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List of eateries -- your opinions? (Good/average/score out of 10.)

Rollingstone Dec 1, 2007 04:59 PM

Folks, just wondering about your opinion of these eateries in Toronto. Good/average/not so good. Please also state which foods you've eaten at these particular places, and any food recommendations. Much appreciated. Will be visiting Toronto relatively soon, so please give me your views on these places:

1. Soul Food – 582 Lansdowne Ave. @ Paton Rd.
2. Albert's Real Jamaican Foods – 558 Queen W. @ Bathurst
3. Island Foods – 1182 King W. @ Dufferin
4. Bacchus Roti – 1376 Queen W. @ Brock
5. Irie Food Joint – 745 Queen W. @ Tecumseth
6. Ritz Caribbean – 10 Roy's Sq.
7. Lobster Trap (1962 Avenue Rd.: 5 blocks south of Hwy. 401)
8. Yummy Yummy Truck @ Yonge & Edward
9. Bright Pearl Seafood Restaurant -- 346-348 Spadina
10. Miss Saigon (Vietnamese) – 394 Spadina @ Nassau
11. Buk Chang Dong To Fu (Korean) – 691 Bloor W. @ Clinton
12. Matahari (Malaysian) – 39 Baldwin @ Henry
13. Red Lobster (location?)
14. Astoria/Mr. Greek (Greektown?)
15. Green Mango (location?)
16. Tourtière (location?)
17. Patrician Grill -- 219 King St. E.
18. Hiro Sushi -- 171 King St. E. @ Jarvis
19. Red Tea Box -- 696 Queen St. W. @ Euclid
20. Clafouti -- 915 Queen St. W. @ Strachan
21. Duff’s Famous Wings -- 1604 Bayview @ Millwood
22. Co Yen -- 334 Spadina @ Dundas W.
23. Young Thailand -- 165 John St./81 Church
24. Brar Sweets -- 755 Dundas West @ Mavis
25. Taco Bell & New York Fries (Eaton Centre)
26. Mel’s Montreal Deli -- 440 Bloor St. W. @ Howland St.
27. Good Bite Diner -- 2463 Yonge
28. Greg's Ice Cream (location?)

  1. deelicious Dec 1, 2007 06:09 PM

    You will have a lot of success if you just search these names in the search box for this board. Many of these places have recently been spoken about in depth so you should get an interesting range of opinions.

    P.S. Young Thailand Church is gone.

    3 Replies
    1. re: deelicious
      Rollingstone Dec 1, 2007 06:39 PM

      Thanx, deelicious, for the search tip. Hadn't thought about that, duh. Nice one! Btw, when did "Young Thailand" close, and why -- anybody know?

      1. re: Rollingstone
        jayt90 Dec 1, 2007 08:37 PM

        Young Thailand moved due to a rent increase.

        Young Thailand
        2907 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON M6P1Z1, CA

        1. re: Rollingstone
          vorpal Dec 1, 2007 09:00 PM

          I know they closed prior to Dec 31, 2006, but I'm not sure exactly when.

          The new location is good and I always recommend YT, but I think there are probably a couple better Thai restaurants in Toronto now that I'd check out first if I were you.

          Matahari, which is on your list, is amazing and consistently so. I haven't met a dish there that I didn't like. I recommend the chicken curry, the red chili chicken, the char kway teow, and the beef rendang highly.

          I just recently went to Greg's Ice Cream (on the south side of Bloor just west of Spadina) and found it to be very average. Decent ice cream, but not really any better than, say, Hagen Dazs. I'd grab some if I was in the neighbourhood, but I wouldn't make a special trip. The flavours I tried were banana, coconut, and grape nut.

      2. chocabot Dec 1, 2007 06:14 PM

        Co yen is also gone.

        Tourtiere is a French-Canadian meat pie - not a restaurant as far as I know.

        3 Replies
        1. re: chocabot
          Rollingstone Dec 1, 2007 06:41 PM

          Thanx, chocabot...you're right about tourtière -- it wasn't the restaurant's name, but actually the food I wanna try on my next T.O. visit :), lol. Anybody know where I can get it from in Toronto, like in a deli/whatever? Also, btw, when did Co Yen shut?

