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Feb 13, 2008 08:49 AM

Scarborough Gems

Hidden or not. I think it would be cool to compile a list of great resto's in the east end and Scarborough area.

Although some of us have sung the praises of many on separate links lets try to build one complete list.

- Zen (Brimley/Danforth & Eglington) Great fresh Sushi. Would be at the top of my list.
- Roland’s (Eglington & McCowan) Guyanese Chinese and good Roti
- Federicks/Fredricks?? (Bellamy & Ellesmere) Indo Chinese
- Channaman (Eglington & Midland) on the search for the perfect Roti I am a huge fan of The Roti hut (which I will list next) I have been led to Roland’s which I really enjoyed and then to Channaman. Although the place was questionable (I took out) the Roti was Great. It was giant and packed with the right flavor mix. Big chunks of potato and White meat (chicken) I will try the beef and goat another time and expect to be equally impressed.
- The Roti Hut (Pittfield & McCowan) great Roti and the BEST I mean the BEST Doubles in the City.
- The Tulip (Queen & Coxwell) good steak without the steakhouse price tag. Great burger Good breakfast, and daily specials pork chops, Spaghetti with meat sauce and not to mention Coconut and Banana cream pie mmmm
-Farhat (Warden & Lawrence) Famous Shawarma
- Armenian Kitchen (Vic Park & Eglington) Middle Eastern nice sit down place
- Tara Inn (Eglington & Midland) arguably the buffalo best wings in the city

This is just a start to get the ball rolling but I am hungry now so will go for lunch...

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  1. Great idea for a thread! My own additions:

    - Ruby Chinese Restaurant (McCowan and Finch) for excellent Cantonese dinners and cheap dim sum;
    - Keung Kee Chicken and Fantasy Eatery (Midland and Finch) for well-priced HK/Cantonese food;
    - JTown (Woodbine and Steeles) for incomparably fresh sashimi and value lunches on the weekend;

    T & T! (Not a restaurant, I know, but what a great grocery store.)

    3 Replies
    1. re: Yum2MyTum

      I'm sure everyone remembers but I'll just remind them that Ruby Chinese is no more. They were run into bankruptcy after being shut down for health violations.

      A real problem for some restaurants.

      BTW, T&T's is now owned by Loblaws. Whether that changes things, we'll have to see.

      1. re: Dimwit

        TnT is not owned by Loblaws. It is still indpendently owner by their Vancouver based
        owners. They merely had a merger, thus agreeiang to sell President's Choice products, the same as other western food based stores that are still independently owned....TnT will not change in any way; you will just see additional products...

        1. re: Mousette5


          Sounds like Loblaws is the owner. They are letting TnT to be managed as a separate entity.

    2. It's funny, but I've found more gems in Scarborough than in my own 'hood in the east end of Toronto:

      Ni-Ji Sushi (Ellesmere & Midland) - Great bento box combo, really fresh

      Green Bamboo Vietnamese (Sheppard & Midland) - best spring rolls EVER

      Fairview Seafood Chinese restaurant - Great, spicy Chinese food (sweet & sour chicken with chili & spicy pork w mushrooms!)

      Francesca Italian Bakery (McCowan & Invergordon) great hot table at lunch

      Tandoori Pearl (Nugget Ave @ McCowan) Great thali combo at lunch

      Grumble's Deli (Main Street just south of Danforth) Great schnitzel sandwiches, amazing potato salads, relaxing atmosphere

      12 Replies
      1. re: currycue

        Grumble's this the place with the bakery and specialty items in the front and an eating area in the back on the west side? If it is I've never eaten in but the baked goods are very good IMHO. Such an interesting mix of German and Scottish delights in a cosy setting. A bit of old Europe, old wooden floors in a former home. Potato scones, eccles cakes and lots of other sweet treats. Do you get the schnitzel and salads (which look homemade and traditional) to go or do you eat in? Every neighbourhood should have a place like this.

        1. re: currycue

          Not really funny currycue. Scarborough has been ethnically diverse since the late 60's/early 70's long before many other Toronto neighbourhoods. The borough has benefitted from this in immeasurable ways, but most noticeably in the modestly-priced cuisine that's readily available. Glad someone's finally attempting to tally this.

          1. re: currycue

            We finally made it to Francesca Bakery in between the Town Centre mall and T&T.
            Hardly anything in the hot table (between meal times on Saturday). Tried some pastries and desserts. The ricotta cannoli were freshly piped to order and quite tasty. I think I will stick with my favourite Lamanna in future.

            1. re: Food Tourist

              I would NEVER eat anything from Francesca. Here's a tip: Buy some effin' towels.

