's name.

There are many menu items, most of which you may be familiar with, but the highlight of this restaurant is that you get to dine perched above, and with a good view of, the busy Yonge/Queen intersection through the large floor to ceiling glass window on the south wall. You will find yourself in a little oasis of tranquility surrounded by the urban bustle.
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Old 05-08-2009, 08:51 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Old 05-08-2009, 10:59 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Location: The Danforth
Dim sum (slapping my forehead!) Of Course! I go at least once a month usually in Little Chinatown at Gerrard and Broadview, near where Charlatan used to live. The place that Fresnelly is talking about used to be a two storey restuaraunt called Hsin Kuang. IN fact the building is still referred to that. But it has the added bonus of being right on the edge of Kensington Market, where you can go to enjoy the market environment.


Kensington Market Toronto, Ontario, Canada :: A Community Site - HOME


And guys! we have been remiss in leaving out the requisite Dangerous Dan's reference:

Dangerous Dan's Diner - Home of Toronto's Best Burger
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Old 05-08-2009, 01:52 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Location: The True North Strong and Free!
I'll give a nod to Fusili on Queen East. Fantastic food and reasonable prices. Owner is super friendly.
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Old 05-08-2009, 05:01 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Dim Sum... I think the place was called the Pearl Palace.

There is also a Vietnamese place in the neighbourhood called Mimi's that makes the BEST Pho.

Mildred's Temple Kitchen in Liberty Village is a reboot of the fantastic Mildred Pierce. It is great for Sunday Brunch but get there early.

You could also try Aunties and Uncles for a decent breakfast as well.

If you want something a little more upscale, try either Lee (on King West) or North 44 in the Yonge and Eglinton area. Mark McEwan is a great chef.

For a really great meal try Tomi Kro on Queen East. They have a rib appetizer that is just awesome.

Not living there anymore has left me a little out of touch though so my suggestions are limited.
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Old 05-08-2009, 05:43 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Location: Toronto
Charlatan speaks the truth about Mimi's and Tomi Kro, which incidently is next door to Gio Rana's that Daval Mentioned.

While a lot of Chinese joints can be a bit blah, most of the Vietnamese restaurants are excellent. A slightly upscale version can be found at Hanoi 3 Seasons on Queen St. E. This is their second location following their tiny space on Gerrard E. in Little Chinatown or Chinatown E.

Based on your list, the only ones I'd be hesitant to go to are Asian Spring rolls (well prepared but bland food) and Sassafraz (overpriced and a bit snooty because it's in Yorkville).

If you want French Bistro, I'd recommend Le Select on Wellington and Batifole on Gerrard E. Le Select has a great Prix Fixe and excellent Steak Frites. The last time I went to Batifole they served their bread with unsalted butter sprinked with sea salt. This way you get the creaminess of the butter with little bursts of saltiness. Divine!

Trivia alert: Batifole used to be the Chinese restaurant that was featured at the end of A Christmas Story when the family goes out after the dogs eat the turkey. "Fa ra ra ra raa..."

And last but not least, Toronto's street hot dogs and sausage are the best. Pick a vendor with lots of condiments. They're better than Manhattan's for sure. I'll find out how they compare to Chicago's next week.
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Old 05-09-2009, 04:53 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Location: the green room.
what's wrong with classics like Astoria? I'm a student so these are a little less fancy but have a great atmosphere and good eats/drinks.

I'm a fan of The Charlotte Room by the corner of Charlotte and King W (best nachos in town I think)

Um, The Pump three blocks east of bathurst on Bloor has good pub food (with LOTS of it).

And the aforementioned classic Astoria is a great greek resturant with wonderful service.
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Old 05-09-2009, 10:34 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Np patios today - it's been pouring down on and off all day!
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Old 05-09-2009, 05:43 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Another vote for the Steak Frites at LE Select and another for Batifole (it's right at the end of the street I used to live on).

