Restaurants & Bars

Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Best and Worst Chowhound Tips: Act II


Restaurants & Bars Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Best and Worst Chowhound Tips: Act II

juno | | Jul 12, 2008 09:44 AM

It's just about a year ago that I asked this board's members to step up and list the best and worst tips they've discovered on Chowhound. The query got a lot of response, though not as much the all-popular What Is the Best Pizza/Hamburger/Fish and Chips/ Falafel? kind of threads invariably trigger. Still, there was enough response to encourage me to ask once again: what is the best and worst tips you've found on this board within the past year or so. I do this for a selfish reason: the answers afford me a distillation of which joints around town may be worth chasing down, and which not to bother about (given the price of gas).

I'll start the festivities by offering my choices. Noting that I've yet to make my way to the much-praised Caplansky's for a pastrami sandwich, I'll pick the Maple Yip as the best tip I've found here within the past year. This board is especially strong on Chinese resto critiques, with some ace noshers who seem to know their Asian cuisine, and this modest Cantonese seafood house - initially tipped by the ubiquitous Charles Yu, if I recall - is a winner in every respect. I've been there at least a dozen times, having different dishes at almost every sitting, and have never been disappointed (pretty good for a Chinese resto, where chefs can change from one week to the next). The place is in deepest Scarborough, in an all-Asian mall at the corner on Sheppard and Midland, but I've never minded the 20-minute drive from my hutch in deepest York Mills. There may be better, more sophisticated Cantonese joints around, but not at these easy-to-take prices. Minimal English spoken - indeed, I don't think I've ever seen another Occidental face in there (aside from those at my table) - but you'll manage somehow to make yourself understood. Pay attention to Mai, whose English is good enough and who seems to run the place, when she suggests dishes normally outside your comfort level that you might want to try. Clear, fresh, straightforward flavors. Thanks, Charles (or whoever tipped me to this one).

As for my worst Chowhound tip, well, astoundingly, unlike last year I didn't have one this year. And here's why: experience these past couple of years has taught me who those posters are who seem most articulate, perceptive and - more to the point - whose tastes and palates seem to coincide with mine. I've also learned to be wary to those whose palates - in my view - could still use a little seasoning (though I'd never dismiss them out of hand because maybe they've seasoned without my noticing). And I'm also always on the alert for the occasional review on this board that seems suspiciously halleluia-like in the glories it imposes on some newly-opened resto in need of immediate puffery. Beware the glowing review that comes out of left field, of which there've been a couple I suspect in the past month or so. Judging by the responses they triggered, a few others have noticed them, too.

So: which are your best and worst Chowhound tips over the past year? And it'd be herlpful if you could give us a sentence or two explaining your choices, the better to allow the rest of us to decide whether your picks might be worth persuing - or ignoring.

Go, team!

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