              1. re: Food Tourist

                I agree on Lamanna's. It's the best option in Scarborough IMO. With their remodelling they've really stepped up with their hot table. Get their arancini WITH the marinara on the side, it's excellent. My daughter can't get enough of their ravioli and she's a big fan of their pizza. I've had one of their sandwiches which I think was called "mufallata" (though not 100% sure on the name). Any way it was excellent and I think next time I'll ask if I could get it pressed or heated.

                1. re: scarberian

                  Their pizza is average but their porchetta -- oh, that porchetta! When it's on the table, snatch it up quickly. Their lasagne is the best in town. Some great sweets, and nice choice of 3 types of coffee beans in the espresso bar. Ask for the organic rather than the default.

                  1. re: Food Tourist

                    If you mean Lamanna's, Food Tourist, I wasn't all that impressed with the macchiato. That's about the easiest one to fake right. I can't imagine an espresso.

                    1. re: Googs

                      Which of the 3 types of beans have you tried? Go for the miscela or organic not the default. And just like your old favourite at SLM, it depends which brother-owner is pulling the shots.

                      1. re: Food Tourist

                        It was a chick.

                        You know who pulls a shockingly good espresso? Kostas Bakery on the south side of Ellesmere just a wee west of Warden. You can have a completely civilized pastry and espresso experience.

                        1. re: Googs

                          Noted. And go have another Lamanna espresso by one of the male owners.

                2. re: Food Tourist

                  I am a big fan of Francesca, but their hot table is only okay...I prefer Agincourt Bakery for that. Francesca for the Scicillian cannoli, and the arrancini...and the gelato...
                  Will have to try Lamanna on my next visit!

              2. Shamrock Burgers (Old Kingston Rd & Highland creek overpass) their homeburgers and rings are very good.

                Fratelli Village Pizzeria (Old Kingston Rd & Highland creek overpass) a nice little Italian spot in the end unit of a strip mall in Higland Creek. Their pizzas and tiramisu are pretty darned good.

                Lin Garden (Pharmacy & Sheppard) Hakka Chinese. I go for the crispy beef, kan shu green beans, manchurian fried rice, pakoras, their chili chicken isn't the greatest in Scarborough but it is passable.

                Little Bavaria (Markham Rd and Eglinton) German, many different schnitzels, chops and sausages.

                Nun Such Jerk (Kennendy & Lawrence) the jerk pork sandwhich is all I ever order. Made from pork loin, it's not overly fatty, it's tender and moist. Coupled with plantain on a coco bread it's excellent.

                Juici Patties (Thornmount Dr by the water tower at Morningside & Sheppard). It's an industrial production facility but they sell to the public. They are similar in appearance to Patty King but the crust and filling is much tastier in my opinion. Call ahead and see when they are cooking the patties, there's nothing better than one hot out of the oven.

                25 Replies
                1. re: Dr Butcher

                  I have to remove Juici Patties from my recommendations, the last box I got was terrible, the spicing was weak and the most pronounced flavour was lard...... Not good. Things have changed for the worse it seems since Juici bought out the Patty Man,

                  I have discovered Michidean Patties (7725 Birchmount Rd) since my previous post and they are my new favourite from the area (Randy's are a touch better but are from the west end). Michidean's patties are are an excellent value as well. I get them for just over $8 a box from Charley's West Indian market at Morningside/Sheppard.

                  I have mentioned Cheetal Indian Cuisine a few times as well. My favourite Indian place in the city to date.

                  Two big thumbs up to Shawarma Empire and Ibrahim as well.

                  1. re: Dr Butcher

                    Fratelli Village Pizzeria is excellent, but it's always so packed.

                    Shamrock has gone downhill since they stopped making home made fries and are just frying up some frozen Cavendish ones.

                    1. re: sunder1025

                      Trick is to get there for 5 p.m., you'll be guaranteed a table. Any time past 6 p.m., BUT before 8 p.m, you're waiting. After 8 p.m. it starts to thin out and the wait won't be long. Also there are a couple of seats at the bar and you can eat there if you don't really care for a table. My wife and I do the take out. 15 min. max is what we had to wait for our meal (pizzas are much faster).

                      1. re: scarberian

                        I was invited for dinner at Fratelli's about 2 weeks ago and the food did not disappoint. I had the grilled octopus and it was buttery moist with a slight char flavour. I wanted to cry when it was all gone =(. The mussels were also quite nice especially with the bread.

