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Feb 26, 2008 01:08 PM

Food Court from Heaven

Westwood Mall is a long thin run-down mall with a Food Basics at one end and a big empty building in the middle. Its on Goreway Drive in Malton (I love Malton).
Inside, if you hunt for it, there's a tiny food court from heaven. No chains, just six family-run joints with plenty of inexpensive, spicy foods. The best is a Trinidadian spot with excellent roti (I had the goat-outstanding) and maybe the best doubles I've ever tasted. There's also a solid jerk place, a very tasty korean BBQ joint, a weird middle east pizza place, an Indian stand with nice simple lunches and an (avoidable) Chinese food stand.
These types of food courts are fading fast. Whenever we find one, it should get some kind of "Chowhound Heritage Foodcourt" designation.

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  1. Dixie Park Centre on Dixie just north of Eastgate is another, chain-free gem for Chinese/ Japanese/ Korean grub.

    7 Replies
    1. re: Kagemusha

      Downsview Park International Food Court: Multiethnic, no chains, cheap, authentic, excellent. Also flea market and weekend produce market.

      Nevin Center: Dundas & Hurontario, Asian and South Asian, no chains, cheap. Also a weird assortment of retail.

      1. re: Scary Bill

        Checked out the Downsview Merchants Market food court yesterday and it would have to rank number one in breadth and quality. Highlights were the doubles from Melo's, the pupusas from the Pupuseria and the amazing nachos with guacamole and "shrimp salad" (actually ceviche) from the taqueria. Surprisingly uncorwded, laid back, about a dozen different family-run stands from a variety of countries. Only Saturdays and Sundays but worth thr trip.

        1. re: romanruin

          This place is certainly on my list of places to get to this summer.


          1. re: romanruin

            Can't agree about the downsview food court. It doesn't have proper kitchen facilities and I had to search hard for something that looked edible. The Toronto Star review was absurd. Not sure that there is anything there that is not cooked in the microwave.

            1. re: romanruin

              Is the Afghani place still there? They have the most delicious beef dumplings in yogurt dressing.

              1. re: air621

                Yes, it was still there last time I went in very early summer. They took about 30 minutes to prepare the dumplings for me (definitely not microwaved); however, they tasted freezer-burnt and had dry edges. Nothing like the WOW I experienced the first time I ate them last year. I won't go back.

                1. re: Food Tourist

                  Went here for the first time. Tried the Afghani dumplings (Mantu), which only took 3 mins to prepare (must've been pre-cooked). Dumplings reminded me of the thin skinned chinese meat dumplings, very delicate and good sized. I couldn't really taste the meat much, since the sauce is quite rich (yogurt, beans, etc). There's a touch of chili oil in it too. Also had their Balani flat bread filled with green onion... nothing special about this one (see photo). They come with this spicy green sauce on the side.


                  Also tried a Pupusas next door. I wasn't too fond of this dish either (but then again, this was probably the second time in my life eating this, so I don't know what a good one is supposed to taste like).


                  Also tried the soursop smoothie sweetened w/ freshly squeezed sugar cane juice. A nice balance of tanginess and sweetness. Also tried the jackfruit one, which wasn't as good.

                  The tacqueria didn't have either the nachos nor the shrimp salad. :(

                  Overall an interesting experience. With the loud reggae music playing in the background, you really get a feel of being in another country without leaving T.O. Defintely worth a try if you've never been and if you're in the area (I wouldn't make a huge trip out for the food though).

                  The farmer's market is disappointing, looked more like a bunch of wholesale fruit vendors.

        2. Totally agree - this food court absolutely rocks. When I worked near the airport 5 years ago, I used to go here all the time. Glad to hear the purveyors are still going strong. Especially that Trini place... the rotis were huge, and what can you say about the doubles - some of the best in the GTA IMHO.

          1. Chowhound Heritage Food court, here here I second that! Your right, there are no chains in the food court at all. I believe there is a sub joint in the mall.
            The Triny roti place is very good. Since I’m of Irish decent and my wife is Guyanese, I love potato roti. I don’t mean roti that has potato curry wrap in it. I mean roti that is made with potato. My wife does not make potato roti very often, I’m the cook in the house, but when she does, I’m in heaven. What my wife will do is cook the potato’s then highly season them with some curry, garam masala, garlic, and scotch bonnets. For me potato roti is far better than Dalpuri, I love potato roti dipped in chicken curry, this is good eats! The Triny place will make potato roti to order, does takes some time so don’t expect to wait for the potato roti. It’s a special order, so you will have to order and then come back later. Their roti, potato roti, chicken curry and doubles are all very good.

            1. Thorncliffe Shopping Center.

              Try the Greek Stand for a Lamshank dinner under $8.00.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Jay98

                I like the food court at the Village By The Grange on McCaul street. Ok, they do have a McDonald's, but other than that, I think the other restaurants are stand alone (someone correct me if I'm wrong on this) Nothing spectacular in there, but places serving decent food at a reasonable price.

                1. re: ziggystardust

                  Yeah, both the Polish place and the Vietnamese place were pretty good when I went there.

              2. My fav. food court is at First Markham Place in Markham on Hwy. 7.