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Jean's Thai Kitchen BACK?

I heard from a friend that Jean's Thai Kichen is opening up again on the Danforth east of Greenwood. Does anyone know anymore information? Hopefully its the original owners.

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  1. There is such a place under construction and the sign says "vegetarian". No idea as to the owners, though.

    1. If so, it would be the third incarnation for these people (at least). We started with their long-ago store at Eglinton and Duplex. Then, by happy coincidence, Harry came out of retirement and opened up around the corner from our house.

      We'd also seen the sign for the new resto, and dared to hope.

      Any word on timing?

      1. Update: my friend saw the owner in front of the restaurant last monday Jan 1 and he said they would be open within a week. Anyone that lives near by please keep me posted.

        1. It was open today when I walked by.

          1. East enders, Jean is back!

            I walked by tonight and said hello -- here's the skinny:

            - they had their grand opening last night. Hours are Tue-Sun, 5-10pm
            - it's full veg, with some soy-based 'duck' etc.
            - a slightly smaller menu than their Danforth & Woodbine location (though, sadly, no Mee Goreng)
            - a nicely appointed room, with prices are in the $8-9 range

            A very good day for the east end!

            1. what's the exact address? or at least intersection? on the north side of the danforth? between coxwell and greenwood?

              1. It's on the north side of Danforth between Greenwood and Linsmore Crescent(the street that the Greenwood subway station is on).

                1 Reply
                1. re: hoagy294

                  Thanks Chowhounders. Thank you, thank you for letting us know!

                  Hubby and I rushed over there for dinner tonight and YES, IT'S TRUE! They're back!

                  Jean's Vegetarian Kitchen
                  1262 Danforth Avenue

                  It's awesome as ever. We had two apps: the spring rolls (Jean sent complimentary ones) and the golden baskets -- corn, water chestnuts, peas in a tiny edible pastry basket. We had pad thai (of course!) and a tofu with veggie and cashew dish with some brown rice. Awesome. We took lots home for leftovers so I'm all set for lunch tomorrow, too. Next time, we'll try one of the curry dishes!

                2. is it just vegetarian? or do they have beef/chicken mains as well?

                  1. Menu is just vegetarian. Soy-based (tofu) mock "chicken," "beef" and "shrimp" are featured on the menu.

                    1 Reply
                    1. We went. We ate. We loved.

                      If anything, the menu is even more adventurous than before. The pad thai had fake shrimp, which I don't recall in the previous incarnation. The texture and taste were surprisingly good - and a welcome addition to what is, imho, already one of the best Thai dishes anywhere in the city.

                      And the food is every bit as good, if not better for the protacted absence. Harry, Jean and the rest of the family are stil there, greeting customers new and old. And the decor is actually lovely - a red-and-gold colour scheme, without being overdone. The old place was, to be polite, a bit bland.

                      I asked Harry why he decided to re-enter the business. He said he was bored just sitting at home.

                      His boredom is our gastronomic gain.

                      Go. Go now. Go often. Before Harry retires. Again.

                      1. Any idea why veg this time?

                        I just did the math and Harry must be ancient. Good for him!

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: embee

                          Didn't ask why veg. The first place of his I knew - which was at Eglinton and Duplex, and lasted about six months - was also strictly veg. Nice going into a place and not needing to ask what's in anything.

                          Especially when it's *this* good.

                          1. re: Webdude

                            Harry's first place was in Kensington Market,probably around 1982. He had that with his first wife, but that's another story. The food was excellent, and I think also vegetarian. I remember eating there with a friend who had tears running down her face from the spicing, but she couldn't stop eating it. I'll have to try the new one.

                        2. We ordered in again from Jean's on the weekend. All I can say? *Slurp.*

                          We had a green curry with mock duck, soba noodles with mixed veg - and Harry's signature dessert, mango and sticky rice. Even though mango is out of season, it was worth every last bit of the $6 price.

                          Harry and Jean's daughter was at the cash when I went to pick up. She had that "Don't I know you" look - and I said yup, from the old store. I told her we'd been following her family for years, and weren't about to give up now.

                          Hope she doesn't think I'm a stalker.

                          I've decided, in fact, to add Jean's to my list of favourite restos - bumping, sadly, Chiado.

                          1. To add one more hoooray for Jean's Vegetarian Kitchen, three of us had dinner there on Friday and it was lovely! We started with with fried spring rolls, which come with a honey sauce rather than the usual tart pickled plum sauce, and the golden baskets, which were crisp little pasty shells filled with cold, mixed veg filling--crunchy savoury, lots of different flavours and textures. It was great, and although the menu said there were five in a serving, they brought us six, so we could each have two--that's just classy.

                            Next we had the papaya salad which was also great. Loads of tart papaya, crunchy nuts, crisp red pepper and green beans, and lots of flavour all 'round. I'm definitely trying the mango salad next time.

                            For mains we had a red curry with fake shrimp, pad thai, spicy eggplant, and the mustard greens with garlic. The curry was lighter, and not as thick as most thai curries, but I really enjoyed it, and the fake shrimp, while not particularly convincing, were amusing. The pad thai was excellent, and there were chunks of "chicken" that ~were~ very convincing. There was also a huge heap of chili peppers on the pad thai that frightened us, but when we finally got the courage to try them ,we realized that they weren't' as hot and intimidating as they looked--if you try it, be brave and liberal with the chili peppers. The veg sides were both wonderful, particularly the eggplant, all silky and garlicy with bits of basil. For dessert two of us had the mango sticky rice, which was a warm cozy way to end the evening.

