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The Gerrard Square thread

Someone else talked about this, so I'm gonna' start it up'.

http://www.gerrardsquare.com/store/st...

Hopefully there will be more than a few opinions posted. Here are mine:

El Greeko
The owner's a bit of a cheapo. He got rid of the Tabbouleh because he is too lazy to make it, and complains that too many people wanted it and apparently it was only supposed to come with the Vegetarian Plate, which was good for the price until he got rid of the Tabbouleh, It's not really worth it anymore. Said he was losing money giving people tabbouleh on the other plates, which I find hard to believe. The shwarma sucks, it's dry. Roast potatoes have a strange taste as if there was a bunch of cinnamon added to it. Don't like the rice either, it also has an odd flavour IMO. The gyro meat has a nice taste to it, good gamy flavour of lamb in it. The souvlaki is ok, but that's nothing special in this area as you can get it just about anywhere. The prices are alright though, and the salad ingredients seems reasonably fresh and good. The falafel itself is decent, but with no tabbouleh what's the point? The only thing I will get there is Gyro, which is also widely available in the area. So there really isn't anything special about El Greeko.

It's a shame because there isn't any good Falafel / tabbouleh in the area. The two places on Queen East are disappointing.

Tropical Joe's
Pretty good for a take out Caribbean in a mall. They are Guyanese style. Potato balls are ok, but skip the Poulories IMO. Maybe I am just used to the Trini style ones. You get a good portion on a chicken roti, roti is fresh and good dhal purie, though I find their curry chicken is too strong and if it wasn't for the fact that they mix the chicken with the milder curried aloo (potato) I wouldn't be able to eat much of it; but mixed together it's decent. Peas and rice are ok, but stay away from the chow mein, it's mush. The fish is usually good and you get a nice size piece. My wife likes their Jerk chicken but I just find it okie dokie. You can get coconut buns for patties, but I've found the only patties that aren't made from scratch that aren't either two much dry pastry, or soggy and/or chewy are the michedean ones. I don't much like their stew chicken, sometimes it is an awful bright colour. I prefer a darker stew chicken, though it has it's good days sometimes. The curry shrimp is pretty good, properly cleaned and unshelled, though you have to ask for it. We never eat Oxtail so I don't know about that.

International Cuisine (formerly Thai Delight
)The Thai place is back in the same spot, but under a different name. The same cook is in the back, and if you ask him he will cook all the same stuff that was on the old menu (my wife used to always get #112 Spicy chili beef with cashews, and ask for it extra hot). This was the best place in the mall for awhile, and in terms of prices still is pretty much. I would say this place is actually really good for a mall takeout (not comparing to places in Asian oriented malls, of course). Only complaint is with the shrimps. I have found this with a lot of Asian places though: they don't always clean the shrimps good (can hardly blame them, it's a pain in the ass) and though I don't mind the shell, I won't tolerate the line of shrimp shit that should ALWAYS be removed.

Asian Gourmet
They charge too much. The bourbon chicken was good the first couple of times, but the last few times I found the meat itself very questionable. It tasted like they must have used some low quality chicken and didn't wash it, as it had that disgusting slimy stuff that should be rinsed off from under the skin of chicken ALWAYS, and fat globs. We threw it in the garbage twice. Orange chicken, BBQ pork, general tsao, etc. are all ok stuff. The noodles are ok. In all the place is nothing special though, and since the Thai place is back what's the point in paying more for food that isn't any better?

KFC
A bunch of idiots work there IMO, who never want to give you any white meat, never seem to have enough chicken to fill any orders of family meals, and have constantly forgotten to give me something almost every time (such as gravy, salad, or whatever) and unfortunately I usually don't discover until I'm already home. So if you get anything from there check to make sure you get all your items.

Subway
No complaints, but I never eat it, just my wife does.

So there it is. ;-)

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  1. Admittedly, I love Tropical Joe's oxtail meal. It tastes really good the few times I ordered from there. Always order the large because you get really good portions there compared to the small. However, I found the curry goat dinner fair. Still have to try their jerk chicken because it looks delicious. Don't remember if roti was on the menu or not? If they have it, next time I'm gonna definitely try a beef or chicken roti there. Goat roti is actually my favorite, but since the curry goat dinner was bland there. I just don't trust getting a goat roti there since the curry goat was just OK. LOL

    Makes me wanna visit Gerrard Square food court and eat there for old times. Reminds me of high school days! ;)

    1. Actually, I think you've said it all.

      1. Are you serious? El Greeko is the worst 'Greek' restaurant I have ever been to.

        One, the name isn't REMOTELY Greek. For God's sake, El isn't Greek, and adding an O at the end doesn't help matters much either. What is it? Half Spanish and half Greek?

        Two, the food is terrible. Don't get me started on how the Gyros there tastes. It is literally process slabs of meat on a pita. And the meat there is absolutely repugnant.

        The gyros is the sole reason why I'll never eat there again. El Greeko is a disgrace to Greek food.