                        I also had lunch with the wife about 3 weeks ago at the Black Dog. There is a slight change to their menu, but what really made my day was their fried calamari. I'm not sure if they changed the recipe because I don't recall the calamari being this good. Not a single piece was rubbery AND they were plump pieces. They were tender enough to be able to easily cut with a fork. The next time I go, I'm going to order the calamari and ask for a bun and make a calamari Po Boy. The calamari was just the appetizer, I had the pulled pork as my main. The pork was okay, it wasn't bad nor was it great, just okay. It's one of those dishes that you don't regret ordering, but after having it once there's no need to order it again.

                      2. re: sunder1025

                        I'm pretty sure Shamrock is no more. Last time I checked it was some other name.

                        1. re: scarborough

                          shamrock is still there you must be thinking of something else

                        2. re: sunder1025

                          I ate at Shamrock last night. The fries are definately not frozen Cavendish. I have not tried their onion rings but the pub the chef used to work at had the most incredible onion rings on this planet.......Wings were crappy (kinda dry) , ribs great and also the fries...........Took a burger home with me and it was great for breakfast......Give it another try!

                          1. re: Mousette5

                            Tried Shamrock Burgers (Highland Creek) for the first time today, for lunch. Onion rings were the star of the show. The burger did not impress. It had a spice mix that reminded me of Lick's, which is not a good thing.

                            I didn't see homeburgers on the menu (on their website or in the restaurant) so I guess they've gone to all pre-fab, which explains the Lick's similarity.

                            We won't return unless we just want great onion rings.

                            1. re: TexSquared

                              I think all of Shamrock's burgers are 'homeburgers'. They are now outsourced as they are trying to franchise. You can even buy a box of their patties to make at home. They are nice and beefy though, not the 'steakette' type patty you find at most burger joints (before moving up to a 'homeburger').

                              To me they have what I affectionately call a 'Greek Burger' spicing to them, similar to operations that were started by Greek proprietors. I believe the Real McCoy, Shake Rabble & Roll, Shamrock all have a similar spicing. Shamrock's are, and always have been more heavily spiced, with at the very least, pepper, onion, possibly oregano and other spices. They should be able to provide an ingredient list if they are brought in from a supplier.

                              I guess it's a matter of preference. I think they are great, I've been eating there since the late 80's and have not noted a drop in quality. In that time, they have switched bread suppliers from Toronto Bread to B&A and it's a shame they moved from home cut fries to pre-fab, they used to have amazing house cut fries as well as their oh-so-artery-cloggingly-good rings.

                              1. re: Dr Butcher

                                I agree about the onion rings as others have mentioned, they are some of the best in Toronto. As for the burger, as doc mentioned they are referred to as "home burgers" and the different names are basically referring to the differences in size i.e. classic is 4 oz., Rockstar is 6 oz., etc. The family and I recently had dinner there and I ordered the rockstar combo (with rings). I actually enjoyed their burger, but I couldn't taste any spices as some have said they've added to the patties. IMO it was a decent burger with a slight char flavour. I would definitely choose it over McD's or Harvey's, and it reminded me more of a Real McCoy burger. I tried my daughter's fries which were pre-fab although they try to make them look home cut by leaving the skin on them. I would go back for the burger since there really is nothing close by in the area and, as I said, it was decent. Definitely get the rings if you go, don't bother with the fries.

                                1. re: Dr Butcher

                                  How does Shamrock on Kingston Road compare to Scarborough's Five Guys (burger to burger and sides to sides)?

                                  1. re: Food Tourist

                                    In an effort to answer my question, we tried Shamrock today (4 oz and 6 oz burger, sweet potato fries, chocolate milkshake). My least favourite was the actual bun - fairly standard no-frills white bun. The classic rock (4oz) patty was lean, a bit gristly and thin, but still tasty. Added fried mushrooms and onions and Rock sauce (dijon mustard creamy). Got spicy bbq and garlic mayo for the fries (dips not exciting). The only reason I ordered the sweet potato fries was calorie savings (their website lists food nutrition values and it's still bikini season, so...) Milkshake wasn't in the same league as Holy Chuck, but probably was half their calories, so I'm not complaining. Thin chocolate taste and a light milkshake overall.

                                    1. re: Food Tourist

                                      If you want to try a burger, try the SteakBurger at T-Bones (Midland and Eglinton).

                                      I haven't tried it in awhile, but for the size, and flavour of the meat which tastes a bit peppery, it's awesome. Price was decent too.

                                    2. re: Food Tourist

                                      You should be asking "How's Shamrock's burgers to Real McCoy?" Hands down Real McCoy runs away with this category. Make sure you get the home burger at RM. They have the best charbroiled burger in Scarborough IMHO. I like to put their tzatziki on my burger instead of mayo as it gives it a richer flavour. Also RM's fries are excellent and they're real home cut fries not frozen like Shamrocks.

