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Sep 12, 2007 05:20 PM

southern cuisine in the Toronto Area?

We recently visited S. Carolina and I fell in love with southern food. Shrimp with grits, crawfish ettouffe (sp?), hush puppies, deep fried seafood, baked sweet potato-hhhmmm.Does anyone know of any good restaurant in the Toronto to Niagara Area?

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  1. Southern Accents on Markham (Bloor & Bathurst area) comes pretty close. I went there a few years ago and remember liking the dinner... sorry I can't be more specific about the experience.

    1 Reply
    1. re: mzmcgee

      Might want to read this thread from last year for some other comments on Southern Accent et al:

      The post by "SouthernGal" in there says it best...

    2. The original comment has been removed
      1. I definitely second mzmcgee's rec for Southern Accent. It's a great cozy spot with some of the best service around, and the food is quite consistent. The hush puppies are particularly tasty, as is the piquant sauce they serve with it (we always have to buy a few extra bottles of it at the gift shop for family members whenever we go).

        Others rave about Cajun Corner at Queen & Logan, though I understand it's not really a restaurant, more of a take-out spot with a few tables.

        Southern Accent
        595 Markham St, Toronto, ON M6G2L7, CA

        Cajun Corner
        214 Laird Dr, Toronto, ON M4G, CA

        3 Replies
        1. re: Gary

          I third Southern Accent. Love it.

          1. re: magic

            Definitely Southern Accent.

            Also try Big Daddy's on King Street (not as quality as Accents, but it has the right food you are looking for).

            1. re: Tboy

              I would take a pass on Big Daddy's. Too much like a chain-style place for my liking.

              Southern Accent is very good. I fourth it!

        2. Cajun Corner has tasty food. While it is possible to eat there, it is takeout and not truly a restaurant. Limited menu at any given time, usually posted on the web.

          10 Replies
          1. re: embee

            Does anyone remember a place called the Underground Railroad? Great southern U.S. food (at least to my originally northern U.S. taste) in a very appropriate setting.

            What happened, evidently, was that the owners decided that this wasn't enough, they also needed an upscale southern restaurant, and both went broke. A good illustration of the principle "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."

            1. re: ekammin

              I ate at the Underground RR once. Very good, especially the cornbread.

              1. re: ekammin

                I don't remember anything about an "upscale" place from those people, but the Underground Railroad (on Bloor and, later, on King) was a great place. I vaguely recall that one of the owners was a football player from the US South.

                1. re: embee

                  The football player was Dave Mathews, who was an Argo at the time. The other owners were Archie Alleyne a musician, and Salome Bey's husband also a musician.(Howard I think) They started at 406 Bloor st. east, in the basement. They moved to King Street east and I think eventually ended up on Church st. just below Front. I think it was the usual "Raise their rent because they're popular" that finally did them in. I don't think any of those were really upscale, except perhaps in comparison to their original digs on Bloor st. The food was great and the place was always fun.

                  1. re: Leslieville

           are spot on. It was a great place to go for 'honest' southern food. Not sure what happened to Dave or Archie but Howard Matthews is still living in Toronto ( Unfortunately he has not been in the best of health, so I have heard). It was a fun place to eat and one of the very few 'southern cuisine places in the city...a pity!

                    1. re: pearlD

                      Hey PearlD Archie Aleyne is still here,enjoying as much success as most Canadian Jazz musicians enjoy. Dave Mathews had to bow out of his involvement early on, as he had a gun charge against him and as such could not be on a liquor licence. The most frightening thing about this is how long ago they opened! If you know that, then you realize just how inovative they were!!!!

                      1. re: Leslieville

                        Not sure if innovative is the way to describe the Underground Railroad, Leslieville. It was almost the opposite of 'innovative'. They just prepared food the way it had been done forever in the South. Doesn't seem all that hard to replicate, but people have trouble with non-fusion food, it seems. Someone's always trying to add a little twist.

                        1. re: Yongeman

                          I was thinking more of the time period that they opened in Toronto. Considering that it was almost (gulp) 40 years ago! Today they would not be considered at all adventurous.

                          1. re: Yongeman

                            I agree with Leslieville. For early 1970s Toronto, the Railroad was beyond innovative, it was positively radical. Remember, this was a time when the Italian veal sandwiches at San Francesco on Clinton were considered an "underground gourmet" discovery.

                          2. re: Leslieville

                            True...but it wasn't that they were innovative as far as the food went (that was and is still the mark of old- tyme southern cooking).
                            Beats me why there aren't more than a couple of places in Toronto serving 'southern-style' cooking. I went to Paula Dean's restaurant in Savannah wasn't very good ( a million tourists including me) BUT it has a menu to die for..if you like southern food...grits,greens, sweet potatoes, cornbread,beans and ham...bread puddding with bourbon sauce! Southern Food is great in small calorie/fat laden doses!