South Etobicoke Report (Long)
I had the pleasure of living in south Etobicoke (Lakeshore&Royal York area) for several months while attending Humber. Here is what I found.
General Impressions: This part of Etobicoke is very working class with a strong Polish and more recent Caribbean ethnic make-up. Haute Cuisine is not really an option here, and the most highly regarded restaurant in Etobicoke (Sushi Kaji) I could not visit due to feduciary considerations. That being said, for a student on a budget, this area provided lots of tasty finds at a very reasonable cost.
10. Polish Village (2976 Lake Shore Boulevard West)
Standard Polish fare at very reasonable prices. Only dined there once with girlfriend and had 2 bowls of borscht, 6 latkes, 2 cabbage rolls, 2 schnitzels, perogies and 2 Zywieck beer for under 20 dollars!!!! Was so confused at low price that I started thinking that Polish Village might in fact be some kind of Baltic Mafia front. (Just kidding...kind of).
9. Lucky Dice Restaurant (2868 Lake Shore Boulevard West)
One of many "Dining Lounges" that can be found in the area. I would like to know the history of the name "Dining Lounge", a throwback term that inspires visions of Robert Goulet types crooning over your salisbury steak. That would be awesome, but besides video poker, a jukebox and the candid chat of the regulars, I couldn't find anything remotely entertaining about lucky dice. Good homemade burgers, but there are a billion places like this.
8. Falafel Royal (2836 Lake Shore Boulevard West)
Take advantage of daily rotating specials to score 1.99 plump falafels sandwiches with all the standard accoutrements.
7. Yalla Cafe (3106 Lake Shore Boulevard West)
Authentic Lebanese gems are hidden amongst standard falafel and shawarma type plates. Had a spicy sausage pita wrap that was quite similar to Balkan Chevaps there.
6. Thai Spring Roll (2888 Lake Shore BLVD West)
Easily the most pleasant and least hole-in-the- wallish restaurant in the general vicinity. Uninspired thai menu is priced a little too high, but great maylasian dishes and some awesome red curry lamb.
5. Rocket Fuel (2925 Lake Shore Boulevard West)
This little gem offers an amazing brunch. Tall and delicious egg-bread monte cristos sided with a fruit salad that GASP! doesn't have any melons. Rich eggs pacific with smoked salmon and capers on a hollandaise sauce. Can't miss homemade jams like strawberry grand marnier. Loses out on atmosphere a bit, if you want to eat in it's in a cavernous dungeon of a dining room. Not fun for a cheery, sunny Sunday brunch.
4.Golden Cook (2955 Lake Shore Boulevard West, besides Caribbean Queen Roti, which is quite scary looking, so I've never gone in)
Take-out Caribbean fare that offers oxtail that rivals Albert's at a cheaper price. Goat Curry, Fish and a variety of other authentic Caribbean stables can be had here. I just always go for the oxtail.
3. Zakopane Deli (3061 Lake Shore Boulevard West)
Polish deli with two little tables by the window to eat their nourishing and tasty polish fare. I have had swordfish, roast pork sandwiches, giant chicken legs with mushroom sauce on top, meat crepes, cabbage rolls, schnitzel etc. A plate of schnitzel, salad, mashed potatoes, crepe and mushroom sauce will probably run you less than 6 dollars. BONUS: best ponchks around for 70 cents. DOUBLE BONUS: Cans of Red Bull (the real stuff) for 1.99!!! Truly a chowhound's dream.
2. Creme de la Creme (2991 Bloor Street West)
A famous breakfast place up on Bloor and Royal York. Great omelletes, peameal bacon that looks more like thick pork steaks, swiss rosti style hash browns, waffles with amazing homemade yoghurt on top. Plus you don't feel like you're in Mullholland Drive when you're eating your breakfast (refer back to Rocket Fuel). Can get busy on weekends.
1. Bom Apetite Churrasqueira (1176 The Queensway)
Ok, here's the deal. I am a born in the Azores Portuguese guy who is a self proclaimed churrasco expert. Bom Apetite is about as good as it gets in Toronto. It would be a tie between them and Costa Verde near St. Clair. The chicken at Bom Apetite is juicier, but Costa Verde has better potatoes and hot sauce IMO. But if you live anywhere near this area and have the lunacy to order Swiss Chalet again, I urge you to try this place out. Swiss Chalet will always be there for you later.
Great report from the real world. Chowhound Toronto needs more of this.
When you're next on St. Clair, try Tipico Familiar at 952 (the corner of Oakwood) for burritos, guacamole etc. Cheap, cheerful and could always use another discerning diner.
It is a fairly good report but it's from almost 4 years ago. Spring Roll's mediocrity is not news and I've never heard of the "famous" Creme de la Creme" and I used to live in that area. Anyone else know if it's good (famous?)?
Also, I know this is being nit-picky, but "fiduciary" has nothing to do with being able to afford Sushi Kaji.
I tried Zapokane. I loved the lemon sweet custard cheese crepes. They are $1.50 and a lovely treat. The pork meatballs where also pretty good. I found the perogies (apologies for the poor spelling) to be meh and bland with no cheese in the potato cheese ones. I also must mention that all the hot table food is nuked in the microwave. This ruined it for me in a way but perhaps others won't mind. It definately is ridiculously cheap though. I wouldn't go back though.
Thanks for the report, I was planning to head out there this week and am glad to have a choice of dining destinations.
Thanks, Miguel, very nice report. Creme de la Creme is staffed by Poles, I believe, consistent with the neighbourhood as you suggested. Like Yellow Cup Cafe, this gives the place a great European flavour, like the cafe at Dimpflemeyer on Saturday mornings. CC is packed on weekend mornings, and offers a tremendous Eggs Bennie and delicious coffee, highly recommended.
Will also try Bom Appetite. Thanks again. Not to hijack your thread, but do you know if Didier has left La Petite France?
Are you referring to Didier Leroy of Didier restaurant and catering? There's no info on chefdb.com about the chef at La Petite France, 3317 Bloor West.
My 2 cents on S. Etobicoke:
The Village Butcher is under new ownership and carries high-quality organic meats. My Christmas turkey dinner was amazing due in great part to the delicious meat they sold me. They also carry gourmet food and drinks (including fresh juice from Chasers), and Dufflet desserts.
Sweet Olenka's is still churning out excellent, creamy ice cream and is getting creative with chocolates & truffles.
Birds 'n' Beans is the best coffee shop in the whole area and has a new back room to allow more people to linger.
Chasers is still doing well ($4 for a medium size freshly squeezed/blended juice) and is now stocking Atelier Thuet items and Chilean jarred fruit.