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Feb 28, 2007 11:19 AM

Help! Visiting Toronto Mid-March

I will be in Toronto visiting friends for four days in two weeks. I would love some input on the following five topics.

1. Cheese Curds - When I was young, my grandmother brought cheese curds back from every fishing trip she took to Canada. I found some curds last time I was in town but they were "cheddary" and the opposite of squeaky. Please tell me where I can find some good curds to bring back to New York.

2. St. Lawrence Market - I will visit the St. Lawrence Market. I will eat a sandwich containing peameal bacon. Is this a good spot to buy cheese curds? Is there a better place to buy them? What else at the market is mandatory?

3. Poutine - I had poutine last time I was in town. I will not admit where I bought the poutine. It appears that a good place to get poutine is the blue chip truck. Yes? No? (curds mandatory)

4. What the? - What is sushi pizza?

5. Other - I live with a Canadian and have an regular supply of "strangely" flavored potato chips and exotic Canadian candies. Is there anything I haven't mentioned that I must have during my short stay?

Thanks so much.

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    1. Butter Tarts! Apparently they don't have these in the USA. Step 10 feet across the border, and nobody has heard of them.

      The best potato chips are from Old Dutch (based in Winnipeg), but you can't get them in Toronto. Note that this is not the same as the Old Dutch in Minnesota.

      2 Replies
      1. re: obstructionist

        Butter Tarts! I can't I haven't heard of these before. I've added them to my list.

        I checked out Old Dutch on Wikipedia. They say that the Winnipeg plant and the Minnesota plant are two arms of the same business. It appears that the Winnipeg plant produces smokey bacon flavored and roast chicken flavored potato chips?! I've added these to my list as well.

        Thanks so much!

        1. re: obstructionist

          Until I moved to Toronto from Montreal ten years ago, I'd never heard of a butter tart either. So it's not just the Canada/U.S. border, it appears to be the Ontario/Quebec border, as well.

        2. The sushi pizza I've had that is good, ala Trevor, is a crispy fried rice "pizza" (kind of like a rice cake but with real rice that's been fried golden brown) topped with lovely tuna sushi.
          Can't help with the cheese curds/poutine. You might want to try the veal sandwich at Mustachio's at SLM. I like the fresh sprouts and different tofu products on the lower level.
          In relation to strangely flavoured chips - gotta have Lay's Ketchup Chips. Candy - not sure if you have Allen's Sour Patch Kids, but they are a personal fave of mine. If you have already experienced these things due to living with a Cdn, bring some back for he or she!

          2 Replies
          1. re: pescatarian

            Sushi pizza sounds like it's worth a try. If I can persuade my sushi-averse host to indulge me, where should I go to try it?

            Tofu products sound great. I can't wait to visit the market!

            1. re: PAnhandler

              The tofu place I'm talking about is on the lower level on the Southeast side.

              I've only had the sushi pizza at Trevor, which is very close to the market on Wellington East. I would recommend sitting at the bar, if you are eating at Trevor. I prefer the bar menu. You can order from the main menu at the bar, if you choose, however. Try their mac and cheese if you go there as well.

          2. Cheese Curds is a tough one. I usually buy them right at the local factory outlet which tend to be scattered in the small Ontario towns. Too get that wonderful squeaky noise they need to be very fresh.

            Here is a cheese map for Ontario if you're outside of Toronto at all.

            I'll take a look at the market this weekend and let you know.
            Here is a good thread on the market including my 2 cents.

            1 Reply
            1. i pick up my cheese curds every so often from the monforte cheese woman at the st. lawrence farmer's market held only on saturdays. if you happen to be there that time then nibble on some of her other items.

              unless you loooooooooove mayo in sushi, i don't quite know if sushi pizza is for you. the above description of a thick fried disc of rice with sushi on top is right.. but add in a goopy layer of mayo between and there you go. if trevor does their sushi pizza just like how they do their tuna tartare (which for the love of god i have no idea why tuna tartare would have mayo) then it's tiny tuna pieces drowning in mayo, which is pretty horrendous to me.

              also, please do NOT get your peameal from carousel but some other place in st. lawrence market - my choice is the take-out side of paddington bar. i don't get the hype, it's cold, pre-cooked dried out meat and they often forget the mustard. do go to schefflers and test out canadian cheeses to your hearts content, they'll open up any package for you to try gladly.

              4 Replies
              1. re: pinstripeprincess

                I don't recall mayo on the sushi pizza at Trevor, and I am not a fan of mayo, so I think I would have noticed, or at least I would have noticed if it was drowning in it.

                1. re: pescatarian

                  There was also a sausage from Quebec at Schefflers last time I was there and it was great.


                  1. re: pescatarian

                    i'm glad then that you were spared what i had... i was really appalled and thus far have not been impressed by trevor the way so many others have been.

                    1. re: pinstripeprincess

                      Actually, I agree with you in terms of being blown away by trevor - I haven't been either, mostly because of the mains. We enjoyed our appetizers though. That's why I recommend if people go there, they stick to the bar menu.

                      I'm glad I didn't get what you got either!