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comfort food downtown

  • p

i have this want for some serious comfort food, this can be any culture, any style, anything... but the only requisite is that it really sits down at the bottom of your stomach and fills you up with warmth and goodness.

where do you go to get yours?

my usual is probably anything in a noodle/congee joint, but i'm curious to try other people's options.

Link: http://tongueandcheek.ca

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  1. as most when i get the craving for comfort food nothing is better than what you make yourself, however when the urge strikes unexpectantly I go to (don't laugh) Wimpeys, not for a burger but the hot chicken sandwich with mash and a ton of gravy or liver&onions mmmmm

    1. Warm cement? For greasy, satisying Teutonic goodness, nothing beats lunch on a busy Saturday at Brandt Meats in Mississauga--"Not downtown," as you'll predictably declare but worth a try, Princess. Nothing downtown comes close. Trust me.

      5 Replies
      1. re: Ronin

        i'm more interested in downtown simply because i don't own a car nor live near someone i know who does... so i prefer places i can ttc or walk to.

        however, there are a couple friends in the 'saug. i'll give em a shout about brandt meats one day.

        Link: http://tongueandcheek.ca

        1. re: pinstripeprincess

          If you own (or have access to) a BBQ you could also pick up some sausages from Brandt next time you're out in the west end.

          Late last Friday afternoon we had our first impromptu BBQ and cooked up some nice brats to go along with their take out side fixin's, rye bread and whole seed mustard.

          Can't go wrong with their hot table, a little grease is ok once every few months :)

          Anyways, when I'm downtown and craving comfort food I'll usually hit a pizza shop. Papa Ceo's across from UofT Grad House is my current fave, so many slices to choose from...


          Link: http://www.brandtmeats.com

          1. re: mosport

            Mosport, which of their sausages do you recommend?

            I went to their website and saw the many different types of sausage and couldn't decide! :)

            1. re: Lisa

              The ones we usually cook up are the Nuernberger Bratwurst or cooked Bratwurst sausages, these are the ones reccomended for BBQ'ing.

              Next time I'm planning on trying the Swiss Style Veal Bratwurst, try some of their macaroni salad while you're there too.

              With all the selection available, take the opportunity to taste them all!


              1. re: Lisa

                The trick with Brandt wurst is that they're all naturally cased. This makes 'em a bit delicate for careless grilling. Better to gently par-boil and then quickly grill. Their brats, knockwurst and plain weiners are sweet; the farmers' sausages are smokey heaven. I love these, esp. the minis, grilled under the broiler for breakfast.You'll never get wurst this fresh elsewhere--the factory's only about 30ft. away! A hidden gem and well worth the drive from downtown. Don't miss Dimpflmeier Bakery down on Advance just east of Kipling, either.

        2. Paneer Makhani plus naan: Nataraj
          Rare Beef Pho plus a spring roll: Pho Hung
          Fish and Chips plus a pint of Black Oak Pale Ale: Allen's
          BBQ ribs plus a couple glasses of "Big House Red": Relish

          1. Mmmm...comfort food that sticks with you

            Hungarian Goulash Soup and Chilled Cappuccino at the Coffee Mill in Yorkville
            Halibut Burrito at Burrito Boyz
            Falafels at Akram's
            Hot Dogs from Ernie (Ryerson Campus - Gould and Victoria)

            1. The Mars on College for:
              Corned Beef Hash
              2 eggs over easy
              dark rye toast
              cole slaw

              Oh yeah, babe!

              1. for a soul satisfying meal (that sometimes turns soul-searching owing to the heat), we always head to the Soon To Fu place at Christie/Bloor's koreatown....the fresh stonebowl rice and steaming stews really hit the spot! ...for a korean, anyways!

                1. Mine is noodles. Nothing comes between me and my noodles. Anything stringy is fine with me. But in the late nights of studying for midterms and exams, I cannot have anything else, but a pack of yummy, hot, msg-filled instant noodles (preferably with hot chilli and sesame oil). MmMmmmmMmMmmm...

