Archive for the ‘Food and Drink’ Category

A Little Taste of T.O.

A metropolis can be, nay, MUST be defined by the food its citizens enjoy. There is an endless variety of foods which Torontotonians consume in a daily basis, and Taste T.O. wants to sample all of them.

Sure, you can visit redtoronto, or martiniboys, or whichever restaurant review site you sporadically frequent, but none can be quite as detailed and mouth watering.

Just reading the various goings ons the city has to offer is enough to whet my appetite. For example, this week there’s a beer and cocktail show at the Distillery District. There’s even an event at the Bier Markt. There’s also a Global Wine Tour being held at The Fine Wine Reserve. One word of caution: try not to activate the alarm at The Fine Wine Reserve. It’s freaking loud.

For those of you who noticed, no I’m not a drunkard. It just so happens that those events are the ones I happen to like and wanted to highlight. There are others in the city. What are they? You can see a list every week at Taste T.O.

La Maquette (The Model)

This past weekend my wife and I headed down to La Maquette for some French cuisine. This place had been recommended to us by visiting French and Congolese relatives who seem to know their food so we had to check it out. Although it is not on the cheaper side it truly isn’t extravagantly priced either. The presentation of the dishes is fairly delightful and the atmosphere was very relaxed. (Especially with the guy playing Beatles, Lennon, Bach etc on the classical guitar) There was a lot of clinking glasses, laughter and conversation around us but we still felt like we had our privacy too. It was a nice place to go out for dinner so I thought I would recommend it!

ps. They do some great pasta as well as your foie gras, quail etc.

Located at: 111 King St E (King & Church)

Jonesing for Java?

To all coffee lovers, the Brotherhood of the Bean has great news: this Thursday, March 15, 2007, from 10am-12pm, Starbucks is offering free coffee. Long lines expected.

Don’t know where the nearest Starbucks is? has you covered with their Tim Hortons/Starbucks locations Google Map Mashup.


A New Food Website

A selection of food bloggers, including local chefs and established food writers, have come together to provide the daily dish on food happenings in Toronto. With everything from restaurant reviews and shop profiles, to editorial features, interviews, and harrowing stories from the city’s restaurant kitchens, as well as regular round-ups of news items and web-related stories to food in Toronto,, new food and drink website, has got something for everyone Greg Clow told Toronto Metblogs. was created by the husband and wife team of Greg Clow and Sheryl Kirby; regular contributors include local chefs Signe Langford (of Riverside CafĂ© and Amber), Jason Grenier, and Howard Dubrovsky (of CBC’s Gill Deacon Show), food writer Tikka Smiley, and holistic nutritionist Cathy Bouchard, as well as a collection of Toronto bloggers, food lovers, and writers.

It’s an attractive site with an easy-to-read design, with photographs and illustrations designed to make you drool and head right out to try the purveyors of these gorgeous-looking coffees or comforting looking foods. I urge you to check it out.

Honey Apricots

So some time back, I had asked the great audience of Metroblogging Toronto for some advice on desserts. Though the response I got wasn’t overwhelming, I did want to try a few of the spots that I got suggested. I tried out The Apricot Tree Cafe as suggested by Natasha at Erin Mills Parkway and Dundas.

I have to admit, this was exactly the type of place I was looking for. The place was nice and quiet. The ambience was nice and mellow with some great jazz in the background. The cheesecake selection was brilliant along with their crepes and tiramisu. The mousse was out of the world and the service exceptional. Highly recommended. Though, it does close by 10 pm which is a bit early for my liking. Oh yeah, and the best part, no high school kids and no sugar head rushes. Dessert actually tastes like dessert and not a spoonful of sugar. Even though they’re right next to a Starbucks, their coffee is amazingly significantly better as well.

One thing is for sure though. I’m so done with Demetre’s.

Thank you Natasha!

The Golden Age of Soy is Here

Let’s admit it – soy technology has come quite a distance since the old days when soy meant something icky and we all pretended that we hadn’t heard the rumor about extensive meat extension in McDonald’s burgers. We were just glad to get a decent burger and didn’t care so much if it was tainted with soy, just so long as it was served near a cartoon creature. Let’s face it – many of us have had poorly prepared tofu and few of us know how to really do it well.