          1. re: Rollingstone
            vorpal Dec 1, 2007 09:04 PM

            I've tried I think five different bakeries / places for tourtiere in the city, and the one I've liked the most so far is at Summerhill Market. Avoid the one at Altitude Bakery; I personally thought it was okay (although not good), but my partner could not get used to the overabundance of cloves that they used and found it nearly inedible.

            1. re: Rollingstone
              Yongeman Dec 2, 2007 09:39 AM

              Co Yen closed about 3 or 4 years ago, unfortunately. The story that I heard was that the owner won a large lottery, and generously shared some of it with her employees before closing up shop. Not sure if that's a true story or not.

          2. Googs Dec 1, 2007 06:57 PM

            Oh and you may as well drop Red Lobster, Taco Bell, and New York Fries off of your list unless you're coming to Tyranna to look for US chain food.

            1. estufarian Dec 1, 2007 11:53 PM

              Sadly, Yummy Yummy Food Truck has rolled away. Sorely missed.

              1. f
                foodiemommy Dec 2, 2007 05:54 AM

                i agree with the poster who said that matahari is good and consistently so - we enjoy taking out of town friends there.
                if you want montreal deli, just wait until you actually go to montreal.

                1. l
                  LemonLauren Dec 2, 2007 06:17 AM

                  not sure the origins of such a diverse list, but i'll speak to what i know....

                  Green Mango is pan-asian for the masses, nothing jumps out but it's a good safe bet. There are locales on Yonge south of Bloor and out west on Bloor east of Royal York, that i know of.

                  Red Tea Box is a lovely, homey, unique lunch spot, definately one of the few "10"s on the list

                  Greg's Ice cream is at Spadina/Bloor and can be purchased various places including Summerhil Market.

                  Mel's is usually full of college students eating off their hangovers on yummy breakfasts, but it works.

                  Hope this helps!

                  1. orangewasabi Dec 2, 2007 06:53 AM

                    where on earth did you get this list and where are you coming from?

                    6. Ritz: there are several locations now, including two south of Roy Square on Yonge St. Personally I like the one in Roy Square and the one at College best. My standard order there is the chicken curry and callilou on rice & peas for $8 or so
                    14. Mr. Greek has turned into another name (I forget it) all else is the same. I get the gyros dinner or lamb shishkabobs -- not at all fancy or terribly refined but reliable comfort food. I prefer it to Astoria, IMHO.
                    15. Green Mango: there are two locations one is tableservice the other is takeout/self-seating at Yonge/Hayden. It's okay fast food thai -- the glass noodles or spicy noodles under basil chicken is my fav order there.
                    18. Hiro Sushi: not at all recommended, dusty, poor service, and oddly, not even good sushi
                    21. Duff's: great wings, love em
                    23. YT is closed/moved. If you want thai in that area, Golden Thai is there and I still like it for Toronto thai.
                    28. Greg's: South Side of Bloor, just west of Spadina. Get the roasted marshmellow ice cream. Awesom!

                    If you can tell us what you're looking for, we may be able to offer other suggestions. THere are probably better low-cost chinese and Korean options for you.

                    1. p
                      phoenikia Dec 2, 2007 08:28 AM

                      Irie Food Joint – 745 Queen W. @ Tecumseth
                      8/10- pretty good jerk chicken and coconut shrimp, upscale yet hip setting, also offers fusion dishes that I haven't tried. Neat patio in the summer.http://www.iriefoodjoint.com/menu.html

                      Ritz Caribbean – various locations
                      7/10 Not bad for a quick roti fix in a fast food setting.

                      Bright Pearl Seafood Restaurant -- 346-348 Spadina
                      5/10 for their dim sum- For dim sum, go to Rol San across the street instead.
                      7/10 for their peking duck set menu in the evening.