Also, Bonjour Brioche for a solid breakfast/brunch. They are on Queen East.
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Old 05-09-2009, 05:59 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I can vouch for Bonjour Brioche as well! (At least that's where I think you took me, Charlatan)
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Old 05-09-2009, 11:00 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Old 05-10-2009, 06:46 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by settie View Post
My group managed to get about an hour of patio time at a place....can't remember the name...on Queen St... B_ B_...old time pub...damn I forget! I actually got burned a bit from the sun, surprisingly. But they had good onion rings, and bigger portions than expected. A quick hour of beers and pub food... yum
Black Bull. Queen Street West patio hotspot. (Queen and Soho...near Peter...just east of Spadina.) I walk by it twice a day. The only patio I know that regularly gets a lineup during a rush, and it's a huge patio too.

I don't have much for recommendations because I don't get out much, but aberkok is right about Urban Herbavore. Awesome sandwiches. Fusaros at Queen and Spadina (just south) is good for sandwiches too (and other Italian delights).
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Old 05-10-2009, 09:13 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Location: the green room.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Baraka_Guru View Post
Black Bull. Queen Street West patio hotspot. (Queen and Soho...near Peter...just east of Spadina.) I walk by it twice a day. The only patio I know that regularly gets a lineup during a rush, and it's a huge patio too.

I don't have much for recommendations because I don't get out much, but aberkok is right about Urban Herbavore. Awesome sandwiches. Fusaros at Queen and Spadina (just south) is good for sandwiches too (and other Italian delights).
I went there once and the waitress was a bitch; never went back.
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Old 05-10-2009, 11:37 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by punkmusicfan21 View Post
I went there once and the waitress was a bitch; never went back.
I have never, nor ever will, go there.
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Old 05-10-2009, 04:35 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Many years ago I used to work at the Gap just across the road from the Black Bull. Just before I left Toronto, I was working just around the corner on Richmond and would go by the Black Bull on a daily basis.

I think I've only eaten there once. It was fine but nothing to write home about. It's all about the location.

That said, there is no shortage of patio space in Toronto.
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Old 05-10-2009, 04:53 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Old 05-10-2009, 05:16 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Location: Toronto
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Originally Posted by settie View Post
Thanks for all the restaurant suggestions! I'm keeping my list for future use.

At the end of the night, we chose upon Fusilli, and were the last customers. Very, very, tasty food. I had the fusilli with salmon...my god...orgasmic. And their brushcetta had very fresh tomatoes. Excellent. I'll definitely eat there again.

Anyone got any opinions on the crepe cafe downtown near or on queens? I can't quite remember where it was, but it has CREPE written all over it. Good crepes? Is there a better dessert-like cafe?

---------- Post added at 03:00 AM ---------- Previous post was at 02:56 AM ----------

Glad to hear!

The Crepes there are very nice and great on the go. I've never sat in and tried anything else on the menu.

You'll find plenty of bakeries and sweet shops here (European, Mediterranian, Chinese, Korean, Indian...) and excellent desserts at any fine restaurant but dessert cafes don't really exist in Toronto. I think it all stems from the horribly sad Just Desserts shooting 15 years ago. That incident and the ugly trial that followed was a turning point for Toronto's self image.

But don't let me get you down. Dufflet's makes great pastries, The cinnimon buns and Scones at Sweet Bliss, the pie at Wanda's Pie In The Sky are fantastic and the Banana/Nutella crepes at the Crepe cafe are worth the calories.
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Old 05-11-2009, 05:36 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Charlatan View Post
Dim Sum... I think the place was called the Pearl Palace.
yes, the place where you go upstairs for the tastey dim sum right? And there's free street parking until 1 PM on sundays - a definite bonus.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlatan View Post

Mildred's Temple Kitchen in Liberty Village is a reboot of the fantastic Mildred Pierce. It is great for Sunday Brunch but get there early.
Are you saying that Mildred Pierce is no longer???? I used to frequent that place for dinner in the early 90's. Introduced me to ceviche. I was thinking of going back there for a summer dinner.



as for the OP, if you ever go back for a meal, classic Italian at the Florentine Court should be given a try. Last time I went to this old style Italian dinning room, I had the high table (or prix fixe) and the woman receives a rose while the gentleman received a cigar. Not sure if that is still the case, but the old style service was certainly worth it!

http://www.where.ca/toronto/guide_li...ing_id~544.htm

It's hard to find any info on the place, but it is right inthe heart of the downtown, very close to where Second City used to be on Lombard Street.
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