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A prodigal chowhound's report


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Restaurants & Bars 13

A prodigal chowhound's report

gourmaniac | Jun 1, 2006 10:23 AM

Dear Toronto Hounds: Many thanks for your advice in making this trip an excellent chow adventure. You should be very proud of the diversity and quality of the small mom and pop places throughout your fair city. I had an epiphany on this trip: the strip mall is the choowhound’s best friend. These obsolete low rent complexes are an unoccupied ecological niche that allows small ethnic places to survive while catering to their own culture, thus maintaining food that is not diluted to fit western tastes. My best eating was to be found in multi-cultural strip malls (Roti, baklava amd Pho in the same set of storefronts) that dot your otherwise dull suburbs. Here is a list from my three-day trip. Happy to elaborate on any of them. Of note is that I managed to eat in most of the cities that make up metropolitan Toronto. All in all, great eating and loads of fun. Now, back on the diet.

B&B Roti (Steeles near MacCowan): excellent goat Roti, Trinidadian-Guyanaese style

Carnevale (Hwy7 near Beaver Creek): large variety of OK Brazilian BBQ. highlights were the lamb and grilled pineapple.

Al’s Fish and Chips (Village by the Grange), excellent fried cod but only so-so chips.

Island Foods (same) Channa double nice and very inexpensive)

Blue truck near City Hall poutine with excellent fries (much better than Al’s)

Hot dog cart (southwest corner University and College) polish sausage, wonderful as always

Fillipino foods (Eglinton at Dufferin) cheap chicken satay.

Osgoode Hall (Queen at University) excellent value French prix fixe for lunch ($14/$18).

Hong Fatt: (Dundas near Beverly) great soy sauce chicken wings ($2 for two large wings).

Armenian Bakery (Victoria Park near Lawrence) light perfect baklava.

Johnny’s (Victoria Park at Sheppard) Very good thin patty burger (much better than Harveys).

Embassy Samosa King (Finch at Middlemarch) superb samosas (5 for $1!) trip highlight.

Paul Kee (Birchmount at Finch): Lobster Yee Mein, beef chow fun, preserved duck egg congee. OK and a bargain ($25 for 3 with leftovers).

Elegant View (Victoria park at MacCowan) former favourite, was only so-so.

Mary Brown (Dufferin near Wilson) decent fried chicken thigh but not worth the calories

European Deli (Wilson near Keele) meat croquette and Polish dount (good and very cheap).

Dosa Darbar (Albion at Islington) Excellent masala dosa for $5 (eaten at the airport).

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