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Authentic Newfie food

adf1962 Dec 5, 2007 05:34 AM

OK, I'm ready to take the plunge. I've experienced poutine (good and bad) and I'm ready to expand my Canadian horizons further east. Anybody know where I can get decent Newfie food here in Toronto. I don't expect I'd find cod tongue or scruncheon but hey, you never know. And can someone tell me what the heck maggotty butter is (besides being part of the lyrics in I'se the Bye)?. Thanks.

  1. g
    Gary Dec 5, 2007 05:40 AM

    Can't help you with any Newfie delicacies (I suspect the lack of ocean here in Toronto will be a problem) but I'm guessing maggoty butter is simply butter that is infested with maggots, probably from being stored too long over the winter, as implied by the lyrics "Codfish in the spring o' the year / Fried in maggoty butter". Yum!

    Also see http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/maggoty

    1. h
      hungry_pangolin Dec 5, 2007 06:52 AM

      I don't know where you could find real, honest, Newfoundland cuisine, BUT... a chef friend of mine was able to get cod tongues from her supplier a couple of years ago, so it's within the realm of the possible. Seal flipper pie might be a greater challenge.

      1. s
        Scary Bill Dec 5, 2007 06:53 AM

        The best grocery store to try for Newfie products like salt beef, hardtack, gooseberry jam, summer savory, etc is Sobey's because of their east coast origins. Perhaps you will be able to order tongues and cheeks, or flipper as I'm certain they carry them in some east coast stores.

        You can also try The Newfie Shoppe & Fish Market in Hamilton.

        Before all the Newfies went to Fort McMurray they used to come to Toronto and it was easier to find Newfie food here. The local A&P carried naval beef (salt beef) and there was a Newfie store at Keele and Eglinton.

        You can make a lot of Newfie dishes from other than region specific ingredients however, just make sure start with original Newfie recipes, bye'.

        Scruncheons btw are just diced salt cod fat (only) fried til crispy. MMMMMMMM

        And don't overlook a great Newfie dish, hand-cut steak, from a tube of Maple Leaf balogna (not baloney).

        2 Replies
        1. re: Scary Bill
          ekammin Dec 5, 2007 07:49 AM

          It's easy enough to make fish and brewis, at least, at home. The only exotic ingredient you need is hard bread, usually made by Purity in Newfoundland and available at several places in Toronto. Salt cod is common enough (being a mainstay of Portuguese cuisine). Scrunchions are not, I believe, made from cod, but rather from pork fatback, fried crisp.

          The dish is deadly - if the salt in the pork and the cod doesn't get you, the cholesterol will - but it's delicious.

          1. re: ekammin
            Scary Bill Dec 5, 2007 08:01 AM

            Oops! I stand corrected.

            Brain cramp! I typed "pork" but "cod" came out.

        2. mikeb Dec 5, 2007 08:09 AM

          Eastern Passage in Brampton has been mentioned on this site in the past. Never been, myself. Here's a link to it:


          1. l
            lamaranthe Dec 5, 2007 08:19 AM

            Chef Michael Smith moved to Newfoundland about 2 yrs ago. You might want to contact him. He is on foodnetwork.ca.

            4 Replies
            1. re: lamaranthe
              jayt90 Dec 5, 2007 12:29 PM

              I heard he is in Prince Edward Island.

              1. re: jayt90
                lamaranthe Dec 5, 2007 12:50 PM

                Why not contact him? I did, on one occasion, and he was very friendly and helpful.

                1. re: jayt90
                  lamaranthe Dec 6, 2007 06:03 AM

                  True, but I emailed him a question and he answered in a very friendly way. I thought he could be a good source of infos.

                  1. re: lamaranthe
                    adf1962 Dec 7, 2007 09:42 AM

                    PEI. I was watching him last night and he was talking about dinner inspirations from his backyard in PEI.

              2. a
                adf1962 Dec 5, 2007 09:18 AM

                Thanks to all for the advice! I'd raise a glass of Screech as a toast if only I had some. I like watching Michael Smith on TV and the Food network is one of my faves for sure.

                1. xtal Dec 5, 2007 10:38 AM

                  I think Eastern Passage used to be called Newfie Grocery, so there should be some good ingredients available there.

                  Also, you CAN find screech at the LCBO.


                  1. Googs Dec 5, 2007 01:40 PM

                    If you search for Newfie and Newfoundland here a few things pop. Enjoy your journey.

