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May 1, 2004 08:05 PM

Vancouverite visiting Toronto first time

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Hi everyone, I am visiting Toronto in July and was hoping for some good restaurant recommendations. I want a popular place where the locals love, I don't mind lineups as I have tons of patience as long as the food is out of this world. Any recommendations and advice is much appreciated. Thanks for reading!

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    Peppermint Pate

    I'd certainly put Terroni in this category. There are 3 locations but if you're going for dinner and you want a vibrant atmosphere, I'd suggest the one at Yonge and Balmoral (a few blocks south of St. Clair). Great pizzas and pastas, inexpensive wine, very friendly service - consistently good and packed every night of the week. I go there all the time as do many, many others and it's always a fun night out. Enjoy.

    9 Replies
    1. re: Peppermint Pate

      I'll agree with Pate about the quality of the pizza. In my opinion Terroni is number 1 in quality however the Yonge and Balmoral location has far from a hip crowd. Lots of retirees from th esurrounding condo's. Go to the Queen W. location for the atmosphere. I also have to disagree with "friendly service" note. As I already mentioned the pizza is #1 in T.O, however there is no flexibility with respect to toppings, none what-so-ever. I had a fight with them (Yonge & Balmoral) a couple of years ago that was sooo infuriating. My wife is lactose intolerant, so we decide to share a couple of apps and split a pizza. I asked for no cheese on half the pie. No extra ingredients just no cheese on half. The server said they don't do customized pizza. I said I'm not asking for anything customized, just fill your hand with half the cheese you would normally use and only spread it on half the pizza. The server said no. The pizza came and my wife picked the cheese off her pizza. I left no tip and once a week for the next two months, I ordered huge orders for take-out, sometimes lunch, sometimes dinner and never picked up the orders. Was I right or wrong-many opinions I'm sure. All I know is that I felt much better!!

      1. re: Stephen

        I though Canadians were supposed to be polite, sburger. You and that pizza jamoke, sounds like a couple of Chicag'ans goin' at it, dere! ;)

        1. re: JimInLoganSquare

          I am polite-but will only put up with so much crap before I snap!! Maybe it was the two summers I spent in the Wiconsin Dells working on Lake Delton, surrounded by all the Chicag'ans that tainted my Canadian passivity.

          1. re: Steven

            That's not a very professional (or mature) way to deal with unprofessional service. You should really have brought this terrible lack of respect from your server to the attention of the owner. Unfortunately owners cannot see everything that goes on in all businesses. But to put so many other people out(other staff and customers), not to mention the waste of food, was really behaviour mimicking your servers.

            1. re: veggrl

              I am not arguing that my actions were either professional or mature-infact I would concur with your assessment-I did feel pretty good, though. However, this policy of non-flexibility was not the decision of the server. She was a bitch, no doubt about it , but she was following the corporate policy. I enquired about this from the owner who is based at the Queen St. location. Ironically he now says hello whenever I am at the Queen location and even advises the pizza maker to break their, "eat-it-as-it-comes" policy and leave the cheese off my wife's pie. As for wasting food-pizza is flour and water-not exactly what I would call finite resources here in the great-white north.

              1. re: stephen

                If I were you I would not eat at their premisis any more... there cant be too many people who eat pizza with one half no cheese and you just admitted to the "prank" you pulled which cost them time and money... You never know what kind of topping you may end up with on your next visit!

                1. re: Rob

                  Actually Rob, maybe I'll take your advise. Maybe next time I'll order a loaded pizza. While nobody's looking I'll very slyly remove all the toppings from half the pizza, quickly remove the cheese from half, and with nobody looking put the toppings back on. This should ensure that my cover won't be broken!! What do you think?

                2. re: stephen

                  A mix of flour and water sounds like play dough to me. Terroni makes better pizza than that, with really good toppings. Why else would you keep going there after such a horrible experience?? Certainly not for a paste of flour and water.

                  1. re: susan


                    If you saw my original post I agree that Terroni (Both Queen locations) is the best pizza inj Toronto. The fact that I'm on this site in the first place would lead one to believe I am in search of the best of chow. My litle incident at the St. Clair location is over-I had my personal retribution-and have moved on. Obviously a cook you are not. Last time I checked the ingredients of pizza dough-you've got water, flour, yeast and salt. Not exactly truffles, fois gros and caviar. The secret to the Terroni crust is the proofing, manipulation and ultimate cooking (wood-burning. The toppings while good, are not as unique as the crust. I hope this helps to clarify my position.

      2. There are several areas of town you should check out...

        1) Little Italy (College Street) if you want a bit of a flashy place with great food try Li'ly. You get there early on a weekend and have a great dinner then the place fills up with a nice mix of people and the bar starts hopping... Then stroll down the street and stop in any of the other lounges along the strip.

        2) Entertainment district (King & Queen Streets) I would suggest Rain the owners have tehir own cooking show on the food network and the food is fantastic. A dinner you will never forget.

        3) Yorkville (Avenue & Bloor) Lunch at Sassafras if its a nice day get there early get a seat on teh sidewalk patio and watch the people go by as you enjoy great food..