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Jul 3, 2007 05:48 AM

Restaurant equip in GTA

Which has the best priced/quality of restaurant baking sheets, pans, etc. I used to always go to Williams in Windsor, but haven't been back for a while.
There are quite a few listed, but would value your personal recommendations more than an ad.

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  1. If you don't mind a bit of dust and chaos, you should pay a visit to Tap Phong in Chinatown. It's on the West side of Spadina, a few blocks south of College.

    1 Reply
    1. re: TorontoJo

      Two places that I use are "Fortune" also on the west side of Spadina (just up from Tap Phong) and "Nickolau" on Queen Street West near Bathurst. They service a lot of the Chef's in town, I learned about Fortune from Elizabeth Baird and saw Christine Cushing's staff at Nickolau several times. They are not as reasonable as Tap Phong but the quality is excellent and if you have any problems with your purchase both stores are extremely amenable.

    2. There's also a restaurant supply store on College St, south side, somewhere around Grace maybe. I forget the name though, sorry.

      6 Replies
      1. re: littlegreenpea

        U-Deal. I think they're overpriced, but the selection is decent.

        While not as cheap as Tap Phong and perhaps Nickolau, my favourite is Nella Cucina at Bathurst north of Bloor. They have another location on Queen near River. Tons of selection, impeccably clean and well-organized, friendly staff that seemingly beg to get you discounts (Bathurst location, at least). The extra mile on service, selection, and cleanliness can be reflected in the price at times, but I think it's worth it. If they don't have it in, they will get it for you with a smile. The Nickolau guys are surly and at times uncooperative -- double this if you're a novice/don't work in the industry. That said, I will stop in on occasion to get something. I bought most of my current cookware there and it's been fantastic.

        There's also a store on Park Lawn near the Queensway I've been meaning to check out...

        1. re: SxCx

          I have NEVER in 25+ years found Nikolau's staff to be "surly and at times uncooperative" -- they in fact seem to go out of their way to help novices, asking questions and making recommendations based on skill level etc. Totally unlike the staff at Dinetz, to which the negatives do apply, consistently, esp. to non-trade shoppers.

          Nikolau carries just about everything in just about every size, in a range of crap to top-quality, and will sometimes shave off a few dollars. I would go to Tap Phong only for low-quality items or Asian items specifically, such as woks. You will find a lot of flimsy aluminum pots n pans there ...

          Nella Cucina also has an outlet on Queen E. near Parliament; I don't know how stock compares with the (bigger?) Bathurst store. Staff can seem remote, and quality and prices are both highish.

          1. re: SxCx

            I have to agree with SxCx that the Nickolau staff can be very rude. Last time I was in there they insulted a customer who walked out.

            Dinetz is industry centric, meaning you to beg them to help out a poor student.

            Nella on Queen East is awesome. They do have discounts and very very helpful.

            Tap Phong will always be my favourite Saturday afternoon vice.

            1. re: SxCx

              I have a Nella near me at 433 Queen E between Parliament & River. I can echo your observations regarding customer service, selection, and well-laid out floor plan. It's pretty obvious I'm not a restaurateur looking to purchase large quantity. I'm not ignored nor made to feel as though I should be. They've been kind and helpful.

              1. re: Googs

                I agree, Nella on Queen East is great. I was told by the guy at Nella Cucina at Bathurst and Bloor that they are actually not related.

                1. re: pescatarian

                  He told me the same thing but I think it was more like they are in fact related but had a falling out of some sorts so the two businesses are not connected in any way. In fact he went out of his way to make sure I know this.

          2. I like Dinetz on King E, just west of Sherbourne. Haven't been in a while, but I find them pretty good.

            Agreed that Nickolau can dish out the attitude.

            Tap Phong has great prices, but I find that it's sometimes difficult to find things and it's usually insanely crowded. Fortune is worth a visit if you're on Spadina.

            For baking specific needs, I really like McCall's (Bloor and Kipling). Definitely for hard-core bakers and professional cake decorators.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Olivia

              I too found that one of the guys at Nickolau to be quite curt. Although once we got past that, and he saw I was serious about my purchase he ended up being quite helpful...even went out of his way to connect me with his supplier.

            2. Wow - such a great list of suggestions. I don't mind dust if the find is worth it. These are all intriguing. While I am on the topic, for cookie sheets, I have gone through my fair share of non-stick, stainless steel, etc. Do you recommend aluminum; what do the pros use?

              1 Reply
              1. re: itryalot

                I'm no pro but for cookie sheets I always use standard resto-grade aluminum sheet pans (the ones with the one-inch rim), with a nonstick mat or parchment if required. Forget nonstick, it's inappropriate for many baked items, and forget fancy things with air cushions etc, and forget the cookie sheets with no sides. Of course others will have different opinions (and of course Chowhound will have a board somewhere for just this kind of answer).

              2. Skip Fortune in favor of almost anyplace else.It's a very pale ghost of what it once was and seems, obviously, to trade on memories of when it was full of quality and hard-to-find items. Tap Phong looks like Fortune of 20 years ago on a grander scale.