                    1. t
                      tamaletartare Dec 5, 2007 02:32 PM

                      How aboot
                      Eton Tavern
                      710 Danforth, at Pape, 416-466-6161
                      The marquee describes this spotless Danforth tavern as "3,200 km to Newfoundland, five steps to Newfoundland on the Danforth." An unchanged men's taproom from the 50s, the Eton sports cafeteria furniture, shiny terrazzo floors and wood panelling everywhere. Belt screech while catching the club's Saturday-afternoon Newfie country matinee.

                      never been there, but who knows, could be exactly what you're looking for.

                      16 Replies
                      1. re: tamaletartare
                        Zengarden Dec 5, 2007 04:15 PM

                        This is a rough and tumble bar, not exactly a chowfind. I've passed by and it's always been so dimly lit that there would be no way one would ever know if the floors are shiny or not.

                        1. re: Zengarden
                          Scary Bill Dec 6, 2007 06:33 AM

                          If you've only passed by, how do you know it is " rough and tumble"?

                          NOW Magazine has it in its Top 100, and one of the go-to bars in the Danforth area. Maybe they serve the best Jiggs Dinner in town?

                          1. re: Scary Bill
                            Zengarden Dec 6, 2007 12:56 PM

                            I would love to eat there as Newfoundland is my spiritual homeland!

                            But it doesn't look like a spot for food though it definitely promises to be a good drinking hole.

                            I'd love a good cod's tongue snack. Just not certain that this is the spot for it.

                            1. re: Zengarden
                              Scary Bill Dec 7, 2007 05:56 AM

                              I'll let you know what I think as I plan on taking some out-of-town guests there during the Christmas break.

                              Half of my family is Newf, so I think I can be a fair judge.

                              1. re: Scary Bill
                                Zengarden Dec 7, 2007 01:30 PM

                                Excellent! I'll look forward to your review and recommendations.

                                1. re: Scary Bill
                                  Zengarden Jan 12, 2008 04:25 PM

                                  Scary Bill,
                                  Did you manage to get to the Eton Tavern?

                                  1. re: Zengarden
                                    Scary Bill Jan 15, 2008 06:08 AM

                                    Zen, did not make it to the Eton. Had intended to, and still do, though it probably won't be soon. There were too many other things our visitors wanted to do.

                                    Instead we went to the ( closer for us as we live in Mississauga) Eastern Passage on a Saturday afternoon. There was a house band playing with participation from a couple of by's from the audience, one of whom who must have had a job shattering icebergs back home with his singing.

                                    The menu had all the usual down home offerings, and very reasonably priced. We did not eat, but will go back soon.

                                    Everyone there was very nice and all seemed to be enjoying the music, however you will clearly run into some with a "rough and tumble" appearance, though in this case, appearances are deceiving.

                          2. re: tamaletartare
                            Googs Dec 6, 2007 07:28 AM

                            More info on Eton here:

                            One man's rough & tumble is another man's chowfind.

                            1. re: Googs
                              bluedog Dec 6, 2007 07:50 AM

                              Nothing about the food though, or did I miss it?

                              I also often pass this place and I have to agree that it appears a bit "rough and tumble", The music on the weekends is great, though (you can hear it from the street), and I've often wondered about checking it out. My concern about places like this, however, is that it looks like it has a large core of regulars and it always feels when you go that you've crashed someone else's party. Probably just me though!

                              1. re: bluedog
                                Googs Dec 6, 2007 07:53 AM

                                Talk hockey. It's the universal language of Canada. Works every time.

                                1. re: Googs
                                  bluedog Dec 6, 2007 08:00 AM

                                  Sadly its a language I don't speak :(

                                  1. re: bluedog
                                    adf1962 Dec 6, 2007 08:51 AM

                                    No problem . . .all u need to do is walk in on a Saturday night and say "What's the score, eh?" or perhaps "Eh by', anybody know the score on the game?" After that, find a seat and ask for a menu.

                                    1. re: adf1962
                                      bluedog Dec 6, 2007 09:47 AM

                                      So report back if/when you go, eh by?

                                      1. re: bluedog
                                        bbbradk Jan 15, 2008 09:37 AM

                                        I'm at the Eton House every Tuesday night (the best free open mike comedy in the city, hosted by Jo-Anna Downey) and while comedy brings in a bit of a different crowd, the regulars (there are several who live upstairs) are very friendly.