                      Matahari (Malaysian) – 39 Baldwin @ Henry
                      9/10 This is a gem.http://www.mataharigrill.com/home.asp

                      7/10 good place if you care more about quanity than quality. That being said, their lamb souvlaki is pretty good. I don't like their spanakopita- not enough filling. I like it a little better than Mr. Greek, generally.http://www.astoriashishkebobhouse.com/

                      Green Mango (location?)- Yonge St-
                      3/10. The last meal I had at their quick service, cafeteria-style restaurant on Yonge was disgusting. The broccoli had a very strange off-flavour, that even the green curry couldn't hide. The steamed rice was a mushy. That being said, I haven't eaten at their Bloor West location, or the Yonge location with table service.http://www.greenmango.ca/home.html

                      Duff’s Famous Wings -- 1604 Bayview @ Millwood
                      7.5/10 http://www.duffsfamouswings.ca/home.html

                      Good Bite Diner -- 2463 Yonge-
                      8/10 great for breakfast or a banquet burger http://www.goodbite.ca/

                      1. pescatarian Dec 2, 2007 09:48 AM

                        Buk Chang Dong To Fu is a great little place. The dolsot bi bim bap was excellent.
                        As others have said, Green Mango is a chain and has chain-like mediocre food for the masses, however, I do really like the Tom Yum at the Bloor West location.

                        Why on earth is Taco Bell and NY Fries on the list???

                        1. d
                          dancingTimmy Dec 2, 2007 06:21 PM

                          Seems like the top of your list is a google match for "toronto jerk". Have been to a few so here goes:
                          1) Soul food - not visited.
                          2) Alberts: 2 locations, been to the 542 St. clair west location - good take out, not really a sit down 7/10
                          3) Island foods: a local chain: 6 /10 again not a sit down place
                          4) Bacchus Roti: not visited: I claim it closes early around 6pm so i have never made it in time (but many i am wrong? could have been the wrong day of the week?)
                          5) Irie Food Joint: Best of the list! 9/10 interesting menu, actually a real restaurant as opposed to a take out food bar. I highly recommend it over all the others listed.
                          6) Ritz Caribbean: 4/10 stay away
                          You can also add some other jerk spots:
                          a) Mr Jerk: 6/10 again a take out chain: i used to frequent the peanut plaza location (approx 8 ft x 20 ft) for jerk pork. Always consistent, but never blew my socks off
                          b) ackee tree: 8/10 spadina just north of queen, more varied menu almost as interesting as Irie food joint.
                          c) Diners Corner: 7/10 loses some points for trying to be both chinese & jamacian (3 gloucester near yonge & wellesly)
                          d) Pablos Jerk & Fish Caribbean: 6/10 this is way up north on 1344 kennedy south of ellsmere. A sit down restaurant that turns into a bar at night
                          e) Julies Cuban: never been: again it was closed the 1 time i tried
                          f) Planet Crystal Sports Bar: 7/10 225 church street: yes it is a Jamacian sports bar.
                          g) The Real Jerk: 4/10 Its a bar. Oh, it also thinks it serves "island food". Stay away.
                          h) The Jerk Hut - 6/10 - its on lower sherbourne just 3 doors south of front street. Mostly lunch style take out as it only has 3 tables.
                          i) Cravens Caribbean Grill: 7/10 7270 woodbine (north of steeles) a good sit down, but they got flooded several years ago and re-opened with a cafeteria style.

                          (okay - so i like jerk pork)

                          1. d
                            dr_t Dec 3, 2007 10:30 PM

                            astoria is quite good. mr greek as well. mmm greek food. i prefer mr greek but my mom likes astoria better. astoria uses cinnamon in their souvlaki sauce, i think it's good still but i prefer mr greek.

                            the atrium on bay/dundas red lobster location didn't have very good food but i complained and the management seemed to actually care and make sure everything was good. that was because all of red lobster changed this one dish i was used to getting so it was very inferiour in quality... so i discount the entire chain altogether, but that location had good customer service.

                            do not eat at taco bell and new york fries. come on! lol

                            if you want an organic raw food experience try Live organic food bar on dupont at spadina.

                            1. s
                              snackboy Dec 6, 2007 10:07 PM

                              Hi All,

                              I've been to a lot of these and have found few of them outstanding ...some are better than others . . . Hiro Sushi I really enjoyed but have not been there in a while . . . In my list I have factored in $$$ value for what you get

