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Sep 27, 2006 09:17 PM

munchies from east to west - madeleines, bahn mi, cevap and more...

woke up drained from two days of event prep and took the day off work to recharge and munch around the city. we started off with some madeleines from madeleines up at dupont and davenport. chocolate was ok as was the green tea, but the saffron was the clear standout as an interesting flavour that goes well with earl grey tea. it wasn't overwhelming and exhibited the unusual ingredient.

from there we went towards the rose cafe to test out these so called amazing bahn mi. i was disappointed. my latest usual haunt for bahn me is nguyen hung on spadina because of their perfectly crusty buns and flavourful fillings. the rose cafe on broadview at gerrard east had an ok bun, still exhibiting some crunch but little softness and greater chewiness. the pate had a very strong muskiness to it that is unusual compared to the other housemade pates of other sandwiches. the meat though, was barely noticeable because the flavours were so mild that it was completely lost. off day? you tell me. they did have a good amount of pickled items and some very crisp cilantro. the spice mixture they put on top was pure burn and little flavour. it was $1.50 for one sandwich.

next door was the phoenix bakery that had just opened and was offering buns at 3 for $1.... for very good reason. curiousity took the best of me and so i picked up 6 to test out. they were tiny and required a search party to find any filling. the bread/dough was ok to good but the fillings were absolutely ordinary. i had the curry beef, bacon bun, hotdog, bbq pork, fried pork filled and sesame ball.

ikea happened to be along the way and so after getting a few mason jars to store goodies, we snacked on a 53 cent hotdog with some dots of mustard. one of the best money for tastiness processed hotdogs ever.

at bloor/runnymede i hopped out of the car for some smoked chicken at astro. dark sinewy look on the outside, the smoked chicken isn't too unlike ham in it's colouring and flavour. biting into a piece produced flowing juices with the meat easily peeling apart from itself. fantastic! just the right amount of salty goodness. for a piece about the size of my fist (a small one) it was $1.57. i also picked up a cabbage roll from pure craving and it was basic with no extra sauce. they also served a pile of perogies that looked tempting, rolled up cheese crepes and tonnes of other deli items.

my first ever cevap was had at bosha on dundas near runnymede. it's a dry and chewy bread that's a little fluffy and round and flat like a thick pita cut open to be a sandwich that holds 5 grilled sausage like patties made of moist lamb, beef and possibly pork. it's stuffed with a few slices of raw onion. way too dry, it's supposed to be eaten as bar food and will require a few drinks on the side but the spiced meat sandwich is a great snack. just ignore the hairy shirtless man in the apron. 5 sausage sandwiches will run you $4 and a 10 sausage sandwich $6.

after a few last bites i called it quits until the next run.

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  1. Great report, and I'm envious of your geographically and ethnically varied day.

    1. I was also disappointed with Rose Cafe's banh mi. I went out of my way to try it there.

      Will have to get around to trying Bosha.Thanks for the tip. Just so you are aware, the word cevap (or cevapi or cevapcici) actually refers to the meat patty that you had inside the sandwich, rather than the sandwich itself. Most times I've ordered it, it has come as a main dish, with potatoes and veggies- no bread, no onions. Similar to the way you can have souvlaki in a pita, or as a main. Cevapi is common throughout Romania, Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia and Bulgaria. I recently had a terrific version in Ottawa.

      2 Replies
      1. re: phoenikia

        thanks for the info! i was going on someone's suggestion and low and behold there was a sandwich in front of me. i noticed a longer menu along with some desserts and drinks so will have to go in and sit there for more exploration. i've been told that this is one of the better places in TO! tell me how it compares to ottawa as i may hve to check out what you had the next time i'm there.

        1. re: phoenikia

          Hi there, I am replying to a very old post here back from 2006, although I was wondering if you remember the name of the restaurant that served Cevapis in Ottawa. I have just moved here and am looking for a bosnian specialties or restaurant that may in fact serve this delicious treat.

        2. I read it and made me want to go and take the day off work now! Alas, need to pay for the food! ;)

          1. If anyone is in the east end anyway and does not like Rose's I suggest trying the banh mi from the bakery across the street. I like theirs much better.
            But please don't make a special trip. I think they're on par with Spadina but not necessarily better.

            1. Where on Spadina is Nguyen Hung? ...sounds interesting...

              7 Replies
              1. re: TwinklyTerrapin

                north of dundas in between the small glut of chinese grocery stores. i think it has a red and yellow sign? it's right beside another place that sells sandwiches and "deserts" as well but is much better.

                1. re: pinstripeprincess

                  It's on the west side of the street, just north of where most of the sidewalk fruit stands end.

                  Nguyen Huong Foods
                  320 Spadina Ave

                  1. re: xtal

                    I love Nguyen Huong. The days of $1/banh mi are over ... its now $1.50, but still, I'm not complainin. I love their pate the best, the meat comes second, but yeah, the heat's there when you bite into the chilli, but not when you're on extreme ends of the bun. The meat is usually flavourful for me...

                    1. re: jennjen18

                      Don't forget about the fresh taste of cilantro, mmm...

                      1. re: jennjen18

                        Do they have a vegetarian version?

                        1. re: piccola

                          If it's the one I'm thinking of, then yes, they do.

                          1. re: mariecollins

                            That's enough encouragement for me! Thanks.