                                        As for eating?
                                        The owners (Tommy and George) are Greek, not Newfies, and the menu is pretty limited, burgers, wings, nothing fancy.
                                        It's far more a place to drink

                                        1. re: bbbradk
                                          bluedog Jan 27, 2008 10:23 AM

                                          That was my impression....so if the owners are greek, how'd it get to be a peice of Nesfoundland on the Danforth????

                            2. re: tamaletartare
                              Jar Feb 1, 2014 06:55 AM

                              The Eton Tavern became all the busier when the Country Music Store further east on the Danforth closed and their own in store Saturday jam sessions obviously ended. The loss was sad, but the trek to the Eton for food was a bonus. Sadly I moved so long ago from Linsmore at Danforth & Greenwood, I miss much that Toronto offers.

                            3. s
                              Stewart Dec 7, 2007 07:11 AM

                              Gotta go to Eastern Passage in Brampton; corner of Steeles and Melanie.
                              Real Newfie food and real newfie people; always a coupla of the boys at the bar drinkin' beer from the bottle .... imagine !
                              My favourite is cod and chips; pan-fried cod with fresh cut french fries ... simple and easy.... if you really need to fill up get dressing, fried onions and gravy on the fries.
                              and yes, they have cod-tongues !

                              1. l
                                LJS Dec 7, 2007 11:47 AM

                                Ahhh, stop you guys are killing me with nostalgia and hunger...but no one has mentioned my faves: partridge berry pie, moose stew made from 'bottled' moose, bluberry slump/grunt, rabbit 'paste' (pie), moose ball cookies, Labrador tea...sigh...I want to go home...

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: LJS
                                  bluedog Dec 7, 2007 12:05 PM

                                  I gotta know what bottled moose is....

                                  1. re: bluedog
                                    LJS Dec 7, 2007 12:24 PM

                                    Think of preserving: now think of moose meat. Yeah, I know, it dones't sound great, but then do you really want to know how they make hot dogs?

                                2. Wahooty Jan 12, 2008 01:44 PM

                                  I don't know if you're still on your quest at this point, but as I was walking down Eglinton toward Warden, I noticed some small signs outside the Merchant's Flea Market. They said, "Newfoundland Food, Aisle 1, Sat-Sun 10am-6pm."

                                  I have no idea what exactly they're selling, but I thought I'd pass it along in case anyone wants to investigate...

                                  1. JamieK Jan 13, 2008 07:52 AM

                                    There's a store called Newfoundland Foods and Seafood Market on Victoria Park just south of St Clair, across from No Frills. I drive by all the time but never been in. I think the pub at the corner there, the Brigadoon, also offers Newfie menu items and entertainment.

                                    Newfoundland Foods
                                    1101 Victoria Park Ave, Toronto, ON M4B, CA

                                    1. s
                                      Snively Jan 13, 2008 11:47 AM

                                      It's certainly not a short trip but there is a decent place in Fergus.

                                      Goofie Newfie
                                      105 Queen Street W
                                      Fergus, Ontario
                                      (519) 843-4483

                                      1. f
                                        foodguy 905 Jan 14, 2008 06:17 AM

                                        Go to your local Mary Browns chicken location. It is a staple of any good Newfoundlanders diet . It was founded in Labrador City Nfld by Cy Fleming. I believe that they still produce the best quality fried chicken on the market today. Funny enough their busiest location is Fort Mac Murray

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: foodguy 905
                                          samb42 Feb 1, 2014 06:14 AM

                                          a staple it is. i'm thinking about ordering it right now. BUT it was founded in st john's by 2 guys who got the recipe in virginia from "mary brown" and they liked the chicken so much that they brought it back to newfoundland.

                                        2. j
                                          Jar Feb 1, 2014 06:41 AM

                                          Incredible to know the I'se The Bye song, classic, traditional especially East Coast music, best version by the late great Dick Nolan.You really are looking for a traditional and regional food. I should have read the replies, but I can say there once was a great Newfie grocery around Gerrard and Carlaw????, but in the recent past the Brampton area seems to be a source. Hope you have success but rushing to soon get for an appointment!

                                          1. PoppiYYZ Feb 1, 2014 01:37 PM

                                            No much in Toronto.

                                            Many Newfies working out west, so there are lots of mail order "care packages" delivered from Newfoundland available.

                                            One can even get Seal Flipper Pies delivered - if you are bold enough ! I even think now is the SFP season !!

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