                            My only sadness about the evening was that Jean's isn't licenced--it would have been wonderful to have a beer with that good food--but the honey lemonade was some of the best I've had: more tart than sweet and very refreshing.

                            Jean's totally deserves all the good reviews it's been getting, and I can't wait to go back...

                            1. Ok, I know this will sound like a stupid question, but are they heavy handed with the peanuts? My hubby is likely (*sigh* - don't ask) allergic, and while I enjoy Thai when he's not home, I don't like to tempt fate too much by mowing down on tons of the offending legume.

                              And how do they compare to Tiny Thai Kitchen? I think TTK is great, but for take out at least, they're quite expensive for the portions.

                              1. The menu says they will accomodate those with food "allergies."

                                1. I went there this evening and the food was fabulous. The flavourings were just right.
                                  Spring rolls were yummy...nice and crisp and not greasy. The tom ka soup as well as pad thai were really good. The "shrimp" and "bbq pork" tasted just like the real thing.
                                  Vegetables used were really fresh and not overcooked.

                                  1. Thinking of bringing a small group. Can someone tell me if you can make reservations? Also parking, i'm assuming street or green P?

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: Little T

                                      Street parking is easy (except Danforth during rush hour).

                                    2. Jean's Vegetarian is brilliant. I'm a true carnivore, and was a bit uncertain about the mock duck and shrimp before ordering, but both are really good. In fact, it's all really good. Jean's pad thai is the best I've had in a long time. No ketchup!!!

                                      I've committed to eating there as often as possible. Given their history of repeated retirement, I fear they'll be closing down again far too soon!

                                      4 Replies
                                      1. re: Lotus Seedling

                                        Do they deliver? is there a menu online somewhere?

                                        1. re: Sweet Pea

                                          Unfortunately, they don't deliver. They do take-out. And I'm farily certain there's no on-line menu.

                                          1. re: Lotus Seedling

                                            how are their fresh spring rolls? - at the moment, I think the huge rolls at Thai Bistro rule....are they as good?

                                            1. re: berbere

                                              I'll confess that I don't remember the fresh spring rolls at Thai Bistro, but I have eaten at Thai Bistro, and I found the food in general at Jean's of a much higher order than the food at Thai Bistro. Jean's fresh spring rolls are excellent. Being a little deep-fried-phobic, I've had fresh rolls almost everywhere I've eaten Thai or Thai-like. I found Jean's to be perhaps the best. I'd say 'the best' unequivocally except for the fact that -- perhaps due to the forgettable nature of the other ones I've eaten -- I can't remember most of them.

                                              Just finished some take-out (no menus on line, but they took less than the promised 20 minutes to prepare our food -- and on a busy Saturday night). We were taunted all the way home by intoxicating aromas, and dug in with great good gusto. Wow. Superb food. Superb. I'm already day-dreaming fondly of the left-overs we can have for dinner tomorrow night ...

                                      2. Excellent food. Mock meat really tastes good. We had: curry rolls, mock duck red curry, mee goreng (daily special), spicy basil eggplant, house curry with mock chicken drumsticks and one of every desert on the menu. This place beats any "mock meat" vegetarian place we've tried in Asia.

                                        1. Does anyone know if Jean's is still there? I did a double drive-by yesterday and couldn't find it.

                                          5 Replies
                                          1. re: voracious

                                            I saw it a few days ago. It's on the north side of Danforth just east of Greenwood (between Greenwood Ave and the Greenwood subway station). Green sign saying, IIRC, "Jean's Vegetarian Kitchen". It is small and the area around it is quite visually "busy", so I'm not surprised that someone would miss it. I never even noticed it until it was discussed here and brought to my attention.

                                            1. re: vorpal

                                              Thank you! I thought I had waited too long.

                                              1. re: voracious

                                                We ate there for the first time a few weeks ago on a Saturday night, with friends who used to patronize the family's previous restaurant and who love the new place too. We had a very good meal. I am a non-meat eater but love seafood (a pescatarian) and the others were ominvores. Lovely spring rolls and a very good mango salad to start. The pad thai had a very nice flavour, almost slightly smokey, and I didn't feel it missed the fish sauce. I could live without the mock shrimp and chicken, and would have preferred it just with straight tofu and veg (as my friend said, "Don't mock me"). We also had a dish of fairly conventional green curry vegetables and several bowls each of coconut rice and brown rice. But the real standouts were the Ginger-Chile Eggplant -- it's not on the menu, but was apparently on the menu at the old place, so our friends asked for it (no problem) -- and a wonderful dish of okra in tamarind sauce. All consumed with ginger green tea. No room for dessert. And yes, our friends said it was the same family. A man named Harry brought our tea.

                                                1. re: Helina

                                                  Harry's the owner. Jean's his wife. And I believe that one or more of his/their children also wait tables, serve and generally help out.

                                            2. re: voracious

                                              Definitely now where others have reported. It's a great spot and I often get take-out there. I love all the mock meats. Just not a huge fan of okra, that's all. :D And definitely the same family.