                              1. Soul Food – 582 Lansdowne Ave. @ Paton Rd. never been
                              2. Albert's Real Jamaican Foods – 558 Queen W. @ Bathurst 7.5/10
                              3. Island Foods – 1182 King W. @ Dufferin 7/10
                              4. Bacchus Roti – 1376 Queen W. @ Brock5. 8/10
                              5.Irie Food Joint – 745 Queen W. @ Tecumseth never been
                              6. Ritz Caribbean – 10 Roy's Sq. 8/10
                              7. Lobster Trap (1962 Avenue Rd.: 5 blocks south of Hwy. 401) never been
                              8. Yummy Yummy Truck @ Yonge & Edward 7.5/10
                              9. Bright Pearl Seafood Restaurant -- 346-348 Spadina 7/10
                              10. Miss Saigon (Vietnamese) – 394 Spadina @ Nassau 7.5/10
                              11. Buk Chang Dong To Fu (Korean) – 691 Bloor W. @ Clinton 8/10
                              12. Matahari (Malaysian) – 39 Baldwin @ Henry never been
                              13. Red Lobster (location?) only get soup sald combo at lunch 6.99 AYCE w/ rolls
                              14. Astoria/Mr. Greek (Greektown?) 7.5/10
                              15. Green Mango (location?) 6.5/10
                              16. Tourtière (location?) ???
                              17. Patrician Grill -- 219 King St. E. 7/10
                              18. Hiro Sushi -- 171 King St. E. @ Jarvis 9/10
                              19. Red Tea Box -- 696 Queen St. W. @ Euclid never been
                              20. Clafouti -- 915 Queen St. W. @ Strachan 8.5/10
                              21. Duff’s Famous Wings -- 1604 Bayview @ Millwood 8/10
                              22. Co Yen -- 334 Spadina @ Dundas W. never been
                              23. Young Thailand -- 165 John St./81 Church 8/10
                              24. Brar Sweets -- 755 Dundas West @ Mavis never been
                              25. Taco Bell & New York Fries (Eaton Centre) ny fries 7/10 TB 5/10
                              26. Mel’s Montreal Deli -- 440 Bloor St. W. @ Howland St. 7.5/10
                              27. Good Bite Diner -- 2463 Yonge
                              28. Greg's Ice Cream (location?) 8.5/10 Roasted Marshmallow / Sweet cream with strawberries

                              Permalink | Reply

                              7 Replies
                              1. re: snackboy
                                Rollingstone Dec 7, 2007 01:55 AM

                                Thanks for all the replies, folks...really appreciated all your opinions. The ratings are great to know, too, so I know which eateries to prioritize, and which not to! I'm living in nordic Europe right now (Finland, in fact), so that's why I also asked about the U.S. franchises' N.Y. Fries and Taco Bell, since we have neither here, lol. So I thought what the heck, on my next visit to T.O., why not also try them out (:-D) whilst I'm in North America.

                                1. re: Rollingstone
                                  orangewasabi Dec 8, 2007 09:46 AM

                                  that makes more sense.

                                  sure, why not try TacoBell & NY Fries while you're here. Under the same circumstances, I would.

                                  1. re: Rollingstone
                                    Googs Dec 8, 2007 01:53 PM

                                    I get it, but I still think it's a waste of time. If you don't have them in Finland, you're not missing anything except trans fat laden, tasteless, chain food eaten from a paper wrapper while sitting on a plastic chair. You should count your blessings you don't have them. Soooooooo many other exciting foods you could try. Does the Finland thing also explain why you're not loooking for fish?

                                    1. re: Googs
                                      deelicious Dec 8, 2007 03:08 PM

                                      When in Rome....

                                      1. re: deelicious
                                        pancake Dec 8, 2007 04:34 PM

                                        I think your list is a FUN assortment of food. I personally love green mango at royal york and bloor. Its not the best restaurant, but its consistently good thai food..although if you are here to tour the city it will take you out of the downtown core where there is not much else. Search salad king on here. Its near the eaton centre, and just as controversial as green mango in its reviews.
                                        Taco bell. Good for you for trying it! At least once. Chicken soft tacos, fries supreme and their cinnamon twists they serve are all decent fast food. And its soo cheaply priced. There is alot of good "fast food" at the eaton centre, so you'll have your pickings when you go....

                                      2. re: Googs
                                        Full tummy Dec 9, 2007 06:03 AM

                                        New York Fries claim to use trans-fat free oil. As far as fries go, they're probably some of the best you can get from a fast food place, in my opinion.

                                        1. re: Full tummy
                                          millygirl Dec 9, 2007 06:29 AM

                                          Speaking of tourtierre, I've heard that Bonjour Brioche makes a good one. If you are willing to put up with lousy service and crappy attitude. You know what, why bother. Like Vorpal says above, go to Summerhill Market instead.

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