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St.Clair & Bathurst Suggestions

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Just moved into the area so I'm looking for great places to check out on days that we just don't feel like cooking. Any type of food, price range etc. If they deliver...even better, for those really lazy days.

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  1. El Fogon
    543 St. Clair Avenue West (west of Vaughan)

    It's not the prettiest of eateries, but who cares? The Peruvian fare here is hearty and very very tasty. While you wait for your meal, you're given a basket of bread with green chili dipping sauce. Potent stuff.

    Papas a la huancaina (cold boiled potatoes and creamy cheese sauce -- trust me, tastes better than it sounds) and perfectly grilled anticuchos (pieces of beef heart, skewered) are great apps to share. I've been meaning to go back and try the grilled calamari.

    As for mains, the meat and fish options are a-plenty. (Lomo Saltado! mmmmm) The alfajor is nice. Thin layers of shortbread sandwiching sticky sweet dulce de leche. I wish could tell you more, but I haven't been in months. Man, these rice crackers are letting me down. I think I might head up to El Fogon this weekend ^_^

    2 Replies
    1. re: lactard

      I swung by El Fogon recently...worth checking out for sure. The aforementioned beef hearts are damn good (and I don't usually like hearts all that much), and the "World Famous creamy cheese and yellow hot pepper sauce over potatoes on a bed of lettuce" very nice as well. That chili coriander hot sauce is just great, and seriously goes well with everything there (dip some of their yuccas in there for kicks). The Bistek (steak) was not bad... the beans that came with it were a good match. I think I'd just try more apps next time - ceviche, calamari, avocado shrimp salad - they were that good.

      This place is directly across from Albert's, and actually the best part was when Albert himself came across to have his usual Heineken, and the small group of us had a lengthy animated conversation about the love of food, Jamaica (and stories of hilarious visitors he brings there), oxtails (gave us quite the tip), and the travails of running a small business. We brought up the need for a Caribbean joint up in York Region while he mused about opening a strict jerk pork and chicken place over in Hong Kong. Good times...

    2. I like Albert's at Vaughan Road. Also Pho St. Clair (for Pho, obviously) and Dave's Pizza (does great Calzone both baked and deep fried) are both a little further down St. Clair. Further on still (past Oakwood) is Khmer Thai which I love (does Cambodian and Thai). There are all kinds of latin american places b/t Bathurst and Oakwood. My favourite is El Fogon (at Vaughan Road), they have good steak and also good seafood noodles and fresh fruit juices and cocktails.
      On the more expensive side are Filipo's Italian and Ferro which are both very good.

      4 Replies
      1. re: Claire

        I second Albert's for Jamaican, and Ferro for Italian - pizza is great! Also Mezzetta for mediterranean mezzes - various small dishes (dips, salads, kebabs etc...) for $2.95 each (or less if you get 10/15/20 etc.) Also it's buy one get the next for $1 on Monday nights. Churrasco is OK for takeout whole bbq chicken (their hot sauce is pretty good), but I don't think it's much better than at Loblaws, and Loblaws is cheaper I think. (All restos mentioned located on St. Clair between Vaughan and Arlington)

        Claire, how is the Pho at Pho St. Clair - been meaning to try it? Do they use high quality meats in the pho (i.e. white meat chicken, non-gristly meat)?


        1. re: fortheloveoffood

          My husband and I always have the rare beef pho which has decent meat in it...and I am very gristle particular!! Though I'm sure chicken is more apt to be gristly, so unfortunately I wouldn't be a good judge of PHO st. clair. Their broth is good and the basil and sprouts are always fresh.
          It definitely beats the heck out of driving downtown or uptown for pho, that's for sure!
          let me know how the chicken is when you try it.

          ..or maybe I'll bite the bullet and try it next time...

          1. re: Claire

            I've enthused over an incredible amount of bowls of beef Pho and have never even considered chicken. Sometimes, yes even seafood, but never chicken. Perhaps it is mostly a limitation to my making of Won Ton soup at home combined with occasional enjoyment of chicken soup at a Jewish restaurant. I actually wonder now if I will ever order chicken soup for Pho??

        2. re: Claire

          El Fogon is quite good. I've had the steak with onions several times, and it's great. Good value too.

        3. A lot of great places along the stretch of St. Clair, keep on checking further and further west as time allows! I would use transit and cover both sides of the street in personal search of food establishments once away from your walking base. Use Old Weston Rd. as your furthest west base.

          1. A lot of great places along the stretch of St. Clair, keep on checking further and further west as time allows! I would use transit and cover both sides of the street in personal search of food establishments once away from your walking base. Use Old Weston Rd. as your furthest west base.

            1. There's the Retro Cafe if you're looking for comfort food. They have limited hours. Call first.

              1. Wow...we've lived near Bathurst/StClair for 20 years....where do I begin.....first Urban Fare Caterers on Bathurst South of St Clair at Vaughan...East side of Bathurst...wonderful take away...all made in the kitchen at the back....Marcellos on St Clair at Dufferin ....Mama Mia is in the kitchen making delicious food and a wood burning pizza oven for yummie pizzas....Pain Perdue...St Clair at Rushton...french bakery...great bread and desserts and quiche...plus its only a short walk to Forest Hill Village at Spadina...great spots there too...Miranda

                1. Thanks Chowhounds! I will definitely check all of these suggestions out. Can't wait to explore the area!

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: AJ

                    Just wanted to add a couple of my favorites.
                    Banfi in Forest Hill Village for Italian. Very neigbourhoody.
                    Dos Amigos on Bathurst for Mexican - Delicious.
                    I like to take-out the Churrasco chicken from the place on the south side of St. Clair near Christie.

                  2. Dos Amigos for sure. Rushton is also very nice

                    1. I'm sorry for this "unfinished" rec, but West of Bathurst on St.clair, on the north side. There's a Cuban place that doesn't speak any english. I dont remember the name, but they hang a big cuban flag up.

                      Their whole fried snapper (pargo) and yucca fritas are cheap and good. Alot of cuban seem to frequent the place, and they only speak spanish, so be patient when ordering.

                      I'll try to note the name next time I go!

                      1 Reply
                        1. re: Brain of J

                          Nope, that wasnt the place. The place I'm talking about is MUCH more low-tech =) and serves up pargo. Also, the yucca frita is about half the price.