I have fond childhood memories of visiting this restaurant but in the last 15 or 20 years, I had probably only been about 10 times. That is, until recently - maybe 'cuz I have my own kids now and it feels like a generational thing to share, or maybe I'm getting older and feeling nostalgic for these kinds of places or maybe it's nothing more than the fact that over the last few months, I have reawakened my love of this place. Anyway, it gets mentioned on the favourite comfort soup thread, favourite oldie but goodie thread, favourite kid-friendly spots and other threads - all for good reason - but after decades of bustling business, I thought it was time to give this crazy, great restaurant its own thread.
If you can brave the insane parking lot (hang on tight to your children's and parents' hands!), you will find yourself in a 90-odd year old, third generation family run dairy restaurant with a huge menu of traditional Jewish favourites served in a bustling atmosphere to throngs of bubbies, zaidies, babies and everything in between. Don't be phased by the line-ups as the tables turn frequently.
We're still working our way through the menu but highlights include the legendary split pea soup, a thick, hearty pea soup with egg noodles that remains one of my all time favourite soups. It is the very definition of comfort food. Great cheese blintzes, really great grilled cheese, tuna melt on a bagel, Greek salad and, of course, lox and bagels.
Old school waitresses have been working the biz for years - service is fast and flawless. Dining with kids? You'll get crayons and colouring sheets when you sit down and you will barely wait 10 minutes from the time you order till you're digging in. And on a really good day, one of these sweet cheek-pinching waitresses may even surprise your tot with a free cookie from the pastry counter at the front.
It's not fine dining, it's not fancy dining, it's not refined dining - it's loud, it's bustly and it's great cooking in a friendly, haymishe (homey) room where you'll feel at home amongst friends (and crazy family members). Think of the old school delis in New York and you'll get the idea.
Anyway, we've been going there a fair bit lately and I'm feeling the love right now so just thought I'd shine a little spotlight on this old gem. I know there are other fans on this board, and hopefully a few of you will be new ones too. Anyone else care to share their favourites?
506 Lawrence Ave W, Toronto, ON M6A, CA