                  But after skimming your Tongue&Cheek, I had visions of having a bowl of hot noodles with either beef brisket or wontons at Swatow (on Spadina, Chinatown). What makes it perfect for ME at least, is the abundance of fragrant green onions. I looooove it when the green onions are semi-soaked in the brothy soup, and you can just smell the sharpness of its flavour as the steam from the soup rises. I actually like the "ho fun" (wide rice noodles) though. Reminds me of good times in Hong Kong, at this street market, sitting out on the streets at nighttime, boiling hot weather with a big fan blowing in the background, and digging-in into a bowl of nice, flavourful beef brisket and beef ball noodles in Tsim Sha Tsui, with super hot chilli oil.

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: jennjen

                    JennJen, I absolutely agree!

                    What also reminds me is a bowl of hot "tang jai" congee and deep-fried breadsticks in a cold winter's night. The congee and deep-fried breadsticks in Canada are never as good as those in Hong Kong's streetmarket

                    1. re: DessertLover

                      Yes, beef brisket noodle soup (wide rice noodles) is pretty comforting for me. I can't say how many bowls I've had this winter. :) I usually go to King's Noodle as it is my one stop noodle/bbq joint but I will have to try swatow's version after hearing the rec's!

                      Other comfort foods-burritos from burrito boyz, coconut buns from kim moon bakery, ramen noodles from konnichiwa and those beef ribs from c'est what.

                      1. re: DessertLover

                        MmMmMmM... street food. I dont know what the thing about streetfood is, but there's just some kind of appeal to it. And its the stick thing too--any kind of food put on a stick really fascinates people, I find. Downtown Toronto should have something like that (here's a visual, http://www.engr.uiuc.edu/internationa...). At least a cart or something at the front of a restaurant, with a bunch of fish/meat balls, fried 3's, and smelly tofu or something. Imagine that. People just picking up food and dropping off change as they walk along the street. That would be great business. But a lot of garbage though. But hey, lots of garbage bins would solve the problem. Toronto needs more garbage bins anyway.

                        1. re: jennjen

                          Hey DessertLover,

                          It doesn't get streetier than this:


                          1. re: jennjen

                            Thanks for your pics. So yummy!!! I wish I can have them now. :)

                    2. Mmmmm... comfort food.

                      Daybreak (Church & Carlton)
                      Eggs Florentine

                      Pho 88 (Spadina & Dundas)
                      Chef's special Pho (#101, I believe)

                      Kim Moon Bakery (Dundas & Huron)
                      A fistful of buns/tarts + an almond cookie

                      Mustachio's (St. Lawrence Market)
                      Eggplant sandwich

                      Swatow (Spadina & Dundas)
                      Shrimp dumpling soup

                      Chinese Traditional Buns (Spadina & Dundas)
                      Any of their buns

                      Mother's Dumplings (Dundas & Huron)
                      Any fresh dumplings

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: xtal

                        Where exactly is chinese traditional buns, which corner?

                        1. re: Little T

                          It's on the north side of Dundas, just west of Spadina. Look for a sign, and a set of stairs heading down from street level.

                      2. My comfort food would be curry beef brisket on rice at either Kings Noodle or Goldstone. Reminds me of meals my father cooked when I was a young lad.

                        1. Depending on my mood, my comfort food picks are:

                          - Chinese Traditional Bun for jellied tofu and buns

                          - Grapefruit Moon for a Sunny's Grilled Cheese sandwich (cheddar, tomato, onion and avocado), fries and a Cameron's lager.

                          - Thai Salad King for spicy tofu

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: carolyn

                            You just brought back some happy memories of living in the Annex, there's nothing I miss more than Sunny's grilled cheese!

                          2. Soup at Esther's Soup Kitchen in Cumberland Terrace. Good for what ails you.

                            1. Chicken shawarma from Al Ghazale (next door to Bloor Cinema)

                              Shrimp lunch special at Happy Seven (Spadina Chinatown)

                              Veal sandwich from California Sandwiches (Claremont)

                              Panzerotto from Bitondo (Clinton)

                              Apple turnover and/or canoli from Riviera Bakery (College and Manning)

                              Channa roti with hot sauce from Roti Palace (Bathurst south of Bloor)

                              Fries and sauce from Swiss Chalet (Bloor west of Bathurst)

                              1. PUlled Pork from House on Parliament... waffle with fruit compote and organic maple sausage at Morning Glory (King st e)

                                1. Smoked meat sandwich or all-day breakfast at Mel's Montreal Diner (north side of Bloor, a few blocks west of Spadina).