                                      1. re: scarberian

                                        Thanks! I'm obviously not familiar AT ALL with Scarborough. Looks like RM is within my 10 minute one-way radius for good eat hopefuls.

                                        1. re: Food Tourist

                                          RM is more of a take out joint. There are no tables or seats, just a ledge along their south wall where you can eat standing up. Also no bathrooms. This is an old school mom and pop shop so lots of faded photos of locally sponsored hockey teams, a photo of Roberto Alomar, hockey memorabilia, wood panelling and friendly service. They are closed Sundays.

                                        2. re: scarberian

                                          I gotta ask, Scarberian, since you use tzatziki, does Real McCoy use any garlic at all in their burgers? Sadly, I still haven't made the trek.

                                          1. re: Googs

                                            That I can't answer Googs. With the toppings (tomato, pickles, lettuce and tzatziki) I can only tell that the garlic flavour is from the tzatziki. The burger itself has a nice, juicy beefy flavour. IT can get messy... but in good way. =9

                                          2. re: scarberian

                                            Real McCoy didn't live up to its name on Tuesday night. Got the homemade burger with cheese (mozza instead of processed) and another homemade burger with bacon, plus one order of fries to share. We were careful not to order the smaller not-homemade burgers. Regardless, the patty was really disappointing as were the lacklustre fries. We won't be back, sadly.

                                      2. re: TexSquared

                                        I don't think the Shamrock patties have a spice mix any more. Tasted like a plain beef patty (this is 3 years later...)

                                        1. re: Food Tourist

                                          Places like Shamrocks, Johnny's are just trying to milk it from their reputation of the past.

                                          The new owners likely bought it for an expensive price, and therefore, they are trying to make up for it by cutting costs, and charging alot, while underinvesting in everything else.

                                          1. re: 89_9C1

                                            I agree about Johnny's but i would say the quality at shamrock has actually improved with their menu makeover a year or so back. They got rid of almost any premade ingredients, and now have fresh cut fries and all burgers are fresh patties instead of only their top end burgers.

                                  2. re: Dr Butcher

                                    I would just like to point out that Shamrock Burgers has recently revamped their image and food and they now SUCK!! It was the end of an era as far as I'm concerned. They were one of the best burgers in Scarborugh. I liked them better than Johnny's!!

                                    1. re: yamfood

                                      "better than Johnny's" isn't anything to brag about...

                                      1. re: yamfood

                                        I wouldn't say they suck, but, they are trying to franchise and have outsourced the production of their hamburgers. I am not sure of the other items on their menu as I haven't tried any of the new offerings.

                                        The burgers still have the same taste but seem smaller than the burgers of old unless you go for one of the bigger offerings. They used to have a prefab steakette like Johnny's or the house made homeburger. Now I believe they have three different sized burger patties and no longer offer the steakette type of patty.

                                        Long ago they ditched their great house cut fries and went to frozen, their burgers are still tasty (if you like a spiced burger patty) and their rings are still great (although greasy).

                                        I still think the flavour and quality is there, they haven't gone down the tubes, saying they suck it a bit far. I bought a few $10 for $5 WagJag coupons from them a while back and have been going to their Scarborough location regularly this past summer. While the burger patties are now formed, they still serve a great burger IMO.

                                    2. Super Sushi House - Don't think i see this place mentioned on chowhound but it was one of our regulars when living in Scar. Good food, good service, but excellent value. Combos are about $15-17 for miso soup and salad and teriyaki and sushi/sashimi and dessert/ice cream. Oh its at Kennedy/Ellesmere northeast corner.

                                      Other regulars were Tiffen - east indian food northwest corner Pharmacy/Ellesmere and Kenny's - chinese food in plaza southeast corner Midland/Sheppard. Also a samosa place one light west of Kennedy/Eglinton on the north side, though haven't tried Samosa King yet.

                                      Second Green Bamboo and Roti Hut - mmm fluffy doubles.

                                      1. My favourite places.....

                                        Beef Patties:
                                        Fahmee Bakery
                                        119 Montezuma Trail (just North of Brimley & Finch)
                                        (416) 754-2126

                                        Wonton Noodles:
                                        Wonton Chai Noodle
                                        4400 Sheppard Ave. East, Unit 6-8 (just West of Brimley)
                                        (416) 335-6326

                                        5 Veggie Samosas for $1.00
                                        Embassy Samosa King
                                        5300 Finch Ave. East (at Middlefield)
                                        (416) 332-0944

                                        Shawarma & Falafel:
                                        Farhat Restaurant
                                        2020 Lawrence Ave. East (west of Warden)
                                        (416) 285-5010


                                        Shawarma Empire
                                        1823 Lawrence Avenue East (just east of Pharmacy)
                                        (416) 285-1337