        1. There is now a location of crepe it up on the second floor of the mall... something a little lighter/fresher than the steam table selections downstairs.
          www.crepeitup.com

          2 Replies
          1. re: julesrules

            Better just head across the street to Pizza Pide and ignore the square all together.

            Yuck!

            1. re: currycue

              +1 for the Turkish Pizza place across the street. Order the assorted pide the first time you're there so you get a taste of all their different toppings.

          2. I hate to admit it, but we pick up from International Cuisine occasionally when we're in the area. Usually noodles, chicken and veg - not too bad either. Never tried any of the other places, and I probably won't based on what you're saying!

            4 Replies
            1. re: SusanB

              International Cuisine actually has some tasty home made food, but much of what they sell is saturated with grease. It's unfortunate, since much of what they sell seems to start out fresh and the prices are great.

              Tropical Joe's has good tasting food at good prices. The curries aren't earth shattering, but they are usually better than those at the Real Jerk. The patties are serviceable, though no more than that, but are the only decent cheap snack food at the mall. They also provide a great service - that of overwhelming with appetizing aromas the gross smell coming off the Subway stand next door.

              The Greek and "Asian" places are gross. The KFC often has higher prices than the standalone KFC west on Gerrard. The food is, well, KFC.

              I don't see the new crepe place surviving any longer than the failed places in that spot before. Even with Winners and Staples, there isn't much traffic on the second floor. When I went up to try it, the place was open but there wasn't anyone working there (and no "back in a few minutes sign" either).

              1. re: embee

                Actually for what it's worth, the KFC at Gerrard Square is Halal certified, so you would have to assume you're getting a slightly better product than you'd get at other KFCs.

                1. re: Sherm_TO

                  I was back at the square today and I had a nicely browned, thin crepe with apple slices and dulce de leche. The seating area is pleasant, with Paris cafe style chairs and tables - totally faux, but a glass table and a reasonably comfortable chair with a back, at the formerly sketchy mall? I'll take it. It was a remarkably pleasant way to spend 20 minutes. Atmosphere certainly no less than Pizza Pide, which is a place I should revisit - when I want an actual meal.

                  1. re: julesrules

                    I certainly hope they succeed, but no upstairs food place ever has to date.

                    I don't know whether "formerly" sketchy fits. After all of the renovations, one would have thought so, but:

                    - The "As Seen on TV" stand remains in the centre of the mall
                    - There's a stand for a "model agency" recruiting aspiring models - this is never, ever done by real agencies
                    - There's a guy at a small table selling rigged playing cards (just for entertainment, of course)

                    Compared with these establishments, the meat stand and discount book stand that used to give the place a fleamarket ambiance now seem upmarket.

                    A new place called "Max Pizza" is opening at the spot vacated by mmmuffins in the food court. Has anyone heard of this operation?

            2. Walk half a block east, across Marjory Ave., and three doors further to Collegiate Lunch. Decent diner food at very good prices with friendly service.

              1 Reply
              1. re: CeeQueue

                The Crepe place also serves decent coffees, Vietnames ones are my fav.

                The new pizza place also has Pides but I have no idea why you would go there when Pizza Pide is right across the road.

                Tropical Joe's Roti fillings have gotten smaller, and we rarely go there. Sometimes my wife will buy just the roti from them and make her own stuff at home when we get sick of rice.

                El Greeko is still El Crappo. The guy won't even bother to make Tabouli anymore which doesn't leave much other reason to buy anything from him. Even my 14 year old daughter couldn't finish her plate (and teens usually eat just about anything greasy and salty).

                Oh, and as far as the KFC goes there has NEVER once been a time I've ordered from them and they didn't somehow manage to screw it up.

                -----
                Pizza Pide
                949 Gerrard St E, Toronto, ON M4M, CA

              2. I know this is an old thread, but props to you (really) for taking the time in reviewing all the food places in a so-so food court in a so-so mall. An interesting read.

                1. I tried Tropical Joe's today based on a Jamaican at work telling me they had the best Jerk Chicken in the city. He could very well be right. It was fantastic.

                  I thought the rice and peas were quite good. Made with coconut milk which is nice.

                  The Chowmein was different and I quite liked it.

                  DT

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: Davwud

                    Bah, their rotis have been shrinking faster than the slices at pizza pizza in the mid 90s, I won't bother with them anymore.

                      1. re: redcoconut

                        Darn. That's the only reason I'd go... Love me a good roti.

                    1. There's a new Italian sandwich & pizza place called Focaccia's in there now - been open less than two weeks. The owner used to be a chef at the Old Mill, among other places. You can choose the type of bread for your sandwich. I tried mushroom & onion focaccia for my grilled veg - big, authentic, delicious! Quite a pleasant surprise. Hope it makes it, as it is quite a bit better than the rest of the options in the mall, IMHO. Although haven't tried the Jamaican place yet.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: lauraomni

                        Any relation to Facaccia on Hayden & Yonge? if not they may get a lawyer calling over the name.. :-)