Well, open your eyes, Toronto, and feast them on Ying Ying Soy Foods! I saw Ying Ying at the St. Lawrence Market and was immediately drawn to the many flavors of soy in the cooler case. From burgers to sausage to turkey, chicken and even steak, you can find deliciously prepared soy foods right there in the heart of Toronto.

For those of you who are sitting back and saying to yourselves that you would never try such vegetarian fare, I dare you to try it. I double dog dare you. When you think about what some meat tastes like, it doesn’t really taste like meat, does it? Sure, maybe a steak does, a little bit. But burgers? They taste like the stuff you put on them. Chili? Sloppy Joes? Similar deal – they taste like what’s in the sauce. Sausage? Tastes like spices.

Go give it a shot. Ying Ying has the taste you want. And if you don’t want to go to the Market, you can find their products in many health food stores in Toronto as well.

Montreal Smoked Meat… in Toronto

I was looking for some comfort food today. That old style deli sandwich of my dreams. A friend recommended the MUTUAL STREET DELI. Oh what a great friend they are. I was very pleased when my Large Montreal Smoked Meat Sandwich arrived. This is a LUNCH!!! I’m in a sort of heavenly daze, I may even take a nap…MMMM! Classic, classic, classic. Definitely on my personal favourite Toronto restaurants.

The Mutual Street Deli is not for the faint of heart. The servings are generous and the prices reasonable. One of the city’s hidden treasures for sure. I’ll have to go back for some breakfast one day. A delightful deli tucked in on Dundas East…

Mutual Street Deli
152 Dundas Street East
(Just West of Jarvis St.)
tel. (416) 363-6740

Eating Fire for Dinner

Can you tell that I am enjoying the multiculturality Toronto has to offer? I have to out myself at this point. I am a visitor. I don’t live in Toronto but I end up here for a couple weeks each year and fell in love with the city many years ago. One thing I really enjoy is all the different restaurants I can sample.

My newest experience is a Sri Lankan place called Hopper Hut at 880 Ellesmere Road (at Kennedy) in Scarborough. If you like spicy food you will love this place. My wife thought I was crazy for eating something that she says tastes like fire laced with cumin but I loved it.

One of the best parts was a banana leaf all wrapped up with different curries and coconut rice inside. I wish I could remember what it was called. My friends and I shared three dishes and have enough left for another three meals. All this cost only $20. I can’t believe how affordable it was for the quality and quantity.

My wife didn’t want any part of it but fire was exactly what I wanted, to settle my stomach after the bland foods I have eaten recently.

Open Post (New Years)

Does anyone have any suggestions for New Years Eve?

Stories of places one should avoid?
Something you just have to experience?

This is an open post so go ahead and tell Toronto your story!

Buddha’s Vegetarian Foods

Okay, I know – enough with the Chinese veggie restaurants already! Well, there is one place you should definitely not overlook. Buddha’s Vegetarian Foods at 666 Dundas Street in Chinatown is the mack daddy of Chinese restaurants. If the young people still say mack daddy to refer to good things. I lost track of the vernacular after I quit teaching.

For about $7 you can get enough delicious food to eat off of for a couple full meals. My friends and I typically start with a giant hot and sour soup, some imitation duck and soya bean rolls as appetizers and then have one or two main dishes to share. This, for four people, is way more than you can finish in one sitting and makes for jealous coworkers if you bring it to work for lunch the next day.

The Buddha’s has pretty Spartan features – plain white walls, little artwork, and you are offered only chopsticks and a soup spoon to eat with, although I have seen them produce a fork on request.

This is the real deal. You won’t find General Tso’s anything or mee-yu fried rice, as you might see in the more westernized places. What you will find is fresh vegetables, delicious cooking and a desire to return soon. Best of all, it’s a bargain.

Tell them Carl sent you. That won’t get you a discount or anything and they won’t know what you are talking about but I know they will like that someone is spreading the Buddha’s gospel.

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