Philadelphia 'hound here. My husband and I just got back from eight days in Toronto and the Niagara lake region. We used several Chowhound suggestions and I thought I should report back:
Ethiopia House - had dinner there one night. The food was fantastic, but the service was probably the slowest I've ever had. We waited over an hour for our food after we placed our order with the server; it didn't come out until my husband went in and asked for it. He also had to go in and ask for the check. Maybe service is faster if you sit inside rather than on the patio, but I was so hungry by the time the food came I felt sick. They didn't appear to be that busy - only two other small parties were seated during the whole time we were there. Very, very disappointed in the experience, but the food was, as I stated above, fantastic. Not worth the wait, though.
Greg's Ice Cream - just as good as we'd heard and worth the very long walk. I had the toasted marshmellow with hot butterscotch sauce and real whipped cream; he had a chocolate cinnamon milkshake. Delicious.
Other meals in Toronto:
--dinner at Peach Garden, a Vietnamese restaurant I can't seem to find a link for. The food was delicious. It's not the classiest looking place in the world, but the food was sooooo good. Delicious pho, delicious spring rolls. Recommended.
--dinner at Alice Fazooli's, mainly because we had a large group and they're good for that sort of thing. We won't go back - they've changed their menu a lot and eliminated the famous Crabshack Bread, and now they're just a mediocre seafood and Italian chain. We were disappointed.
--dessert at Milestone's, which is a hallmark of our Toronto trips. I can't get enough of the Bellini and the chocolate ganache torte, and my husband is mad for the Iberia chocolate cake. As long as those things are on the menu, we'll keep going back.
--lunch at Licks. The hamburgers were fine, but they were a little too pre-formed for our taste. Reminded me very much of the hamburger I once had at Harvey's. The fries were also only fine. We thought it was pretty mediocre diner food.
We also had delicious Middle Eastern food at a total hole in the wall on the outskirts of the University District, but I cannot for the life of me remember where exactly it is or what it was called. It was on the way to Honest Ed's (we didn't go there, but we walked by) and it was on the right hand side of the street. Delicious homecooked food.
We stayed at Wooton House on the water (www.wootonhouse.com) in Port Dalhousie, and the full breakfast in the morning was fantastic. This was one of the best B&Bs we've ever stayed in. Highly, highly recommended.
We were there for the Shaw Festival, and after we saw the stunning "Man and Superman" we headed over to the Stone Road Grille (REST) for an early dinner. This was probably the best meal of the trip. We had the sublime cheese plate to start; three generous wedges of cheese (selected from a list of six) served with homemade crackers and honey and bread with tomato-basil butter. Then I had the daily risotto (lemon-pepper cream sauce with rock shrimp) and my husband had lamb. We were stuffed and skipped dessert. The service was delightful, the atmosphere simple but lovely, and the food was just as good as this board said it was.
We had lunch one day at the Epicurean, and I wouldn't recommend that at all. Limp quiche and bitter salad.
We had one dinner at Spice of Life in Port Dalhousie (curry for him, mussels and a salad for me) and that was nothing special but we enjoyed it. We ate two dinners at Da Pizza Joint - one downstairs and one outside on the patio, where the menu is different. We enjoyed the patio menu more - the pizzas were more gourmet in style - but overall were pleased with both.
Finally, we did stop into Anna Olson's bakery/food shop and were quite impressed. I had a tomato/basil/goat cheese tart and then, later, a peanut butter and chocolate tart; my husband had a mini chocolate mousse cake. We were quite pleased with everything.
Throughout our time in Niagara I enjoyed a lot of local wines with dinner and fell in love with icewine. Overall we were very happy with the food we consumed on this trip, and I thank you all for your excellent discussion from which we culled many recommendations.
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